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.
Reader Feedback - 44 Comments
no...i will not support this campaign... the award should go to some serious and groundbreaking performance...unforgettable performance...classic performance... Heath Ledger should be a winner...
safichan on Oct 20, 2008
@2: Heath will win based on pitty. He was great in TDK and Brokeback but everything else he has done was supremely sub-par. The only reason he has gotten raving reviews for TDK was because of his death. Heath Ledger would be broiled alive by fanboys if he were still alive.
Allynd Dudnikov on Oct 20, 2008
I don't agree with this at all. He is a great actor, but the role he played was very similiar to the "black face" roles of the old days. I really can't agree with getting rewarded for playing a character like that. Loved him in the movie, as well as many of his other works, but I can't support this.
Joe Black on Oct 20, 2008
RDJ is great, i would really hope he wins this, after not wining the one for chaplin i really think it would boost his self esteem (A) 🙂 And heath was great but ppl, he's not really around to appreciate it, if he would win it would be more for our benefit not for his 🙂 + I would love to see an actor in an oscar in a comedy, so underated they are!
sng. Sheep on Oct 20, 2008
win an oscar*
sng. Sheep on Oct 20, 2008
''Heath will win based on pitty. '' Lords of Dogtown, Brokeback Mountain, Monsters Ball, I'm Not There, The Dark Knight, Dr. Parnasuss (I'm sure)...I mean, WTF dorks??? ''Heath WILL WIN out of pure fact: Joker was THE BEST role this year.'' Also, I support Jack Black for Tropic Thunder.
m4st4 on Oct 20, 2008
Oh...I forgot Candy...He was great in Candy...again.
m4st4 on Oct 20, 2008
It's got my full support, he was fucking amazing. Yeah, it was funny, but it was also amazing because he was playing a character PLAYING a completely different character, and he did a phenomenal job, unlike Jack Black who played himself. Don't get me wrong, I love Jack Black, it's just that he's never played a different role. Except for in.. wait nevermind, Balls of Fury was someone else playing Jack Black LOL
Kail on Oct 20, 2008
Tropic Thunder was a terrible film in my opinion. Boring and totally dry of laughs. I fell asleep in it.
Mike on Oct 20, 2008
@3 You should keep your bizarre opinions to yourself. You couldn't sound more foolish.
Blue Buttons on Oct 20, 2008
#10 -Damn straight!
m4st4 on Oct 20, 2008
@#2, the award should go to some serious and groundbreaking performance…unforgettable performance…classic performance… Yea And RDJ performance was all that and a bag of chips. But Heath Should and better win. That Dude rocked. @#3, The only reason he has gotten raving reviews for TDK was because of his death. Heath Ledger would be broiled alive by fanboys if he were still alive. Im a Fan Boy and I think Bales voice as batman was Horrible. Heath, really clicked in with that performance. Awesome job. @#1 Balls of Fury was someone else playing Jack Black I thought the exact same thing.
AllmightyKeim on Oct 20, 2008
Absolutely deserved imo. But Heath Ledger HAS to get the oscar, his perfomance in TDK is legendary. And i'm no Batman/Joker fanboy, actually i always hated the Joker, but Heath just turned it into an amazing character.
Darunia on Oct 20, 2008
I don't think Downey Jr's performance in this movie is Oscar Worthy. It would also be ashame if he was nominated and some other;s this year that deserve it weren't. It will also send a bad message out there to the african-american actors and community. It was a schtick in a comedy , leave it that way!
Downeyfan on Oct 20, 2008
It would be truly wonderful if he was nominated. I'm not saying he should win, but that's a layered performance and deserves at least a nod. I'd be surprised if it happened though, because the Academy has a prejudice against comedy.
Daaaave on Oct 20, 2008
@3 Off-topic but I have to say it: That's the stupidest remark I've ever heard regarding Ledger in TDK. He was getting buzz from both critics and fans alike based on publicly released footage before he passed so why exactly would he be "broiled alive"? And if death was a factor in rave reviews for a performance than I imagine Aaliyah and Raul Julia would've garnered Oscar buzz for Queen of the Damned and Street Fighter, respectively, which, well, obviously they didn't, huh? As a matter of fact they were panned if anything.
Frame on Oct 20, 2008
Heath has to get it - and it has nothing to do with me being a fangirl. I can actually see RDJ getting an Oscar nom for Tropic Thunder because he was a damn good black man. Winning though....I'm just hoping that there's *something* else out there that prevents that from happening, if The Dark Knight wasn't enough [which it should be.
