It’s not uncommon for actors to take on the personalities they portray on the big screen, but Robert Downey Jr. is going a step above. After almost 10 appearances as Iron Man, Downey Jr. has fully embraced his Tony Stark alter ego and is using his deep pockets and global platform to help save the world through a new AI environmental initiative. Someone at Disney is really annoyed right now that the actor didn’t announce this BEFORE the release of Avengers: Endgame. The cross-promotion could have easily added another billion to ticket sales.
On Tuesday, Downey Jr. appeared on stage at Amazon’s Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas, where he was billed as the keynote speaker. The veteran Hollywood star spent 20 minutes talking to the audience about his career, his work in the Marvel Universe, and his relationship to artificial intelligence, which included a brief cameo by Matt Damon, who appeared via video through the AI Alexa assistant. Really? Matt Damon? Was Downey Jr. looking for the one actor in Hollywood who wasn’t in Avengers?
The speech concluded with Downey Jr. announcing The Footprint Coalition, which he and wife Susan Downey are spearheading together with a panel of experts. “God I love experts. They’re like Wikipedia with character defects,” he joked. “Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years.”
The movie star got serious during his talk, saying “I have this quiet sense of crisis,” while admitting that his lifestyle has not been the most environmentally friendly. “I’m a one-man carbon footprint nightmare colossus.”
So far the details of the Footprint Coalition are vague, with a website including a brief introduction and a section for interested parties to sign up to receive newsletters about the organization. One thing we do know is that Downey Jr. isn’t the only member of the Avengers who is working to make the world a better place.
The Hulk Really IS Green
In addition to Downey Jr, the Incredible Hulk a.k.a. Mark Ruffalo has also been fighting against climate change. The Hulk really is green. Supporting democratic candidates and often using Twitter to share his causes with his 5.5 million followers, Ruffalo has been an outspoken supporter of environmental change, legislative change, and an ally for women.
Conservation starts in our own backyards. Let’s re-plant coastal ecosystems! Wetlands absorb carbon, protect us from storms, and cost less than seawalls 🌱 Check out the op-ed on the #UrbanOcean written @ayanaeliza, the founder of the @UrbanOceanLab ⬇ https://t.co/5DrBsXzBAj
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) May 28, 2019
Cap, coming in clutch
As for Captain America, who also goes by Chris Evans, his causes include the environment, as well as women’s rights, social equality, and being an ally. Whether it’s calling out President Trump, shaming participants of Straight Pride parades (goddammit people), fighting against Nazis (GODDAMMIT PEOPLE), or launching the new political initiative A Starting Point, which aims to bridge the political gap by bringing Democratic and Republican lawmakers across the aisle to find peaceful solutions, Evans is not only the Captain American we want, but the one we need.
Avengers assemble, but for real.