Robert Downey Jr. for Esquire Magazine

Posted on April 18, 2012

Here’s your Mid-day Man, kittens: sloppy man-boy Robert Downey, Jr., doing what he does best: being Robert Downey, Jr.


Robert Downey Jr. featured in the May 2012 issue of Esquire magazine photographed by Nigel Parry.

The man can’t wear clothes to save his life, but he more than makes up for it in personality. We’re kinda digging the dark boots with the white suit. That’s a tough look to pull off, but it suits him. The doll, on the other hand, creeps us the hell out.
[Photo Credit: Nigel Parry for]

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  • Dorothy & Michael n/a

    How can ESQUIRE think this rumpled blue suit look is appealing?  Even his shirt collar looks wrinkled. Pffft.

    • Laylalola

      Yes, I was thinking that’s a very odd choice to pick for the cover — 

    • JDreesen

      oh, was he wearing clothes in these photos?  i wasn’t paying attention.

      • NormDeplume720

        Yeah, I didn’t notice the clothes either. Hell, I thought he was hot in the orange prison jumpsuit in 1999. I am not the most objective observer.

        • siriuslover

          hahahahaha! ITA!

    • Onymous

      I think with Robert Downey Jr you could make a suit out of solid steel and the second he put it on it would rumple? Like that’s who he is.

      • whitrome

        Perhaps a suit of…iron?! See what I did there?!

      • whitrome

        Perhaps a suit of…iron?! See what I did there?!

  • cmb92191

    I like the tie.   I adore the pic of him on the railing.  That is almost as good as that Jon Hamm spread a week or two ago.

    • RebeccaKW

       That is my favorite of him in this spread, too.  His personality really shines through, plus I also like the white suit.

    • AudreysMom

      I’m sorry but this discussion of RDJ and the words ‘Jon Hamm’ and ‘spread’ in the same sentence just gave me a hot flash.

  • Judy_S

    Thank you, T Lo. Very encouraging for the long afternoon.
    The doll is pretty boring. Perhaps that’s just as well.

  • Dr Skylaser

    Yup, the doll shot is creepy; the others range from eh (the cover shot) to awesomely ridiculous (the “just directing air traffic on my Mediterranean balcony” shot).

  • Melody McFarland

    how on earth does this guy continue to improve his looks despite getting older and living like there was no tomorrow for a long time?! He just gets better looking with each passing year.

    • Ginger

      Perhaps he’s adopted the Aunt Mame credo: “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”  She was fabulous…maybe that’s the key?

  • treat yo self

    I think I’ve seen this RDJ photo shoot like 9 times. 

  • Aaminah Khan

    He is so amazing. <3

  • Cassie

    That doll shot – WHAT THE FUCK. I didn’t know Esquire was trying to give me nightmares.

    Still adore him, though. Now and always. 

  • SignLadyB

    And no one has yet commented on the safety pin? I didn’t even notice the doll til it was pointed out (tho’ I thought the pose was a bit icky) but the safety pin (even tho’ I know in my head it’ fake) was pure ewwwww. Still RDJ is so hot, I’m so glad he seems to have his demons behind him. Looooove his eyes!

    • butterflysunita

      The safety pin shot frightened me.  I don’t get it.  

  • Vaniljekjeks

    Dolls creep me out in general.  Clowns, too.  Bleh. 

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Well, you don’t hire RDJ to model, now do you.

    You hire him because you want Tony Stark on your cover shot, and more mugging for the camera on a spread that’ll make everyone shake their heads fondly at him.

  • Tigrrl

    No Shoes on the BED!!!! My 6 year old learned this rule when she was 2. I can’t get past it, and the doll is totally creepy. 

    • LocMama

      He can put his shoes on my bed whenever he likes. 
      I feel like I’ve seen this editorial before, but I don’t mind looking at his rumpled divineness!

      Love your moniker Tigrrl.

  • Laylalola

    I do have to kind of laugh at the doll shot. I often just don’t get “fashion” shoots — they’re so over-the-top ridiculous yet are played dead seriously — so this makes me laugh, I don’t know if he’s deliberately sending that up or if it’s just that reversing the genders often will highlight the absurd but I appreciate it.

  • Rebecca Johnson

    I really hope “the advice that changed his life” was “stop doing so many drugs.” Can’t really think of anything that could have helped more.

    Also, how are the blue suit’s lapels even doing that??

  • Ivona Foster

    He’s certainly having a moment isn’t he? Like he never left :)

  • MzzPants

    He’s such a mess.  I’d do him in a heartbeat.

  • FoxInSocks

    I don’t really know wtf is happening in most of these (safety pin, creepy doll), but dancing on the railing makes up for it for me. I’ll just stare at that one for a while.

  • janetjb

    He is so appealing.

    • BrooklynBomber

      That’s the thing, isn’t it? Sigh . . . 

  • Ginger

    As a lover of quality facial hair on men (my super-hot husband included), RDJ’s facial hair is fairly pathetic. 

