Robert Downey Jr. Dishes on Tony Stark’s Motivations in ‘Captain America: Civil War’

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
Robert Downey Jr. Dishes on Tony Stark’s Motivations in ‘Captain America: Civil War’
Facebook/Captain America: Civil War

“Captain America: Civil War” is a film that many fans are looking forward to, despite the fact that the film will not be following its source material down to the letter. Instead, it draws out the essence of the conflict between both Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man or Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), and drives it home to a more personal level for both of the main characters, which the films have been building up to for a while. Recently, Robert Downey, Jr. dished on Tony Stark’s inner motivations for wanting the Sokovia Accords, and as to why this conflict is the catalyst that drives Stark to openly go against America’s finest hero. WARNING: This article may spoiler certain aspects in “Captain America: Civil War”.

It is no secret that Tony Stark, both in the comic books and in the films, is not your typical superhero.


A billionaire inventor, party boy, philanthropist, genius, with no respect for the rules, Stark, more often than not ends up clashing with his fellow superheroes and Avengers time and time again.

However, this time around, the events that occur in the film, “Captain America: Civil War,” which causes Stark and Captain America to clash, is a product of several wounds that become too unbearable for the man of iron to handle, thus making him the perfect man to become the antagonist in the matter, even though Stark is no Ultron, Thanos or Loki. And, oddly enough, according to a recent interview that Robert Downey, Jr. recently had with Entertainment Weekly, he and his character is pretty comfortable with that.

For a movie that is about rules and limitations, one would think that that Captain America would be siding with the government more than Stark.

However, given all the problems that Stark has inadvertently caused throughout the years, from his weaponry being used against him, and to his creation, Ultron, becoming a destructive artificial intelligent being bent on world domination, the genius inventor has finally realized that rules and limitations are needed so that something like that would never happen again. Downey also mentioned that Stark knows himself too well, and knows that these things would be able to keep himself, a walking problem, in check, if need be.

He also admits that the final wedge that drives Stark and Captain America truly apart is the fact that Captain America chooses Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) over the person who, time and time again, has stood by Captain America and the Avengers, and has funded various aspects for the team. This is why Cinema Blend calls this film as one of the “most emotional” Avengers films to date, and why it feels like Stark is truly hurt when he tells Steve, in the trailer, that he had been Steve’s friend, and had tried to be one to him.

This conflict, however, isn’t something out of the left field, as the seeds of this conflict had been seeded into the films ever since the first “Avengers” film, with Steve’s and Stark’s quips against each other, and with the scene in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” where the two began to disagree on several things while chopping firewood.

Also, both Cinema Blend and Downey both agree on one important fact that drives Stark and why he feels saddened when Steve chooses his childhood friend over Stark.


Over the years, Stark has lived in the shadow of his father’s legacy, and has felt like he hasn’t really been able to do much of it, but helping out the Avengers gave him the opportunity to get the love and support from peers, which he usually doesn’t get. This is why he values Steve’s loyalty and approval so much, and it makes the conflict more personal emotional when Steve passes him over for someone else, and when Steve doesn’t recognize him when Stark clearly has the upper hand at times.

However, Downey also mentioned that he, as an actor, actually does believe in Iron Man’s stance in the film, that limitations and rules are needed, especially in the superhero community.

Downey also shared a scene that was briefly seen in the trailer, which illustrates perfectly how Stark sometimes does have the upper hand in things, but ends up doing it in a way that makes him seem like the bad guy.

In the scene, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Martin Freeman’s characters meet up with Steve and Falcon (Anthony Mackie), after they have surrendered their costumes.

Stark is on the phone, reassuring US Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) that he will take care of things and that there “will be consequences” due to an incident that happened in Romania, which wasn’t included in the “accords.”

He then confirms that the two wouldn’t see their costumes for quite some time, as that was the price they had to pay for going against the accords. However, instead of just leaving it at that, Stark decides to wittingly quip that this is better than going to jail.

In the end, although it is up to the audience, Downey is alright with the viewers not liking his Tony Stark, and treating him as an antagonist.

Do you now see Tony Stark in a different light in “Captain America: Civil War?” Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Photo Source: Facebook/Captain America: Civil War

About the author

Kitin Miranda enjoys writing, learning new things, telling stories, and doing theater. When she is not busy with her many projects, she can be found reading a good book, writing poetry or fiction, updating her blog, discovering new food places around her neighborhood, or watching American or Asian TV shows.