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Robert Downey Jr. is a Black Man

Robert Downey Jr. is a Black Man

Robert Downey Jr. plays a black man in the new movie Tropic Thunder.

Downey, 42, plays overly committed actor Kirk Lazarus, a white man cast to play a black soldier in a satire of the performing profession.

“If it’s done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago,” Downey told Entertainment Weekly. “If you don’t do it right, we’re going to hell.”

Tropic Thunder hits theaters on August 15th.


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Posted to: Robert Downey Jr

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  • antonia aka toni

    first for the 10th time baybay!!!

  • Jaycee

    …for real??

  • http://JJ.COM FUNNY


  • Elizabeth

    woah, that is actually suprisingly convincing. I thought it was actually a black man.

  • x23

    I thought it was a black man too before realizing who it was

  • athena

    Wow, he looks really impressively like a black man.

  • [☆F a m o u s☆]

    that’s the best black face i’ve ever seen! dude looks like my uncle charles (shout out to charles, he’s doing a lil 5year bid upstate).

    i’m so offended right now, but i cant stop laughing my ass off! (lmao) lmaooo

  • Little Loca

    No one was offended when the Wayans brothers played White Hilton sisters in their movie.

  • elle

    holy shit that looks NOTHING like downey jr

  • LN

    Wow! He’s so real!


    yeah..that picture totally got me too! It depends on what he is playing! If it is something to fight for some rights..then I am all for it! BUT I am wondering..why make him black..when there are so many black actors to choose from..out here..unless it is a comedy!

  • Reader

    I don’t see how it’s offensive. Plus the plot seems pretty funny.

  • um

    If it’s done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago,” Downey told Entertainment Weekly. “If you don’t do it right, we’re going to hell.”

    Ya got that right.

  • hola ya’ll

    i dont see why they couldn’t just get an african american actor to play that part i never really see a black playing and white person

    he looks pretty cute as and african american

  • me100

    15 i so agree…WTF

  • spot

    This movie sounds like its gonna be FUNNY!

  • kts

    The movie is not about a black man…it’s a satire about actors. They’re making a war movie and the crew gets sick of them and abandons them. Robert Downey Jr. plays an actor who gets a role originally written for a black man and he’s such a dull-witted actor that he thinks it’s a profound choice to actually play it as a black man. The whole point is that it has to be a white man playing a black man. It’s about the insensitivity etc.

  • spot

    #15. Robert Downey Jr. plays a WHITE ACTOR cast to play a BLACK SOLDIER in a movie based on a true story.

    And didn’t you ever hear of WHITE CHICKS or any Eddie Murphy movie?

  • Orange soda

    why is this offensive?

  • 2much

    I’m Black and I don’t find it offensive at all…I love RDJr and I thought that was a Black guy at first.

  • shani

    First of all that’s a pretty convincing black man there, I predict an OSCAR for the Make-up department. Secondly speaking as a black person I do not see anything wrong with this. That’s why it’s called ACTING as far as I’m concerned. So long as it’s not malicious and dissing black people.

    For godssake we might as well stop actors wearing FAT SUITS, WIGS, AGING makeup, playing DISABLED PEOPLE, BLIND PEOPLE and so forth. Then what will we be left with? Actors might as well play themselves and their real lives!!!!!!

    Wake up people, to hola ya’ll and me100, that’s like saying Jamie Foxx should not have played Ray Charles because he’s not blind!!! “Oh why don’t you find a blind actor to play that part because Ray was blind?” Com’on now be reasonable.

    If black people also want to play white people in films I say go right ahead, I’m sure they can sort that out in makeup as they did in WHITE CHICKS!

  • jessicaMISERALBAhasFLEES

    why tell us.. could they not keep it a surprise???


    Oh and please Jared can you block these people like #9 jyoueld with their fcuking stupid adverts:>( Thank you.

  • John D

    After the Wayans brothers “White Chicks” it’s all fair game!
    He looks amazingly authentic as a black man.
    I see nothing offensive about this, it appears to be more a tribute, rather than a minstrel show type farce

  • yaya

    i think its pretty cool you really cant recognize him either

  • wtf

    I don’t understand.

    why didn’t they just get a black guy to play a BLACK GUY?

  • kat

    woow he really does look like an african american. good job make-up department

  • ali

    I’m not black and I find it offensive; are there not any talented enough black actors out in the world that they feel the need to hire a white guy to do a black guy?

    They are infering that there are no good enough black actors to play a black person. What is the significance of hiring a white guy to play a black part? what are they trying to prove? I bet its to get more plublicity.

  • sherri

    it’s offensive because of the derogative minstrel shows in which white men in black face portrayed blacks as lazy, stupid, shuckin’ and jivin’ happy negroes. the reference to the wayans playing white women is irrelevant because blacks donning white face does not have the same racial history that blackface does, whereby the images produced in minstrel shows were used to legitimize concepts of racial inferiority and black’s continued subordination in American society

  • nikki

    Come on people… get over it. On the inside we are all the same. hiding behind your colour is a really bad excuse. This whole black and white thing really piss#s me off.