Maria on Oct 20, 2008
I think he totally pulled it off. Not only would I support an Oscar campaign for Downey Jr. to get nominated but I'd volunteer at campaign headquarters...LOL!! I hate how so many people are so quick to dismiss a great performance just because its in a comedy. Its rare that someone get nominated for comedies but it has happened. Joan Cusack was nominated for the comedy "In and Out". Marissa Tomei won for "My Cousin Vinny" and Downy Jr. blows both of those performances away!! Now don't get me wrong, Ledger totally deserves the win this year, but Downey Jr. definitely needs to get recognized with a nomination. I'm ready for a movie with just Kirk Lazarus!!! Anyone else?
Doza on Oct 20, 2008
#3 - "Heath will win based on pitty" Did you actually watch The Dark Knight? Ledger's performance was brilliant. For those who don't know this, Ledger would not watch the dailies while filming. He did this so he could approach each scene differently, and not repeat himself. I don't know of another case where an actor did this, for this reason. If someone else does, let me know. If you watch closely, you"ll notice during the film, that the Joker is truly unpredictable. His mannerisms change, his voice changes. His laugh changes. That was Ledger. He made the character come to life like we'd never seen before. I hardly think "pity" is the word to use here. If he wins, it will be based on the ground breaking performance he gave. "Heath Ledger would be broiled alive by fanboys if he were still alive." WTF? You're obviously not a fanboy.
TCox on Oct 20, 2008
I'd just like to say, Robert Downey Jr. is one of the greatest actors of any generation. Also, when I saw a teaser for Tropic Thunder on IMDB, I didn't even realize it was him. May be due to the small screen size, but damn. When I saw the movie, I think his character was the only one that really made any impression. Good show. Can't wait for Sherlock Holmes. @#19 TCox, He obviously is a fan-boy... of lesser deserving actors. You're right about Ledger being amazing in TDK. He totally upstaged the star of the show, and if what you're saying about his method is true, it makes me appreciate his performance even more. @#3 Allynd Dudnikov, If fan-boys would broil Heath alive if he still were, that just affirms that fan-boys are narrow-minded geeks who should be broiled alive. Like you. @#7 m4st4, Saw all of those except for Brokeback and I'm Not There, and Candy too, and all were good performances by Ledger. Agreed.
JL on Oct 20, 2008
#3, you have no idea what you are talking about. I don't think theres any chance in hell Downey will get an Oscar nomination for his role in Tropic Thunder, for a few reasons. Firstly, comedic roles very rarely receive nominations in the first place, unless it is something truly special, like Johnny Depp in the first Pirates. Secondly, Downey did very good, but in no way was it better than other supporting roles over the past year, like Ledger in TDK or John Malkovich in Changeling.
Keith on Oct 20, 2008
#3, he may be praised only for his death by some, but i honestly thinks he did a great job. As for listing prevoius films hes done as to why he shouldnt win for TDK is rediculous. the voters of the academy dont say, well he did a bad job in Dogtown" they only look at the film submitted. Now then he would deserve it either way. but i think the fact that hes dead will land him more vote. As for RD Jr. i think its a silly idea. but hes got my support.
Al on Oct 20, 2008
First, I gotta say to #19, while Ledger was amazing as The Joker, and does deserve to be nominated, I think there were some equally powerful performances this year. I for one thought Ben Kingsley in The Wackness was INCREDIBLE and should get a nod. In terms of the Downey nomination, what about Downey as Tony Stark?! Obviously not worthy for an Oscar, but I think he nailed and embodied the character just as much as Ledger did with the Joker. Perhaps a Golden Globe?
David on Oct 20, 2008
tropic thunder wasn't really that funny. all the actors should have been as stupid as ben stiller's character. also i couldn't understand RDJ's lines because he was trying to hard to speak "black" Heath should definitely win
bat on Oct 20, 2008
haha yea ill def back him for best supporting and heck id nominate him for best actor in ironman but it would be a tougher sell, but really ledger will win it and honestly there really arent any standouts other than these two for supporting actors this year that ive noticed
harrison on Oct 20, 2008
Hmm, it ain't going to happen (even a nom.), but it will be fun. Thanks for the Syndechoe, NY tip. I am seeing it this weekend.
