Why Robert Downey Jr deserves an Oscar for 'Avengers: Endgame,' according to its directors

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
The World Premiere of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” – Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S., 28/06/2017 - Actor Robert Downey Jr. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo are already campaigning for an Oscar.

But rather than going into detail about the work they did, the pair have instead started to speak at length about why Robert Downey Jr that really deserves a gong.

“I just want to stump for one thing, and that’s Robert Downey,” Joe Russo declared to the Daily Beast during a wide ranging discussion about the Academy Awards.

“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,” continued Joe. “There were people bawling in movie theaters, hyperventilating.”

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“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.”

Earlier in the talk, Joe had also opened up about just how difficult it is to direct a blockbuster like Avengers: Endgame, insisting, “It’s certainly as difficult as it gets,” before admitting he’s puzzled over the disconnect between the Academy and popular movies.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 19: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo attend A Conversation With The Russo Brothers during 2019 Comic-Con International at San Diego Convention Center on July 19, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

“We’ll say this: there certainly is a disconnect between the Academy and popular audiences. It started about 20 years ago. If you go back and look at the Academy Awards up until that point, they were in sync with popular audiences.”

Anthony Russo then went into detail about how Harvey Weinstein’s relentless campaigning for the likes of Shakespeare In Love, Chicago and The King’s Speech changed the perception of an Oscar movie.

“To its credit, the Academy seems very focused on trying to champion smaller movies, which is awesome, but you don’t want to have that be the only thing they try to do,” Anthony explained.

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“Because then it just becomes an independent film festival, which we’re all in support of,” chimed in Joe. “But if you want to draw an audience, and you have to draw an audience for the Oscars to keep working, then at some point you’ve gotta listen to the audience.”

Ultimately, though, Joe was keen to stress that they don’t “make movies for awards.” Although they would clearly snap the Academy’s hand off if they presented them with one.