Robert Downey Jr. Meets Young Fan Whose Life Was Changed by Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. Meets Young Fan Whose Life Was Changed by Iron Man


I have been so looking
forward to meeting you. Can I interrupt
you for a second? I just need to take this
opportunity to just– I can’t believe
we’re meeting you. And– Yeah! [LAUGHS] And you get to hear our story. And just really,
we’re so excited. I never thought we’d
ever be in a position like this sitting across
from Robert Downey, Jr. Can you believe it? Ah! Yeah! Wow. Well, I honestly when I heard
that we were going to meet, I was like, oh, my God. It’s like– and my
friends are on the show, and it’s fun to do the show. But this really grabbed me. So first, I have
a few questions– Of course. Of course. –for y’all. You’re 10 now, had
lost the ability to speak when he was one. And then what happened
when he was four? Well, we had a lot of red
flags that kind of cropped up. So just behavioral– His imagination play. Yeah. He would just line stuff up. He would just spin things
for countless of hours. Totally. Yeah. And so after consulting
with family members– I have a nephew on
the spectrum as well. And my sister-in-law actually
pushed for us to have him tested for autism– Excellent. –and got a confirmed diagnosis. Wow. Everybody here can
relate to that sense of wanting to communicate
and not being able to. What did that feel like? What was your
experience of that? It was painful. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It was really painful for him. Now that he has a
voice, I go back and I ask him, hey,
tell me about what you were thinking that day,
or tell me about this time. And some of the
things he talks about is not being able to
make friends back then– Oh, sure. –having the ability not to tell
us what’s going on in his life. And then when you were
six, something happened. What– Yes. I got a Iron Man helmet. And what’d that do for you? It helped me talk
and imagination play. Wow. Yes. So it’s almost like the
mask provided a sense of– Yes. –it grounded him, and it
allowed him to feel confident. And within 24 hours, Robert,
we saw a different child. Oh, wow. It was– [LAUGHS] Look at him! Yeah. Yeah. So that was night one. And see, for me, too, it’s so
wild in playing this character. There’s something, I
think, for all of us where when you’re
able to wear a mask, whether you’re doing theater
in school or Halloween or whatever. I had a particular affinity– you and I both did– with this
same mask for some reason. And it gave us a voice. And why do you think it helped? Yeah. Why do you think– It helped me talk. It helped me hide my
identity from the world. Yeah. Oh, my God, you’re a ringer! Yeah! Look at this! [LAUGHS] This is absolutely bananas. Look at that! Yeah! Give me another high five. I cannot believe this! Now, wait a minute. This might have gone too far. Is it or is it– what is your dog’s name? Mr. Stark. [LAUGHTER] We thought we needed
one in the house. There he is! And there he is. Oh, my gosh! And if you’ll notice the
collar, it’s Iron Man. Got a Iron Man collar on. And it has the arc reactor. And then his little name
tag says “Mr. Stark.” Oh, my gosh. Yeah. We love you. We love Iron Man. We love Marvel. Aw, I love you, too. I just– people always
say what will you miss most about having
played this part? And it honestly is
being able to talk to moms and dads and young folks
and see how somehow or other this had a positive
impact on you. And it just makes all these
last years of working on it worthwhile. I cannot thank you enough. Thank you. Wow! Woo-hoo! And I know that there’s
lots of expenses for therapy and tutors. And Shutterfly is
this amazing company. And they like helping
people exactly like you. So they’re giving
your family 20 grand. $20,000. And I cannot thank you– Did it! Hi, I’m Andy. Ellen asked me to remind you
to subscribe to her channel so you can see more
awesome videos, like videos of me getting scared
or saying embarrassing things like “ball peen hammer” and
also some videos of Ellen and other celebrities if
you’re into that sort of thing. [YELLS] [SCREAMS] [BLEEP] God! [BLEEP]

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