Ryan on Oct 20, 2008
Fuck the Oscars
Lefthanded on Oct 20, 2008
I'll totally support him, but i'm pretty sure he wont win, but just the fact that he will even get nominated for a role as silly as this just proves how great an actor he really is. Downey is so versatile and just made the whole Tropic THunder movie. BUt good for him, i think he deserves a nom
Sally on Oct 20, 2008
what a joke
Marlena on Oct 20, 2008
#24 - I agree. There were some other great performances this year. I think Downey is definitely one of the best actors working today, and I'm really glad he's made such a huge comeback. He did a great job with Iron Man, but I think it's one of those movies that will get more attention on The People Choice Awards, or the MTV Movie Awards, than it will be with the Academy Awards, or the Golden Globe Awards. That doesn't mean I think he's undeserving. He was badass in Iron Man, and it ranks as my second favorite comic book adaptation, right behind The Dark Knight.
TCox on Oct 20, 2008
While Tropic Thunder was better than I thought it would be for sure, I cannot see that as a winner for Best Supporting. Maybe a Golden Globe, but the Oscar is more than a little far fetched.
Trisha Lyn Fawver on Oct 20, 2008
No nomination for not going "full retard"? I'm shocked.
avoidz on Oct 21, 2008
LOL #32. Seriously, Downey Jr's performance in Tropic Thunder is no where near Oscar worthy. Playing a black dude in Vietnam, come on. It was a funny character in black face; why not get the real thing. If you want to give him an Oscar put him up for Iron Man. He totally nailed the character in that and to suggest he nailed the character in Tropic Thunder is offensive and borderline racist.
Joe Black on Oct 21, 2008
@33: I guess you haven't seen Tropic Thunder, here is a hint: He's not playing a black guy. He's playing an actor who is so lost in his role. No racism just a jab at extreme method actors.
Allynd Dudnikov on Oct 21, 2008
”Heath will win based on pitty. ” Lords of Dogtown, Brokeback Mountain, Monsters Ball, I'm Not There, The Dark Knight, Dr. Parnasuss (I'm sure)…I mean, WTF dorks??? ”Heath WILL WIN out of pure fact: Joker was THE BEST role this year.” Also, I support Jack Black for Tropic Thunder. @7 Lords of Dogtown was good.. Heath was pretty good in that movie... his only problem was that in that movie, was that Emile Hirsh was pretty damn good too... (another one of my favorite actors, i hope he can bounce back from horrible speed racer) So it's really not a knock on Heath RDJ should have gotten it for Chaplin.. how was that any different then Jamie Fox getting it for Ray But Heath should get it for TDK, That Joker was EPIC, and that role should be studied by aspiring actors...
r1000 on Oct 21, 2008
I went to T.Thunder because of this FS.net. I DESPISE Stiller but to wanted to see RDJ for his skill and wanted to see him in a "Comedy". While I am STILL waiting to see him in a "Comedy", his performance was fantastic and was the only funny parts of the film, as long as he was in frame. However I do not really agree with a nomination. T.Thunder was a bad film. And I must agree with 35, Chaplin was a most impressive performance. As Tony Stark he was totally....Tony Stark, I believed it WAS him. I am anxious for his Sherlock Holmes.
D-9 on Oct 21, 2008
@ #25 agreed, it was very difficult for me to understad his lines, and i didn't hear most of what he said when he was listing the names of actors who played retards in movies and only heard the part where he said that sean penn went home empty handed cuz he went "full retard" i don't think he'll win an oscar, but they should just nominate him for best supp. actor in a comedy or musical at the globes. i'd say that he's got a good shot at winning that, not an academy tho
LeeMan on Oct 21, 2008
I know the thread is about RD Jr but I have to comment on Heath Ledger...whatever he is awarded, if anything, will not be based on pity over his death...to get such a performance from a role in a comic book movie is unheard of...he totally outshined all the other characters...I think he deserves recognition based on his talent alone...it is simply unfortunate that he did pass away when he did...
moldybread on Oct 21, 2008
yeah I don't think he'll win, but what the FUCK is the big deal if he gets nominated "OMG HEATH LEDGER NEEDZ TO GET IT!!" You fanboys are pissing me off just shut up can you respectfully disagree without insulting someone? What is no one else supposed to be nominated for best actor? Heath's name is just going to be the only one up there? LMAO get a goddamn life. Heath Ledger already GOT the Oscar stop having a shit it just because Downey may get nominated too. The movie Tropic Thunder was alright I laughed during it, the end could have been better and there could have been a few more laughs, but it was Stiller's best imo. Stop dissing it because you think you're "too grown up" for Stiller's movies. I thought I was when I was like 16, I'm 20 now and I just sit back and enjoy them. You might too if you took the stick out of your ass. As for Downey's performance, I liked it a lot and thought it was definitely worthy of a nom, but idk if I'd give him win. So of course I support this, its time the academy stop noticing the same lame ass elite actors in their dreary boring "drama" performances, like that's the only kid of acting out there, boring. big whoop, if I want to see boring drama I'll watch lifetime. He SHOULD have won for Chaplin, his acting was just perfect, its a shame stupid Al Pacino won it. He played his typical screaming at the camera act, BOOOORING. I mean its quite apparent that the Oscars are already a god damn joke or else Downey would have won for Chaplin. I'm pretty indifferent about him winning an Oscar for anything else because I'm still annoyed by that idiotic choice they made. I think they should re release Chaplin in theaters and just flipping nominate him again or it and give him the Oscar, can they do that? lol. they should.
