TIME movies

Robert Downey Jr.’s First-Ever Movie Appearance Was Pretty Absurd

The future most-powerful actor in Hollywood started out playing a puppy

On June 30, Robert Downey Jr. was named Hollywood’s most-powerful actor by Forbes. Between his supersized Iron Man earnings and social media savvy, he’s proven his mettle as a guy who can make movies happen.

But he didn’t start out that way — and there’s video evidence of that fact. (And he even trots it out on late-night shows as a funny story.) In 1970, Downey appeared in the very trippy movie Pound, written and directed by his father, about a group of dogs waiting to be adopted or euthanized. The dogs are played by human actors, and a 5-year-old Downey played a puppy. He’s got a classic funny-because-it’s-a-kid-being-vulgar line, plus the very same quintessentially RDJ face he still has today.

Downey’s second and third film appearances were also in his father’s projects; it wasn’t until 1983’s Baby It’s You that he began branching out.

This has been your daily reminder that Drake’s not the only one who started from the bottom.

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