Robert Downey Jr was at his wittiest and funniest best as he praised his good friend and Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) co-star Scarlett Johansson during the annual American Cinematheque Award ceremony. Johansson, who has played Black Widow aka Natasha Romanoff in various Marvel Studios films alongside Downey Jr's Tony Star aka Iron Man, was recognised last weekend. The ceremony had Marvel boss Kevin Feige, actor-filmmaker Jon Favreau, and Hollywood stars Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Samuel L Jackson congratulating the Oscar-nominated actor for her illustrious and inspiring journey in cinema.
The "Iron Man" star, who has a 'Stark' similarity with his on-screen persona as the Marvel superhero character, started his expletive-laden video message with a dig on Hollywood.
"This is Hollywood. We f****** love to congratulate ourselves,” said Downey Jr in the video.
The actor said he has already done videos for midterm voter drive, Laura Dern birthday song months in advance, Alan Horn retirement message, bar mitzvah greeting for a traffic cop.
He also pointed out at the ever-growing popularity of "Spider-Man" star Tom Holland, comparing his rise to that of a "fungus".
"Tom Holland whose sole aim is to proliferate the industry like a f****** lawn fungus," he said about his co-actor who shares a mentor-mentee relationship with him in the movies as Peter Parker and an affectionate bond off the camera.
But after series of jokes, Downey Jr praised Johansson for creating space for herself in the misogynist world of movies.
"Scarlett, congratulations. I mean, you’re so deserving of this award. You’ve overcome so many obstacles to make space for yourself and others in a sea of overt and sub-intentional misogyny, exerted by everything from studios, directors, and producers to one man toxic flotillas like me," he said.
"Take it from me, Robert Downey Jr. , the shortest leading man since Don Adams in ‘Get Smart’ who rivals Guiliani for least subtle use of Just For Men Touch Of Gray hair dye… How far did we get you to go? Robert, it’s Scarlett and Colin we had two glasses of white wine on a weeknight and felt like clowning you don’t actually put this on a prompter. F*** you Scarlett," he concluded.
The two actors have starred together in Marvel films "Iron Man 2", "The Avengers", "Avengers: Age of Ultron" "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame". They also worked in 2014 movie "Chef".
Johansson is the 35th recipient of the American Cinematheque Award. The previous honourees are Spike Lee, Charlize Theron, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Ridley Scott, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Jackson, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Al Pacino, Steve Martin, Nicole Kidman and Denzel Washington.
The list going back to 1986 also include Nicolas Cage, Bruce Willis, Jodie Foster, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Rob Reiner, Michael Douglas, Sean Connery, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams, Bette Midler and Eddie Murphy.