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CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

Counting on a part in his career rehab

Robert Downey Jr. cites destiny for a clearer mind and a juicy role in 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.'

May 14, 2005|Mary McNamara | Times Staff Writer

"Yeah, the three of us," Downey says, laughing. "We've all had our moments. I would like to say Shane and I were casualties of the 'military industrial complex' of Hollywood," Downey adds, with a grin. "But I tell people, sometimes you have to survive these things and then it makes sense later. Which is sort of what happens in the movie. It all makes sense later."

They shot the film in 35 days, most of them nights, which didn't leave much time for rehearsing, much less obsessing. "When we were shooting night after night in L.A. a film about L.A. that is funny, dark and smart, and I'm thinking, 'What could be a bigger kiss of death?' But people seem to be responding to it."

Indeed. Another Hollywood noir film -- Atom Egoyan's "Where the Truth Lies" -- got a very tepid reception, but the press was buzzing about the cleverness of "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" and how good it is to see Downey flexing his actorly muscles again.

Asked if he's still able to have fun in Cannes, with its open bars and all-night parties, Downey pauses. On the beachfront rocks, a few hundred yards away from the hotel balcony, paparazzi teeter and shout; the actor's face is tan with makeup applied for television interviews, which makes his smile seem brighter.

"You're thinking about it the wrong way," he says. "I'm having a better time. It's more fun to be clear and accountable. Believe me, I speak from experience."

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