Robert Downey Jr. Thanks ‘That Dude’ Christopher Nolan in BAFTAs Speech

Robert Downey Jr throws a jab at Christopher Nolan in BAFTA victory speech

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3 Min Read
Posted: February 19, 2024

And then recently, that dude Chris Nolan suggested I attempt an understated approach as a last-ditch effort to perhaps resurrect my dwindling credibility. So i share this with my fellow nominees, this has been an exceptional year.

In his victory speech in receiving his BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor, Robert Downey Jr throws playful jabs at director Christopher Nolan, whom he worked alongside in Oppenheimer, in which his performance landed him this award.

Robert Downey Jr cast

“When I was 15, I wanted to be Peter O’ Toole.

When I was 25, I worked for Richard Attenborough and Anthony Hopkins.

This wouldn’t mark the first occasion that Robert Downey Jr managed to secure a BAFTA award based on his performance, specifically his role in “Chaplin” in 1992, for which he won the award for Best Actor.

Considering that 2023 brought about a certain ‘revival’ of cinema with many films of considerable quality being released, many of whom were among the BAFTA nominees alongside Robert Downey Jr, including Robert De Niro for “Killers of The Flower Moon“, Ryan Gosling for “Barbie“, and Jacob Elordi for “Saltburn“.  Considering each nominee is a well-respected actor with a significant career in Hollywood films, as well as the fact that the quality for each film is considered to be brilliant, Robert Downey Jr prevailing as a winner simply adds to his acting prowess and further highlights the humour in his remark with Christopher Nolan, 

Bafta award nominees


“When I was 42, I did two films for Guy Ritchie and learned how to make big Hollywood movies with a civil British flair. I then played a guy named Tony in the MCU for about 12 years.

His joke with Chris Nolan referring to his ‘dwindling credibility’ is an apparent reference to before he landed his career-changing role as Tony Stark in Iron Man in which he was mostly embroiled in controversy and often in and out of jail on account of substance abuse charges, obviously a low point in his life and back when the repeated scandals really did contribute to a decreasing credibility in his character.

The humour in the joke lies in the fact that ever since his role in Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr has had a long and illustrious track record in the MCU for his exceptional performances and being a fan-favourite in general, skyrocketing his fame and overall public respect. Thus Christopher Nolan giving him tips to “reduce his dwindling credibility” refers back to a darker point in Robert Downey Jr’s life, and highlighting perfectly how far he has come


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