Robert Downey Jr. Reflects on Controversial ‘Tropic Thunder' Role. During a recent interview on ‘The Joe Rogan Experience,’ Downey discussed his role in the movie, ‘Tropic Thunder’. In the satirical film, Downey portrayed an Australian actor who undergoes “pigmentation alteration” surgery in order to darken his skin. According to Downey, he initially thought accepting the role from director Ben Stiller was a “terrible idea”. He ultimately decided to take on the role because he knew where his “heart” was. "I [got] to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do," said Downey. Downey also said that he thought his portrayal put a “blasting cap” on the issue of blackface. "I think that it’s never an excuse to do something that’s out of place and out of its time, but to me it was just putting a blasting cap on [the issue]". Although he knows he “effed up,” Downey believes ‘Tropic Thunder’ as a whole provided commentary on how offensive actors can be. "Sometimes, you just gotta go, ‘Yeah I effed up.’ Again, not in my defense, ‘Tropic Thunder’ was about how wrong [blackface] is …"