Chip Kidd on Robert Downey Jr.
Our favorite book designer, Chip Kidd ’86, has designed some great book jackets, written a few books, and now has an article in today’s New York Times Magazine. It’s their annual “Great Performers” edition, pegged to the upcoming Academy Awards presentations, and Chip contributes an article about Robert Downey Jr.’s performance in Iron Man. The character of Iron Man had his start in Marvel Comics, and Chip is kind of the quintessential comic-book fan, so he’s perfect for the assignment.
In the article, Chip talks about the reaction of comic-book fans when they heard Downey would be playing the title role: “This was too good to be true. Why? Well for one thing, he’s a real actor. If there’s anything die-hard comics fans want it’s for their fantasies to be taken seriously. We have an insatiable ache for credibility so we can continue to play with our toys.”
And he offers an observation about Downey’s well-publicized battle with substance abuse: “It was public and prolonged and excruciating to watch, mainly because we genuinely liked him so much. He was the über-cool son of your arty uncle who had so much potential and just couldn’t get his act together.”
Downey wasn’t nominated for any Oscars for his role in Iron Man, by the way, though the movie itself received two nominations: in Movie Editing and in Special Effects. You can see a list of this year’s Oscar nominees here.
Tina Hay, editor
Entry filed under: College of Arts and Architecture, Famous Penn Staters, Penn State alumni. Tags: Academy Awards, Chip Kidd, Iron Man, New York Times, New York Times Sunday Magazine, Robert Downey Jr..