  • efishfan

    He doesn’t do it for me. Not for looks, but because he seems like he’d be pretty high maintenance. Plus he’s got the stink of aging Tony Curtis about him, and that was rough to watch the first time around.

  • Lucía Valencia

    THAT TIE *-*

  • ccinnc

    Love him. He just seems like so much FUN, that he doesn’t take himself seriously, he’s having a great time going through this life, and he’s nice. I don’t know if he’s nice, but I like to imagine he is. Oh, and he’s delectable.

  • FashionShowAtLunch

    It doesn’t matter what he does: I would do that man like a crossword.

  • guest2visits

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy so easily transition from one look to the next; and with such gusto; – he winds up
    making all of it work. I think it pleases him to play around in different styles, different get-ups; and its fun and
    interesting to see the results.

  • MilaXX

    I must be good and twisted because the safety pin creeps me out far more than the doll. Love RDJ!

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Irresistible personality. He looks pretty great and it doesn’t have anything to do with the clothes…

    • Jessica TallGirl Freeman

      It never does with him it seems.  I’m ok with that.

  • Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    Love him, but the safety pin pic and the baby doll pic are really freaking me out.  

  • sweetlilvoice

    I find him really attractive in a very bad boy vibe way-the type of guy who screws you and then kicks you out before morning. And I loved those Sherlock Holmes movies.

  •!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

    There’s exactly no reason why he should do it for me, but I’d give him all the business.

  • Jen Alien-Spouse

    The thing is that RDJ always looks as though he started off immaculately dressed, then accidentally crashed a really good party and has just woken up from the post-party nap. It’s that lived in look, and I don’t know anyone else who could actually get away with it so charmingly.

    But then I’ve had a crush on him ever since he was one of the bullies in “Weird Science” and quite literally fluttered his eyelashes at Kelly LeBrock.

    • merciblahblah

      EXACTLY. Loved him myself in Weird Science, and also in Tuff Turf, with James Spader when he was hot (and not completely creepy a la The Office) and Real Housewives of BH cast member Kim Richards when she was in her glory. Oh, RDJ, I love you so.

      Strangely, this is not one of my favorite photo shoots of him. I mean, he is still hot, but he isn’t HAWT, sadly.

      • tired_mommy

        I probably watched Tuff Turf 25 times in high-school to see him drumming (shirtless I believe).  Love him!

        • merciblahblah

          Shirtless except for a bowtie, maybe? He so cuuuuute.

  • Michael Rios

    I don’t care how stupidly charming he’s supposed to be, these pictures are average and he’s not even phoning in a tenth of his full charisma. Come at me RDJ fans, I don’t care, the pictures are subpar and I call ’em like I see ’em.

    • j_anson

      Nah, I love RDJ, but I agree. I think he’s not at his best when posing in general. The charisma comes through better in video or candid shots.

  • LuisaNL

    love him!

  • alyce1213

    This man elevates “rumpled” to an art form.  I have no complaints about anything here.

    Except to say that I am taken aback at the number of people who are upset by the little antique doll. (why?)  
    And the safety pin shot is downright funny.

    • Corsetmaker

      Me neither. No old punks in here it seems LOL!

    • Sara L.

       Yeah, I feel like this, too. It is just a doll, people, get a grip. I think the shot is kind of funny, him gazing faux-adoringly at her on the pillow, his legs all curled up. Ditto on safety pin.

  • Delaney Davis

    He is just really doing it for me lately. Thanks for the afternoon joy!

  • siriuslover

    God I love him. Love him in the clothes. That pic with the doll, though it’s kind of creepy. But I think it’s also a joke against him from his drug-binging days, isn’t it? 

  • 3boysful

     “The doll, on the other hand, creeps us the hell out.”

    I was thinking to myself what a cool composition that photo was, THEN I saw the doll and had the same reaction as you guys!

  • Melissa Brogan

    He’s a good-looking man and I enjoy his man-boy silliness, but… I don’t know what the fuck is going on with the doll and I don’t want to, either. Someone should have put that on the chopping block.

  • Lina_bee

    What a weird spread. I dig the shot of him on the balustrade posing like a misplaced Vegas Elvis, but the rest sort of seems a little half-assed on the photog’s part. Also, the doll shot? CREEPY. I wish there were an actual clear statement there about how messed up sexualized juvenilia is instead of what looks way too much like an argument for Humbert Humbert’s pov. *shudder*  Nigel Parry, what were you thinking?

  • Andra

    So enamored with him I didn’t even notice there was a doll.

  • padma s

    Never mind the doll.


    The one of him on the balustrade SO him.

  • EEKstl

    Love that tie.  Didn’t even see the doll til you mentioned it, now I’m all ewwwwwww!  

  • SewingSiren

    Been playing the same character since Less than Zero. 

    • alyce1213

      I strenuously disagree.   He’s quite versatile and extremely talented.  He is, however, frequently cast to type but his abilities should not be judged by the big, commercial movies he does for the money.

