Sonny Bunch has a nice item up about Robert Downey Jr.'s chemical and political reformation. But it got me wondering about this:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember some reports about Downey during his nadir that he was becoming unemployable not because he couldn't handle the work, but because the insurance costs of having him as part of a production were too steep. Maybe I'm misremembering this, but I feel like it was some time around his Ally McBeal stint.
Even if I'm misremembering, though, and the insurance costs weren't prohibitive for using Downey, surely they must have been, at least during his bad period, quite a bit higher than they would be for an equivalent actor (like, say, Colin Firth).
All of which leads me to wonder: How in the world was Favreau able to use Downey as the lead in a giant, super-budget, Summer action movie? Did the studio just eat the extra insurance costs because Favreau dug in and insisted on Downey, or have the adjusters down-graded Downey's status so that he's now judged an normal risk? Whatever the case, this seems like a really interesting little business story that I wish someone would report.
3 hours ago