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Downey praised for playing black actor

Actor Robert Downey Jr. takes part in the ceremonial ringing of the opening traders bell at the New York Stock Exchange to promote Marvel Entertainment and Paramount pictures' new film Iron Man which stars Downey Jr. on April 29, 2008. (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen)
Actor Robert Downey Jr. takes part in the ceremonial ringing of the opening traders bell at the New York Stock Exchange to promote Marvel Entertainment and Paramount pictures' new film "Iron Man" which stars Downey Jr. on April 29, 2008. (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen) | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, July 22 (UPI) -- Robert Downey Jr. is earning praise for his portrayal of a white actor who plays an African-American character in the movie within a movie in "Tropic Thunder."

"To be honest, he played a black dude better than anybody I've seen," Downey's African-American "Tropic Thunder" co-star Brandon T. Jackson told People.com. "When I first read the script, I was like: What? Black face? But when I saw (Downey act) he, like, became a black man."

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Directed by Ben Stiller and co-starring Jack Black, the big-screen comedy features Downey as an Oscar-winning actor who takes on a role in the most expensive Vietnam war movie in cinematic history, then dyes his skin when he hears his character was originally written as an African-American.

"It was just good acting," Jackson told People.com. "It was weird on the set because he would keep going with the character. He's a Method actor."

Downey also starred in the recent blockbuster "Iron Man."

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