Because of her addiction, Jodie Foster pulled Robert Downey Jr. aside on their 1995 movie set and said, “I’m scared of what happens to you next.”

As part of the Robert Downey Jr. cover article for Esquire magazine, Jodie Foster talked candidly about her experience directing the actor in the 1995 Thanksgiving comedy “Home for the Holidays.” Foster had directed his first feature picture, “Little Man Tate,” in 1991. This was her second feature film. Beginning in early 1995, production took place concurrently with Downey’s battle with addiction. The next year, he would be taken into custody for having an unloaded pistol, heroin, and cocaine.

Foster “took him aside” at one point during the “Home for the Holidays” shoot to tell Downey, “Look, I couldn’t be more grateful for what you’ve given in this film.” However, I’m afraid about what will happen to you next. You are currently very skilled at maintaining your balance on the barstool. However, it seems really unstable, and I’m not sure how that will work out.

Regarding directing Downey at the time, Foster told the journal, “What was so interesting about him then was what a genius he was—there was more creativity in his little finger than I will ever have in my whole life—but he did not have the discipline.” “He was so erratic that his amazing skill was reduced to him just thrashing his arms around in the water and creating a huge mess. However, it must have been somewhere in there. Since he has now developed discipline virtually as a means of survival. “I think people can change if they want to, and he really wanted it,” Foster continued.

A single mother named Claudia Larson, played by Holly Hunter in “Home for the Holidays,” goes to Chicago to celebrate Thanksgiving with her chaotic family. Downey portrayed the younger sibling of Claudia. Anne Bancroft, Dylan McDermott, Geraldine Chaplin, Steve Guttenberg, Claire Danes, Cynthia Stevenson, and Charles Durning were among the other cast members. November 1995 marked the release of the film in theaters.

A few months later, Downey’s 1996 arrest resulted in a three-year probationary sentence. A year later, he was imprisoned for over four months after he neglected to appear for a court-mandated drug test. In 1999, he failed an additional exam and received a three-year prison sentence. After serving fifteen months, Downey was caught once more for narcotics possession four months after his release. Downey became a celebrity pariah due to his legal issues. When casting “Batman Begins,” even Christopher Nolan acknowledged that he was “a little afraid” to meet Downey, telling the actor, “I had heard all kinds of stories about how you were crazy.” It had only been a few years since the last time such rumors about you had surfaced.

Due to his legal background, Downey was also difficult to convince Marvel to cast him in the pivotal character of Tony Stark. Although David Maisel, the previous president of Marvel Studios, had him as his top choice, “my board thought I was crazy to put the future of the company in the hands of an addict.” Maisel stated in 2022, “I helped them understand how great he was for the role.” “We all believed he was clean and would remain clean.”

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