‘Avengers: Endgame’ Director Explains Why Robert Downey Jr. Deserves An Oscar For Portraying Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. attends the Avengers: Infinity War premiere
Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

There has been a major campaign sweeping the internet to get Robert Downey Jr. nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame. No actor has been nominated for a performance from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Black Panther did make history by being the first film in the group to be nominated for Best Picture last year.

Now, Endgame directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo are speaking out on why they think their star actor deserves all the hype he is getting and are only furthering Oscar buzz. The duo sat down with The Daily Beast, via CinemaBlend, and explained how the moviegoers have proven why the longtime actor deserves a nomination.

“I don’t know if I have ever seen — in movie history — a global audience react to a performance the way they did to Robert Downey in that movie. There were people bawling in movie theaters, hyperventilating. I mean, that is a profound performance, when you can touch audiences all over the world to that degree. We’ve never seen anything like that, and if that doesn’t deserve an Oscar, I don’t know what does.”

Anyone who was lucky enough to attend an opening night showing of Endgame will understand exactly what the Russos are talking about. Most theaters were flooded with silence with just the sound of sniffling and tears hitting the floor. One moviegoer, which the brothers alluded to, had to be taken to the hospital after hyperventilating due to excessive crying after the death of Iron Man.

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Downey has also been applauded for ad-libbing one of Endgame’s most emotional scenes. When Tony and Steve Rogers converse shortly after he arrives back on Earth, Tony calls his former friend a liar which was a gut punch not only to Captain America himself, but to the audience. “I love you 3000” was also a line Downey brought from home, which he admitted he and his own children say to one another.

The nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced this upcoming January. Not many major outlets have been hyping up Downey’s potential nomination, but there has been buzz surrounding Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker).

Downey currently has two Academy Award nominations under his belt, for Chaplin and Tropic Thunder. He has three Golden Globe wins with a total of five nominations. The actor won for his role as Sherlock Holmes in 2010, and for his part in Ally McBeal and Short Cuts.