      Have you seen “Chaplin”   “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus”     “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”   etc??

  • miagain

    I’m tired of his goatee..

  • Laura

    I heart him. 

  • BrooklynBomber

    I was really liking the lying-down-in-bed picture until I realized he’s holding his dolly. . . 

  • Amy Ellinger

    I will gladly take the place of the doll so you all can be less creeped out!

  • Amy Ellinger

    I will gladly take the place of the doll so you all can be less creeped out!

  • Kimmu

    Sometimes, Tony Stark has to do silly things to get Steve Rogers’s attention.

    I must have an incredibly high creepy threshold as the doll doesn’t bother me and I don’t get what is so creepy about the safety pin.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    The doll creeps you out? Are you sure that is what creeps you out? Surely you saw the one after that before posting it to your own blog?

  • eight_of_nine

    No smiles for us, RDJ?  It’s okay, you’re still charming my pants right off.

  • Corsetmaker

    I like a rumpled, scruffy man. Neat, shiny types do nothing for me :)

    Not freaked or creeped out by any of them… dolls or pins. Does that make me a hard bitch, or everyone else over-sensitive? 😉

  • Claudia Berry

    Who cares about the clothes.  He’s in my list.

  • music52809

    LOVE THIS about Robert D., Jr.  He’s one of my favorites.  I think he has spent a LOT of years being the ‘underdog,’ in the whole Hollywood scene, and getting ‘harassed’ by the public servants out there to protect our safety and security (no opinion, one way or the other, it just IS…), and you know, he just doesn’t give a ____!  He does what HE needs to do, and what’s GOOD for HIM, and lets the ‘chips fall where they may!’  You GO, RD, Jr.!  I LOVE it!  Yeah, the doll is REALLY creepy, and the safety pin kinda wigged me out too.  I know, I know…  A lotta people have piercings…

    Thanks TLo for all your wonderful writing and coverage of all these magazine covers, and runway events, and red carpet ‘doins,’ and TV shows.  Good Lord, it’s a full-time job! .sb

  • MoreShoes

    I see these photos and wonder when it happened that he lost his hotness? I used to have a crush on him but now he just looks so …blah

  • glennethph

    Douche. Ugh.

  • marlie

    Love the tie with the navy suit & love the pic of him on the railing. Love RDJ, period. 

  • NC_Meg

    I read where you called us kittens and mistakenly thought there would be kittens in the pictures with RDJ. I was so excited. Oh well. It’s still RDJ.

  • OneTwoThreeFashion

    OMG… he is amazing… LOVE the picture standing on the balcony…. his personality overrides any clothes he picks… can’t even pay attention to the outfits.

  • OneTwoThreeFashion

     * * * * * *  S I G H  * * * * * *

  • Nonnah

    I disagree.  I think he wears clothes well. His taste is just not for everyone. 

  • TigerLaverada

    Love him. Love his one of a kind style, which no one else could possibly pull off. He’s great looking, super talented, and has come back from near fatal problems. LOVE HIM. 

  • Roman000

    The stylist/creative director needs to be FIRED. Horrible photoshoot. 

  • Tigerfly

    Love me some RDJ and I’m thrilled to see that he has upgraded his footwear to boots from Justin Beiber’s sneakers.

  • butter nut

    5 pictures & only 2 outfits?  sounds like they dropped another story & needed a filler.  oops.

  • nycfan

    What I can’t figure out is how the quintessential douche of the ’80s (if not starting with, then best exemplified by, his character in Weird Science) managed to become attractive in middle age.  I would have thought he was going to go the way of James Spader, another classic 80s douche, and become increasingly repulsive over time, but the opposite has happened.  He can’t model clothes, though.

  • bluefish

    I love him — Makes me happy just to see him healthy and seemingly content — and working.  I would imagine that in real life his schtick, if he kept it up beyond a certain point, would become pretty annoying — but I’ve wondered sometimes if that’s just his Hollywood armor.  He’s been through a lot and is such a talented actor and charismatic looney.  The white suit and black boots are killer on him.

  • Amy Ennis

    In the thumbnail, the doll looked like some sort of pile of lace. Then I saw that it was a doll. I love that shot. It’s very man-child. I love the way he’s cradling it. Almost as if she is his therapist. 

  • mrspotts66

    he’s one of my five, and i don’t care what he’s wearing.  he looks amazing – healthy & happy.  thrilled that he’s come back into his own.  the safety pin picture rocks.

  • Judy_J

    Love me some RDJ.  Thanks, guys!

  • Emily

    love him.  love the white suit.

  • poggi

    I don’t love the safety pin shot, but I have a hangup about needles.  His expression though is great.  I love the railing picture.  I like that these pictures are about him and not so much about the clothes, but I guess that is probably due to his personality more than anything.

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    Meh.  So sloppy.  Something about RDJ creeps me out.

  • bellafigura1

    He’s a movie star, old skool.

  • boweryboy


    That is all.

  • bitterk

    HIs feet have never looked better

  • frankystein123