Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney
Meaghan Kirby
June 27, 2017 3:00 pm

Playing an integral role in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. is acting in his thousandth (okay seventh) film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is coming into his own as a superhero — or is, at least, trying to — Tony Stark takes on a new role: Mentor/father figure.

It’s no secret that Downey is the king of the MCU, with his 2008 film Iron Man opening the doors for the now iconic famous and forever running franchise of Marvel superheroes. In most cases, Tony Stark serves as the link that connects the MCU, so we have to wonder: Can Downey ever retire? Well it turns out, according to Downey, he’s been semi-retired since the weekend Iron Man opened.

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At a recent press conference for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the actor was asked if he considered the upcoming film to be the passing of the torch to Holland’s Spider-Man taking on the role of “connective tissue” of MCU. Downey responded with his typical dry humor, telling the audience:

“I’ve been semi-retired since…the first weekend Iron Man 1 opened.”

The actor went on to describe what it’s like stepping into a role that becomes so expansive — like Tony Stark — and how it’s easy to think that, as the actor, it can sometimes be easy to attribute success to yourself, even though it’s quickly clear that that attribution is not necessarily correct.

Sony

As for Spider-Man: Homecoming itself, it Downey revealed how much he loved it, both as an actor working on it and a fan of MCU.

With Infinity WarThe Voyage of Dr. Doolittle, and Sherlock Holmes 3 in the pipeline, it seems the actor is going to be pretty busy, so we have to wonder: What does it look like when Downey *isn’t* semi-retired? Watch Tony Stark learn about paternal instincts in Spider-Man: Homecoming when it opens in theaters on July 7th.

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