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Robert Downey Jr. Addresses Addiction in New Documentary SR.

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Robert Downey Jr. Addresses Addiction in New Documentary SR.

By Movieguide® Contributor

Robert Downey Jr. and his father discussed addiction and how they both overcame it in the new Netflix documentary SR. 

“It’s incomplete if you don’t,” Downey Jr. said of his decision to broach the topic and include it in the movie. “I also hate puff pieces. “There’s so many examples of it right now where everyone’s trying to get their narrative out there.”

In SR, Downey Jr. shared that he became addicted to drugs during the making of 1987’s LESS THAN ZERO.

“It was just a wild era,” he recalled. “That whole world, it gets tied into creativity. We were all altering our consciousness with substances. I was just kinda playing a game of just wanting to self-soothe or just stay loaded rather than deal with the fact that things had gone off the tracks a little bit.”

Downey Jr. has been sober since 2003. 

Downey Sr. recalled his own experiences with drugs in the documentary and how that affected his reaction to his son’s drug and alcohol abuse.  

“I was a drug addict,” he said. “Mainly cocaine and marijuana. Total, total insanity.” Downey Sr. also shared the advice he would give his younger self: “Don’t touch drugs.”

Downey Sr. passed away in 2021. 

The IRON MAN actor also talked about why so many feel “uncomfortable” with discussions about addiction, saying, “Nobody wants to admit complete defeat over trying to deal with something like alcoholism or addiction.”

“I still think there’s this section of our culture that thinks it’s a moral weakness. And also, you feel bad about all the crazy [stuff], so then there’s the guilt button,” he explained. “I don’t really know if my dad ever made peace with those many lost years….”

Downey Jr.’s wife Susan chimed in, saying, “If anybody has ever dealt with someone with addiction, you know it has nothing to do with someone else. They have to be ready.”

She continued, “If you can be a small part of creating an alternative world for them that says, ‘Hey, I’m here. If you are clean, great.’ But there’s no credit I will ever take other than basically saying, ‘Here’s what I need to have happen,’ or more importantly, ‘What can’t be happening.’ But it’s entirely that person.”


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