Felixthecat34213 on Oct 27, 2008
I have to agree with the others above that I don't support a campaign for Robert Downey Jr. to get an Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actor. I do agree that it should go to Heath Ledger. Sure, RDJ had a hilarious role in Tropic Thunder and he portrayed it very well, but his performace is not on the same level as Heath Ledger's as the Joker. There's just no comparison. I found a great post on Peterman's Eye about the importance of supporting characters in movies. Thought I'd share with everyone... http://www.petermanseye.com/anthologies/why-i-like/360-quite-the-character Cheers!
Tina Marshall on Nov 17, 2008
Many Oscar actors who make people cry often times, act as themselves. A real actor is the one who can transform her or himself into another person. While watching the movie, I had a hard time trying to picture Robert Downey Jr. behind the dude playing a dude disguising as another dude. But seriously, this actor’s performance is just mind blowing. I know Tropic Thunder is a comedy movie, but there is a scene where he becomes white again and makes anyone forget about this been a comedy movie for a couple of seconds while all the attention is on his amazing performance. Even as an Australian, his personification is beyond anything I have ever seen. At times is like he is just possessed by another spirit or has multiple personalities. LOL. He is soo good that is creepy, but the performance is worth an Oscar! Forget the movie. No one has ever done what he has done (we have to give him credit for that). Mesmerizing. THAT IS WHAT I CALL A REAL ACTOR RIGHT THERE!
Mary Pozo on Dec 5, 2008
well i think he should be nominated because Downey is trully a talented actor. i put him in the same category as Ledger when it comes to that. these guys are the real deal. they commit to their roles and take their jobs seriously AND have such extrem talent that it is hard to match. Downey, considering all the stuff he has gone through in his life and still managed to work and give great performances is amazing. also the fact that Downey always takes chances with his roles, just like Ledger did, i mean who else could play a drug addict (which very much mirrored his own life at the time) in Less Than Zero the way he did, play Charlie Chaplin so perfectly (and be robbed of an Oscar) and also be Iron mand and Kirk Lazarus. It's mind blowing how he pulls off these roles in a way that makes you believe in the roles and sometimes you forget he is the actor behind them. i think the industry has always respected Downey and rooted for him to get his act together because it would be such a waste if he ended up ruiening his career because of his addictions. that said, because Tropic Thunder is a comedy, i'd be really surprised to see him win. also, The Joker was absolutely brilliant. just like RDJ stole every scene in Tropic Thunder, Ledger stole every scene in Batman. I love and respect them both and the chances they took to portray these characters, not a lot of actors take chances like that. as much as i love RDJ and am blown away by his talent, i think Ledger will win, and i'd be fine with that too. so yeah i support the campaign for Downey but i'm sure Ledger will win anyway.
Nella on Dec 28, 2008
Okay, as a black person, I just have to say that it didn't even cross my mind that Downey's role was offensive. Sometimes, (white people) black people just so happen to have a sense of humor about race, and Downey did an amazing job imitating what, well, his character assumed was the demeanor of a black man. After I saw the movie I thought, yeah, he should get an award for this role, this is hilarious!
TAH on Jan 22, 2009
I seriously think that this was one of his best performances! At the end of the day, we need to not focus on the movie, but rather how well he portrayed his role. There were many times when I could not believe that it was him behind the face - the accent, everything was just so well done. Then as the blonde haired blue eyed australian at the end of the movie - that also blew me away- Accent was again flawless. I have to be honest and say that I am somewhat of a RDJ fanATIC .... but its due so much to what he has overcome as well in terms of the addiction, conviction, etc! Yes I have his CD as well and his talents are just never ending! So focusing on his performance - I would support the campaign for an Oscar. Heath was brilliant - but it would be interesting to know if the same sort of fuss would have been made if he were still alive!
Mary on Feb 16, 2009
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