Robert Downey Jr. says he has no regrets about wearing 'blackface' in 'Tropic Thunder'

Robert Downey Jr. says he has no regrets about wearing 'blackface' in 'Tropic Thunder'

In many ways, the 2008 movie Tropic Thunder was every bit as ahead-of-the-curve as it was controversial upon its release. The story centers around a group of actors on the set of a war movie, who end up fighting a genuine drug ring in the jungle.

However, it was the character of Kirk Lazarus, played by Robert Downey Jr, who made moviegoers uneasy - a pretentious method actor, who darkens his skin for his portrayal of the black character Sergeant Lincoln Osiris.

Take a look at Robert Downey Jr's performance in the trailer below:

Given how much discussion there has been around whitewashing over the last decade, you might be forgiven for thinking that Downey Jr's performance would have been a PR nightmare in hindsight. However, in a recent appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, the Iron Man star claimed he has no regrets about the part.

Commenting on the role, Downey stated: "When Ben called and said 'hey I'm doing this thing,' I think Sean Penn had passed on it or something like that—possibly wisely. And I thought, 'Yeah… I'll do that after Iron Man.' And then I started thinking, 'This is a terrible idea; wait a minute.'''

He continued: "Then I thought, 'Well, hold on, dude, get real here, where is your heart?' And my heart is, A: I get to be black for a summer in my mind, so there's something in it for me. The other thing is, I get to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they're allowed to do on occasion—just my opinion."

He added: "Ben, who is a master artist and director, probably the closest thing to Charlie Chaplin that I've experienced... he knew exactly what the vision for this was; he executed it. It was impossible to not have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie, and 90 percent of my black friends are like, 'Dude, that was great.''

He also told Rogan: "There's a morality clause here on this planet. And it's a big price to pay, and I think having a moral psychology is job one. So sometimes you've just gotta go, 'Yeah, I effed up.' Again, not in my defense, but Tropic Thunder was about how wrong that is. So I take exception."