At the age of 43, Robert Downey Jr. finally seems to have tamed his inner demons, says Murphy Williams in the London Telegraph. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the talented actor became the poster child for substance abuse. Liquor, crack, mushrooms, heroin—Downey indulged in them all. “I thought, Hey, let’s party!—and that didn’t pan out very well.” That’s a huge understatement, of course. In 1996, he was arrested for driving down Hollywood’s Sunset Strip naked; he was so high, he was throwing nonexistent rats out his car window. Three weeks later, he got drunk, stumbled into a neighbor’s house in his underwear, and fell asleep in a child’s bed. “That was my way of, uh, reaching out,” he said. A year in jail wasn’t enough to set him straight, though. In 2000, he was busted for possession of cocaine and methamphetamine and lost his part on Ally McBeal. Then came a period of intense rehab. One day in 2003, unemployable and practically destitute, Downey says he finally found the inner strength to get his life on track: He threw his drugs into the Pacific Ocean and hasn’t looked back. Now married and basking in the glow of his hit movie, Iron Man, Downey exudes self-confidence. “I’m not a psychological mess and I’m actually a very stable and trustworthy and consistent person,” he said. “My victory has been so hard won. It’s hard to get out of the barrel. It’s slippery around the edges and people are happy to see you fall back in. Now that ain’t my story anymore.”
of The Week magazine.