Robert Downey Jr. Failed To Make A Good First Impression On His Wife Susan

If you've failed to make a good first impression on your crush, never fear. Robert Downey Jr. didn't make a good impression on his wife Susan Downey, and it didn't doom their love story. The duo first met while working on the Halle Berry film "Gothika" — Susan (last name Levin before marriage) as a producer and Robert as a star. "Gothika" was a return to film after his time in jail (and Robert has shared candid remarks about serving jail time).

During an interview the Downeys did for The Hollywood Reporter, Susan explained what she first thought of Robert at a team lunch with Berry and the movie's director. "Everybody else ordered Japanese, but Robert told us how oatmeal was the 'superfood,'" Susan said. "He brought his own packets of oatmeal to have at lunch. And he had this box of various herbs and stuff. And then he started doing these yoga moves. I mean, he was interesting but weird." 

That interaction thankfully wasn't strange enough to completely give Susan "the ick." It apparently took three times for Susan to agree to go on a date with Robert, and they fell in love and got engaged after three months (though he was legally married to his ex Deborah Falconer at the time). Susan wanted a two-year engagement and was firm that she would only stay with him if he was fully sober from drugs.

Susan reminisced about falling for Robert in another interview

In a 2009 interview with Harper's Bazaar, Susan Downey admitted that she had no romantic feelings for Robert Downey Jr. when they first crossed paths. Her first impression of the "Ally McBeal" actor was that he was a bit odd. Susan later added, "I thought he was a brilliant actor, but it didn't go beyond that. I saw him more like a professor or someone's older brother." However, Susan remembered the first time she started feeling affection for her future husband. Some of the team working on "Gothika" would exercise at the same time after work. While at the gym, Robert invited Susan to dinner and she said yes, making plans to meet after getting changed. Susan told the outlet, "And as he walked down the stairs toward me, I remember looking up at him and suddenly thinking, He's really cute."

Susan described falling for Robert fast. She admitted to not being privy to the realities of drug addiction, and that she was strict about no drug use. Robert quit it all, and Susan said, "I think he saw what we had. There was something magical there, something we couldn't put our finger on. He always says that we became this third thing when we got together — something that neither of us could have become by ourselves — and I think that's true."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Robert gave Susan a sweet shout-out during the 2024 Oscars

Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey's relationship has flourished since their first meeting. They got married in 2005 and started a production company called Team Downey. Susan is the stepmother for Indio Downey, Robert's son from his first marriage. She and Robert share son Exton Downey and daughter Avri Downey. 

Robert has been open about how Susan changed his life for the better, including during his acceptance speech for his first-ever Oscar win. When he won Best Supporting Actor at the 2024 ceremony, the first thing Robert did was give Susan a kiss. During his speech, he started with a joke and then shared kind words for Susan: "I'd like to thank my veterinarian — I meant wife — Susan Downey, over there" (via YouTube). She beamed and looked visibly emotional, and Robert added, "She found me a snarling rescue pet and you loved me back to life. That's why I'm here. Thank you."

After the fact, the "Iron Man" actor explained to People he was making revisions to his speech the day of, "But it worked out fine and I could tell that [Susan] wasn't disappointed by the time I got back to my chair." Susan was likely not disappointed in the slightest, and an expert told Women Lifestyle that Robert and Susan's 2024 Oscars PDA means they share an authentic love connection. Who knows what this power couple will collaborate on next?