Robert Downey Jr. stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman on Monday to promote his new movie Due Date (correction: to let Letterman, who loved it, promote it), and the conversation naturally turned to Charlie Sheen. Actually, Letterman did a rather abrupt segue after Downey finished explaining how he once felt like “John Savage in The Deer Hunter” at a paintball birthday party for one of his son’s friends. “Do you know Charlie Sheen? You guys are contemporaries, aren’t ya?” Letterman asked, as the audience laughed. “We were in high school together. We didn’t really hang out,” Downey answered. “I mean, it sounds like we could have really partied.”
Letterman wanted to know if Downey felt a responsibility to talk to Sheen, as someone who’s turned his life around. Downey seemed a bit uncomfortable at the suggestion, and tried to address it with humor first: “He’s a grown man … What am I gonna say? … The only advice I would give him is, you know, don’t get arrested.” Letterman wanted a serious answer. He said Downey is the guy who could call up anyone and say you’ve got two ways to go: Continue to do it your way, or, look what I did. Downey again opted for humor first, saying if he believed his own hype and started thinking that people need to listen to him, his wife would be miserable and his director would think he’s crazy. But then, he spoke from the heart: “I think the best thing I can do is just keep the plug in the jug myself and stay out of trouble.” Letterman finally agreed that leading by example was a better course of action and was prepared to change topics. Downey interrupted him: “I mean, it would have been fun to be partying with him in the Plaza, probably … but not fun, not fun,” he joked. Watch the interview below.
Letterman and Downey never disappoint: They spent nearly five minutes talking about the horses Jamie Foxx gave Downey for his 45th birthday (and Letterman’s theory about how horses want to kill their riders). They also discussed how Downey thought his Due Date costar Zach Galifianakis was a homeless person when they ran into each other before production began, as well as how Downey, who’s now filming the Sherlock Holmes sequel and has studied kung fu years, would kill Letterman.
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