Robert Downey Jr. for Best Supporting Actor in Tropic Thunder!
by Alex Billington
October 19, 2008
There's currently a battle brewing in Hollywood over Paramount's surprise decision to push The Soloist from its release date in November to March next year. The largest talent agency in town, CAA, is quite unhappy with Paramount, saying "we were blindsided." Variety shed some additional light on the situation tonight in a new article, adding that Paramount was pressured by Viacom to cut costs for the fourth quarter and Soloist was easiest to move (and apparently isn't that great anyway). But hidden at the end of this article was an interesting tidbit that just made me smile. "The studio will now back an Academy campaign for [Robert Downey Jr.'s] supporting role in Tropic Thunder."
I didn't write that headline just because I thought Downey Jr. should be nominated - it's an official studio decision! The funny thing is I'm not actually opposed to it. Sure he probably won't win, but it's at least a great idea to try and nominate one of the funniest, and arguably authentic, roles this year. As a reminder, Downey Jr. played Kirk Lazarus who played Sgt. Osiris, an African American soldier in the faux movie they were making. I'm not the only one who truly thought Downey Jr. actually did an impeccable job playing a black soldier in addition to being one of the funniest characters in the whole movie anyway.
Just because Tropic Thunder is a comedy doesn't mean Downey Jr. shouldn't be honored for such a great performance. And I'm not just saying he made audiences laugh, he really pulled it off and blew me away with how real he made it all seem. It may be a bit ridiculous to think about in theory, just because the role itself was a bit ridiculous, but I don't think it's too crazy of an idea. What other great supporting performances have there been this year anyway? I guess Heath Ledger as the Joker counts as support, and if it does, that's the winner without question. But it'll still be interesting to see Downey Jr. up there as Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder instead of anything else. Will you support his Oscar campaign?
Tip: If you're looking for some more good Oscar buzz to chat with friends about, "Little Person" performed by Deanna Storey and Jon Brion from the Synecdoche, New York soundtrack deserves to win the Best Original Song this year - hands down. You can listen to the song in full over on Facebook.