Robert Downey Jr. on ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’

Sherlock himself talks about dressing in drag, his bromance with Guy Ritchie and taking his new Moriarty to school.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Any press conference with Robert Downey Jr. is going to be fun. At this point we know he’s not going to take it seriously, he’ll improvise with the questions and his costars, and every once in a while he’ll talk about the movie. Here are all the outrageous things Downey said at the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows press conference.


Speaking for the absent Jude Law.

Robert Downey Jr.: Jude, by the way, would’ve been here but, uh, his son had a soccer game.


Robert Downey Jr. on sequels, because, you know, he’s made some now.

Oh, well, after the first one worked out pretty good, we were pretty much doing the press tour talking about things we would like to improve, other directions we could go, blah blah blah. And then there’s the reality of doing it. Anybody who’s ever been involved in making the second part to a first that worked, there should be a whole online support team for this.


Doing drag as Sherlock in disguise.

Okay, so I guess we’re not talking about this as being one of the most important films of the year? Uh, I put on some makeup. I thought I looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s dwarf brother. That’s what I thought I looked like. And the lead singer from The Cure. Robert Smith, sorry. I should know that. It’s embarrassing. Any other movies you want to talk about? Did you like The Artist?


Training for Sherlock.

As far as me being in shape, I think you and I should probably talk about that for a half an hour as it is my favorite topic.


The real Sherlock Holmes bromance.

Yeah, well, Jude and I are pretty close but Guy [Ritchie] and I are practically brothers which makes things really interesting. There have been times when I’ve wanted to lop off his head with a machete, but it’s just because I love you so much. You know what I mean? There’s no one you love more really, is there? Think about it?


Downey schooled his Moriarty (Jared Harris) on the set.

He would come in and we’d have a scene that he’s shooting in two days and he’d be like, “Is this going to pretty much stay like this?” I was like, “Not a word of it.” “Can I have something that I can study the night before?” I’d say, “I’m going to venture a no on the possibility of yes.” And you were really quite nice. Once in a while you would say, “I really just beg of you, if I could even have a semblance of knowing what I might say I guarantee you I could do a better job with it because I wouldn’t be like you, Robert, for this long scene that you just wrote wearing an earwig where someone’s telling you what to say in the other room. I would actually know what I was going to say.” I’d be like, “Interesting, yeah, everyone has their own process.”


Robert Downey Jr. exposed Guy Ritchie’s directorial orders to Jared Harris.

Guy told him to go home and he wanted him to come back singing a German aria the next day. Nobody learns a German aria overnight, except Jared Harris.


The art of collaboration.

It was a democracy in the truest and most frustrating and most rewarding sense of the word. Anybody could come in and say, “You know, I’m just not cool with that.” We’d be like, “Who’s that?” “Oh, I was just cleaning the trailers.” It was nuts.


I ask Downey about a comment he made at the ‘Due Date’ press conference. Kinda doesn’t matter what he said back then.

I don’t talk to Todd Phillips anymore. Let’s stay on topic.


An environmental journalist asks the producers about keeping a green set.

To answer the question about green what came to mind was I just remember that every animal that was harmed was promptly taxidermied and sent as a gift to one of the many ecological companies that have these sorts of huge concerns that I validate.