  • gia

    i saw a quick shot of this while filipping through tv tonight. i think i stopped on access hollywood or one of those kinds of shows and i thought, oh, don cheadle. and then they played a guess who? type game and revealed it to be robert downey jr.

    haha, totally shocked. and after i actually got more than a one second glimpse i realized it was pretty foolish to think that was don cheadle. haha.

  • Ambryan

    I am black and don’t find this offensive at all so far. I don’t think people realize that the reason they didn’t have a back man play Robert’s character is because its SUPPOSED to be a white man playing him because its a SATIRE of the ACTING PROFESSION. So far I’m intrigued and the a makeup is amazing by far which makes me think they’ll do this movie right. I’ll wait till the movie really comes out to give it a real review.

    Now if you want to attack a movie…attack ‘Soul Man’ with C. Thomas Howell…

  • nella

    whoa, at first glance i thought that was DON CHEADLE! HAHA

  • Nando

    That’s awesome!!

  • HUH

    Trying to be male Angelina Jolie.. pulling blackface stunt. Creep!

  • SF

    Why should this be offensive? I am sure a consummate actor like Daniel Day Lewis might do this if he were to be cast as a black guy. I mean it is supposed to be satarical or sarcastic humour. I don’t see anyone saying it is offensive or even questioning it when black actors play chinese guy or something like that. It is not mocking a race, it is mocking actors. He could have been a white guy pretending to be a red indian or whatever. I already think the storyline seems really funny and the make up is amazing. I really didn’t recognise him.

  • black woman

    You know, i can’t knock it! He really does look like a black man! But, it’s no different than when the Wayne brothers played white women! I think it’s cool because it’s not really “black face”.

  • Shar

    As a black person, I am absolutely not offended, no one made a stink when movies with blacks playing white characters like, White Chicks, Coming To America,( Eddie Murphy played a jewish man in a barbershop), etc. etc.

  • Ace tomato

    Time marches on, people evolve. If we can’t have fun with it, what is the POINT of improving racial relations? So we can all sit around boring each other with how enlightened and tolerant we are? Do we really need to tip toe around every ethnic difference or can we all have a good time and poke fun at each other and ourselves?

    Robert D is one of our best actors ever. This looks funny and I’ll see just about any movie he makes – super talent!

  • http://JJ.COM lynn

    Robert Downey Jr. One of our best and I have no problem with him playin a black man. Great actors play any role.

  • v

    Robert Downey Jr is an amazing actor. He’ll do this right.

    I don’t see how this is offensive. If a black man played a white man I wouldn’t care (I don’t think anyone else would either).

  • v

    @ #28

    Men can play women and women can play men, black men can play white women but a white man can’t play a black man? C’mon!

  • legs


  • tiana

    i’m black too, and if they were satirizing black people yes it would be offensive. but they’re not. it’s FUNNY because they’re NOT legitimizing negative racial stereotypes, anyone with a brain in his/her head can see how painfully clear that is. HE’S NOT PLAYING A BLACK PERSON, IDIOTS (cough, ali). IT’S SATIRIZING THE FICTIONAL, RIDICULOUS SITUATION OF A WHITE ACTOR NAMED KIRK WHO PLAYS A BLACK PERSON IN A MODERN DAY MOVIE. by thinking it’s outrageous, you’ve already agreed with the premise of the film. if you got offended along the way, you’re just too slow to get the irony.

    oh and throwing out the history of truly offensive minstrel shows and trying to maintain (with NO support as to content or characterizations) that this is the same thing makes you not only ignorant (and therefore perpetuating a negative stereotype yourself, thanks A LOT) but an opportunistic embarrassment & a hindrance to the rest of the race.

  • logan

    As a black man I will give my voice here. That is the funniest single image I have seen in a long time. He looks like Ben Vereen! It’s kind of amazing. I love Robert Downey Jr, and I love when blackface is made fun of, as it rightly should. Tropic Thunder just made my list. So far, there’s nothing about this film I don’t like.

    Honorable mention goes to Jack Black, who also looks damn funny.

  • Nicole m

    That is very convincing, I would not have guessed it was him. And why is it offensive? So they made a white person to play a black man….big woop.

    Will this “pulling out the race card” ever friggin stop! Enough is enough now! Of course there are a lot of great African-American actors. Letting Downey Jr play a black man is not insinuating that they they are not great actors.

  • remember da truth

    Are people on the internet really this stupid?

    All you who keep saying why not get a black guy to play a black guy, go back and READ the words next to the picture!! it’s not a movie about a black guy, it’s a movie about a white actor playing a black guy.

    Damn. Either you are all illiterate, or just STUPID. Shouldn’t be allowed to own a computer, go out in public, drive, or vote. And I sure hope you’re practicing birth control — wish your parents had!

  • remember da truth

    tiana #44
    Couldn’t agree more.
    People getting offended for the sake of black people are perpetuating what they are offended about — ignorance, illiteracy, knee-jerk indignation based on nothing that KEEPS races separate and treated like second-class citizens.

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