Robert Downey Jr. Shared the ‘Ultimatum’ His Wife Susan Gave Him That Helped Kick His Addiction

Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey are a Hollywood match made in heaven. Though they’re going strong now, and share three beautiful kids together, things have not always been picture perfect. talking to The Hollywood Reporter at An Afternoon With Robert Downey Jr. event for LA3C, the two discussed the start of their relationship, which included a bold move from Susan that encouraged the Iron Man star to end his addiction.

“With someone with addiction you know it has nothing to do with someone else, they have to be ready,” Susan said to the audience, who’d just enjoyed a screening of the couple’s new Netflix documentary Sr. She continued, “If you can be a small part of creating an alternative world for them that says, ‘Hey I’m here if you’re clean.’”

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She added, “There’s no credit I will ever take other than basically saying, ‘Here’s what I need to have happen, or more importantly what can’t be happening,’ but it’s entirely that person.”

For Robert, the dialogue was an impactful one. “The clearest conversation I’ve ever had in my life,” he said. “You know when someone is being so clear with you with something you go, ‘There is zero wiggle room here.’”

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He concluded, “Ultimatums work.”

“They only work if the person’s ready,” Susan said in return, to which he cheekily replied, “You make me ready.” Even when they’re remembering a complicated time in their past, they still managed to keep it light and appreciate each other – so sweet!

Drug and alcohol addiction is one of the many themes tackled in their new documentary ‘Sr.’ which tells the story of Robert’s father, Robert Downey Sr. In the movie, shot in black and white, we get to know his late father, who used to go by Sr., including his work as a director, his personal life, and his own struggles with addiction.

“It’s incomplete if you don’t,” Robert said of the choice to talk about their addiction struggles in the movie. “In a documentary, particularly if you’re working with [director] Chris Smith, you’re not going to do something that’s easily assailable,” he added.

The official synopsis of the movie reads, “The film explores Downey Sr.’s life and work, including his influential 1969 satirical comedy, Putney Swope. The documentary also unpacks personal themes ranging from creativity and mortality to fatherhood and generational trauma. Downey Sr.’s relationship with his son, Robert Downey Jr., is a prominent part of the story.”

The movie, which is currently available to stream on Netflix, is a must-watch for anyone who’s a fan of either Jr., Sr., or a great father-son story. A real tear-jerker in the best way!

Before you go, click here to see celebrities who have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction.

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck

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