Academy Award winner Robert Downey Jr. sat down with Howard in SiriusXM’s Hollywood studios on Monday and the two had plenty to discuss.
“Welcome to L.A., baby,” the actor and fan of the Stern Show told Howard.
After pleasantries were exchanged, Howard asked Robert point blank if he was the most successful guy in show business.
“I was until a couple of months ago ... I retired my jersey,” the actor stated, referring to his run as Iron Man which seemingly concluded earlier this year with Marvel’s 2.7 billion-dollar blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame.”
Playing devil's advocate, Howard noted Iron Man would likely be able to come back “in the comic book world.”
"Lord knows you could," Robert agreed. "I didn't expect it to become what it became, and it is this very large, multi-headed Hydra at this point.”
The actor also brought up legendary director Martin Scorsese’s recent comments about Marvel films, which he apparently equates more to theme park rides than he does to proper cinema. Howard wondered if Robert was insulted by Martin’s characterization.
“No,” Robert responded. “It would be like saying Howard Stern isn’t radio … It makes no sense to say it.”
Not only did Howard disagree with Scorsese’s assessment of Marvel films, he also couldn’t wrap his head around the fact Robert hasn’t scored any major award nominations for his turn as Iron Man. “The performance is excellent,” a baffled Howard said.
“Doing [the Marvel movies] was their own reward,” Robert replied. “I don't know that it's time or if I am the guy ... to have the Academy recognize.”
In other Marvel news, Robert discussed one of his last experiences with icon Stan Lee, who passed away last November.
"We were shooting ‘Civil War’ and his cameo that day was ... a UPS delivery man and he had a great line," Robert recalled. "I have a package for 'Tony Stank.'" And while Mr. Lee nailed his first take, in subsequent tries he started saying Robert's real name instead of the character's.
“It's wild,” the actor reflected. “Even the guy who created the character thinks of me in a moment where he's talking about the character.”