"I'm what's known as 'a strategic cost,'" Robert Downey Jr. said during a recent interview when discussing how much he made to appear in "The Avengers" last summer.
The "Iron Man" actor admitted that he's been paid prettily to depict an action hero. In fact, he's quite rich, like Tony Starks, the character he plays in the film. But he isn't close to Starks' billions just yet, according to CelebrityNetWorth.com, which has set the actor's worth at $85 million.
But Downey hasn't always been so well off. After running into tax trouble, the actor admitted in a recent GQ interview that it was his wife, Susan, who had helped to support him.
"The missus has always been able to pull in some ducats here and there," he told GQ. "I was definitely leaning on her for a while. And happily so, I might add. I would make a great deadbeat husband- I would have no problem with that whatsoever."
Becoming "Iron Man," a position that Downey said he had to fight for, was a saving grace. Now, the actor considers himself one of the most talented in the industry.
"I'm probably one of the best," he told the magazine. "Yeah. But it's not that big a deal. It's not like this is the greatest swath or generation of actors that has ever come down the pike."
"That's the great thing- it's such a floating freak show," he said. "You get a bit older and you start to see what's going on backstage in the collective psyche of this ridiculous industry."
After confirming that he was paid $50 million for his appearance in "The Avengers," Downey agreed that the sum was "crazy."
"They're so pissed," he said of the film's producers. "I can't believe it. I'm what's known as 'a strategic cost.'"
Despite his fancy price tag, however, Downey added that all actors in the business are "kind of the same."
"I'm sorry! We're all just kind of the same," he told GQ."Nothing pleases me more than when somebody who was awe-inspired to be working with me realizes I'm just another schmuck that they're bored of hanging out with on a set. I love that moment. I like it when that persistent illusion is smashed."