Robert Downey Jr. Praises Margot Robbie's Role in Barbie

Oscars Controversy Sparks Industry-Wide Acting Discussion

by Zain ul Abedin
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Robert Downey Jr. Praises Margot Robbie's Role in Barbie
© Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

In a recent episode of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversation series, esteemed actor Robert Downey Jr. has voiced strong support for Margot Robbie's performance in the 2023 comedy-fantasy film "Barbie," particularly highlighting her skillful portrayal alongside America Ferrera.

Downey Jr., known for his iconic role as Iron Man, joined fellow actors Sterling K. Brown and Willem Dafoe in a discussion that emphasized the nuances of acting, focusing on the power of non-verbal communication in film. During the conversation, Brown, an accomplished actor, expressed admiration for the subtlety of on-camera listening, a skill he finds perpetually fascinating.

Here, Downey Jr. brought up Robbie's impressive performance, explicitly citing a scene where she listens intently to a lengthy monologue by Ferrera. He praised Ferrera's delivery, likening it to a one-act play pivotal to the film's narrative.

However, he stressed that it was Robbie's attentive reaction shots that truly elevated the scene, demonstrating director Greta Gerwig's insightful direction and Robbie's trust in the filmmaking process.

Downey Jr. on Robbie's Snub

Downey Jr.

expressed his concern that Robbie's performance in "Barbie" has not received adequate recognition, especially in light of the recent Oscars snub. He articulated an actor's challenges when reacting to lengthy dialogues, acknowledging the difficulty in making such scenes feel authentic and engaging.

His comments come amid widespread disappointment that Robbie was overlooked in the Best Lead Actress category at the Academy Awards, despite her acclaimed performance in the film. Meanwhile, America Ferrera, Robbie's co-star, received her first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress, a milestone achievement in her career.

This juxtaposition of recognition further underscores the discussion around the Oscars' selection process and the criteria for nomination. Downey Jr.' s endorsement of Robbie's performance adds to the growing chorus of voices in the film industry who appreciate the depth and subtlety she brings to her roles.

His insights offer a unique perspective on acting and the often-overlooked aspects of film performances that contribute significantly to a movie's overall impact. As the conversation continues, it's clear that Robbie's role in "Barbie" has left an indelible mark on audiences and industry professionals.

Robert Downey Jr. Margot Robbie Barbie
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