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Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. Credits Martial Arts In Saving His Life

Gettyimages | The Chosunilbo JNS
By Robin Burks

Before Robert Downey Jr. became Iron-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he struggled with serious drug addiction. It's his comeback story from that, though, that has become such an inspiration for his fans. Staying sober is no mere feat, but the actor has managed to do so, while watching his career take off in a way it had never done before. The Dolittle star recently spoke on the Joe Rogan Podcast about what he feels has helped him on his journey.

How Downey Jr. got into acting

Robert Downey Jr.
Gettyimages | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Downey Jr. was born with entertainment in his blood. His mother and father were both actors, with his father also being a filmmaker. Downey started at the tender age of five with minor roles in his father's films, as well as on the stage. At 10 years old, Downey went to England to study ballet. He followed that by studying at a performing arts school in New York. He eventually went on to do more movies, including a breakout role in The Pick-Up Artist, which starred Molly Ringwald.

His drug addiction began early

Robert Downey Jr.
Gettyimages | Timothy Hiatt

Unfortunately, Downey Jr. was exposed to drugs at a young age. His father was also a drug addict and let his son have marijuana for the first time when Downey Jr. was just six years old. Downey Jr. went on to become addicted to alcohol and harder drugs, and by 2001, the actor had been arrested multiple times on drug-related charges. Eventually, after attending rehab, the actor finally decided to become clean, at which point, he began to reboot his acting career.

What helps Downey Jr. stay sober

Robert Downey Jr.
Gettyimages | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Downey Jr. managed to overcome his addiction and eventually got back to acting work. Soon, the call came for him to step into the iron-clad suit of one of Marvel's biggest superheroes, Iron-Man. The actor become a household name, but more importantly, he stayed sober. Downey Jr. attributes part of his success to martial arts, most particularly Wing-Chun, which is a form of Kung Fu. Downey Jr. says that the discipline necessary to practice Wing-Chu helped give him the discipline to stick to his recovery.

The sky's the limit

Robert Downey Jr.
Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison

Robert Downey Jr. has had plenty of time to reflect about his recovery, especially now that his commitment to Marvel is officially over. His character, Iron-Man, died in Avengers: Endgame, and it seems that Downey Jr. is continuing to live his best life to the fullest. His most recent film, Dolittle, released last month, and he will once more step into the role of Sherlock Holmes in a new movie in that franchise set to premiere in 2021. Downey Jr. has faced down and fought his demons and continues to do so every day.

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