American actor Robert Downey, Jr. was born on April 4, 1965. He pursued a career in Hollywood full-time during his teens where he gained fame for his work with the Brat Pack. In 1992, he was acclaimed for his lead performance in the biographical film Chaplin.
From the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, his successful career was overshadowed, and, eventually taken over by his drug addiction and legal troubles. He was arrested and imprisoned more than once, which cost him many film and television projects.
After five years of abuse, arrests, rehab, and relapse, Downey decided to fully commit himself to recovery. By the mid-2000s, he began landing roles in mainstream films. Then, in 2008, he starred in his first blockbuster hit, Iron Man, gaining international fame.
Despite his rough and troubled past, the actor established himself as one of the most influential and top-paid actors in Hollywood after his comeback. He has maintained his sobriety since 2003 and received unconditional pardon for his prior drug convictions.
Downey’s story is a reminder that there’s always hope, if nothing else. That’s why when it comes to rising from the ashes, who else to give us wisdom than Iron Man himself. Here are 30 Robert Downey, Jr. quotes on prevailing over adversities and being your own hero.
Sometimes you just gotta be drop-kicked out of the nest. – Robert Downey Jr.
It’s hard to get out of the barrel. It’s slippery around the edges and people are happy to see you fall back in. – Robert Downey Jr.
I think it’s good to be confident. If I’m not on my team, why should anybody else be? – Robert Downey Jr.
You have to let go of the things that are darling to you. You have to take the focus off yourself and put it on the shape of the scene and the intention of what everyone else needs. – Robert Downey Jr.
I have a sense of destiny that you are led to the things you are supposed to do. – Robert Downey Jr.
I think that we all do heroic things, but hero is not a noun, it’s a verb. – Robert Downey Jr.
Look, even bad years are pretty good years, I think. – Robert Downey Jr.
There is unpanned gold in every soul you run into, no matter what walk of life they are from. – Robert Downey Jr.
I understand reversal of fortune; that usually has come through my own hand, but you know, you live life on life’s terms. – Robert Downey Jr.
Discipline for me is about respect. It’s not even about self-respect; it’s about respect for life and all it offers. – Robert Downey Jr.
Life is just so painful and messy and hard and worth it and all that stuff. – Robert Downey Jr.
I used to be so convinced that happiness was the goal, yet all those years I was chasing after it I was unhappy in the pursuit. Maybe the goal really should be a life that values honor, duty, good work, friends and family. – Robert Downey Jr.
Mediocrity is my biggest fear. I’m not afraid of total failure because I don’t think that will happen. I’m not afraid of success because that beats the hell out of failure. It’s being in the middle that scares me. – Robert Downey Jr.
There’s somewhere you’re supposed to go, and if you get quiet enough, you’ll make it. – Robert Downey Jr.
Whenever I watch someone doing something, even if it doesn’t turn out so great, I at least admire their intentions. – Robert Downey Jr.
I always think part of success is being able to replicate results, taking what is interesting or viable about yourself as a professional person and seeing if you bring it into different situations with similar results. – Robert Downey Jr.
You need to know what to do when the sun is not shining. – Robert Downey Jr.
There’s a little bit of asshole in every nice guy, and there’s a little bit of genius in every moron. – Robert Downey Jr.
It’s really not that difficult to overcome these seemingly ghastly problems…what’s hard is to decide. – Robert Downey Jr.
For years, I took pride in being resilient. That turned me into this guy who can get hit by a brick bat every morning and still look kind of cute. – Robert Downey Jr.
All these years, my favorite thing to do in life was to be laughing until the tears well up. Now I’ve found that humor is something as valuable as an Aqua-Lung to divers. – Robert Downey Jr.
People never change because they are under threat or under duress. Never. They change because they see something that makes their life seem valuable enough to start moving toward a life worth living. – Robert Downey Jr.
People rise out of the ashes because, at some point, they are invested with a belief in the possibility of triumph over seemingly impossible odds. – Robert Downey Jr.
I know very little about acting. I’m just an incredibly gifted faker. – Robert Downey Jr.
I think it’s miraculous that anybody survives themselves. – Robert Downey Jr.
Remember that just because you hit bottom doesn’t mean you have to stay there. – Robert Downey Jr.
I take some pride in…representing myself exactly how I would like to have my son remember me to his son. – Robert Downey Jr.
Do I want to be a hero to my son? No. I would like to be a very real human being. That’s hard enough. – Robert Downey Jr.
The lesson is that you can still make mistakes and be forgiven. – Robert Downey Jr.
I want to give myself the freedom not to have to be projecting my whole life ahead. – Robert Downey Jr.
Share these 30 Robert Downey, Jr. quotes to inspire others to be a hero of their own stories.