"I'm a mess," Robert Downey Jr. admitted as he took the stage to accept his Disney Legends award on Friday during D23 Expo. Fellow honoree Christina Aguilera had just left the stage after performing "Reflections," her 1998 hit from Disney's Mulan.
"That's one of my favorite songs," Downey told the crowd. "I'm like, 'How am I supposed to come up and talk after that?'"
Downey and Aguilera were among this year's class of inductees, alongside the likes of Jon Favreau, James Earl Jones, Bette Midler, Robin Roberts and more. When he was introduced, Downey's name alone elicited massive applause from the Marvel-loving legions assembled to celebrate the Iron Man actor -- and his acceptance speech was peak RDJ.
"The first time I went to Disneyland, I was transported to a different place within moments of being arrested," he began. "I was brought to a surprisingly friendly processing center, given a stern warning and returned to, if memory serves, one very disappointed group chaperone."
"I would like to make amends to whomever had to detain me for smoking pot in a gondola without a license," Downey deadpanned. "I've been sitting on that shame for a while now."
On a more serious note, Downey thanked the team at Marvel Studios and singled out Favreau, who directed him in Iron Man, as well as the fans who made his success as Tony Stark possible right up till the end. (Avengers: Endgame, Downey's final appearance in the franchise, is officially the highest grossing film in history.)
"Playing Tony over these many years and that thematic idea that technology can guide out species toward enlightenment or destruction, it’s been really worthwhile and it’s an ongoing meditation," he concluded. "I get to remain a fan of the first inclusive and evolving cinematic universe ever. Here's to the future."