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Robert Downey, Jr.’s Top 10 Performances

TOMMY LARSONHOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (1995)

“It’s like I’ve got a shotgun in my mouth with my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal,” Downey told a courtroom judge in 1999, at the height, or should I say nadir, of his drug addiction. While playing weirdo brother Tommy Larson in the Jodie Foster-directed drama Home for the Holidays, Downey was purportedly high on set — as high as he most likely was for many of his mid-to-late ‘90s performances. But to not include Tommy Larson on a list of Downey’s best roles would be a grave oversight, as Tommy is by far the most interesting person in this film. Perhaps it’s because the character touches so close to the place Downey appeared to be in at the time — the erratic behavior, the loopy observations and pointed jabs, the hurt only scarcely discernible behind the twinkling eyes — and the line Downey gave to the judge, the first time I heard it, struck me as exactly something Tommy would say. Whatever his personal business, Downey locked it down to play this complicated, multi-dimensional character, while also breathing in some of his own neuroses. And the result is, in a word, remarkable. –Leah Pickett

Choice Downey Moment:

Every second he is on screen, but especially his introduction: “Spin, Mommy!”

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