Even Hollywood’s most renowned stars can have their struggles: a fact that Robert Downey Jr knows all too well. Having struggled for the majority of his life with drug addiction, he simply had to make change – read on to see how he did it…
Downey Jr’s father – an addict – freely gave his son illicit substances before he was even 10 years old. This lead to a difficult battle with addiction for the Ironman star, who went on to experiment with cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs. For decades, he was in and out of rehab.
Around the end of the 90s and into the ’00s, Downey Jr was often in trouble with the police due to his addiction to narcotics. When he wasn’t in the back of a police car, the actor was failing to turn up to drug tests that had been arranged in court – a decision that ended with him serving 180 days of jail time.
When referencing how his relationship to drugs felt, Downey Jr once told a judge: “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.”
After rehab was doing nothing for the situation and all other options for tackling his addictions had been exhausted, Downey Jr decided to take some advice from Bruce Lee.
Well, not literally. But the actor did take up martial arts – Wing Chun, to be precise, which was the martial art practiced by Mr. Lee. He thought that the striking and grappling art would give him the discipline and focus he needed to kick his addiction’s ass too. And he was right.
In doing so, he avoided consequences like a greater prison sentence, or, you know, an early death.
After a year of training and encouragement from his family, Downey Jr managed to completely transform his life. Appearing on Oprah to talk about his experiences and newfound love of Wing Chun, he even suggested that she gave it a go!
“I think you would rock because you’re formidable,” he told the show host.
Today, he has a close friendship with his teacher and Wing Chun legend Eric Oram. Some of Downey Jr’s movie performances even include techniques from martial arts – including ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War’.
“Robert does all his own stuff when it comes to fights. When the camera is on him, it’s really him doing it,” commented a proud Oram.
Now in top condition physically, it’s safe to say that Robert Downey Jr has really KICKED his drug addiction. He’s absolutely given himself a new lease of life, and we couldn’t be prouder either.