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Downey says Holmes role not intimidating

Jan. 1, 2010 at 9:31 PM
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LONDON, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. actor Robert Downey Jr. insists he wasn't anxious about playing a British icon in "Sherlock Holmes" because the people behind the film were so talented.

The actor plays the titular 19th century private detective in the movie, which was produced by his wife Susan and his frequent collaborator, Joel Silver, and directed by Guy Ritchie.

"Scared? I don't get scared any more. I just get busy," the well-regarded actor and recovering drug addict told reporters in London recently. "I already knew by the time Guy Ritchie was directing this that it would be a fresh interpretation. And then I had worked with Joel Silver a bunch and I've lived with Susan Downey a bunch and (screenwriter) Lionel Wigram figured out how to reprise this as a film, so I knew I was in good hands. It was just a matter of getting down to business."

Downey said working on the film "Chaplin" in England about 20 years ago also helped him feel comfortable returning to play this other famous British character.

"I had spent some time here in the late 1980s, playing Chaplin and I had great tutelage in all things British from (director) Lord Richard Attenborough," Downey recalled. "I felt like I had passed 'Go,' but definitely felt the onus of -- it's not the fear of the judgment of others, it's just, at a certain point, will you meet the standards that people are expecting of you and you expect of them?"

Downey earned a Golden Globe nomination for best lead actor in a comedy or musical for his work in "Sherlock Holmes," which is in theaters now.

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