Robert Downey Jr. Confirms $50 Million Paycheck for 'The Avengers'

Actor also talks about his Oscar destiny in new profile

Robert Downey Jr.
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Robert Downey Jr.
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Robert Downey Jr. was paid a whopping $50 million to appear as Iron Man Tony Stark in last year's summer blockbuster The Avengers, according to a recent interview with GQ.

"Isn't that crazy?" Downey Jr. said. "They're so pissed. I can't believe it. I'm what's known as 'a strategic cost.'"

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The actor wasn't even supposed to have gotten the role in the first place when Marvel initially announced the first Iron Man film: according to the film's director, Jon Favreau, the studio had said "Under no circumstances are we prepared to hire him for any price." But Downey's persistence won him a screen test and ultimately the role. The third installment of the series is set to open on May 3rd.

Downey also spoke rather bluntly about his place in the upper echelon of actors in his generation, saying he does not doubt he'll pick up an Academy Award at some point in his career.

"Because I'm young enough, and I'm running down being occupied with these kind of genre movies, close enough," he said. "Even the next thing we're doing with [wife, Susan Downey], I'm so confident about it. It's the best script the studio has; it's the best thing I've read in years"

Downey – who has been nominated twice for an Oscar, first in 1993 for Chaplin then in 2009 for Tropic Thunder – later backpedalled a bit, saying he didn't care if he won, but pointed out: "Look, even if I don't get one directly, eventually they're just going to have to give me one when I get old. So no matter how you slice it, I'm getting one."