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Robert Downey Jr. shows emotional range it takes to play Iron Man

Technically Incorrect: Appearing with Jimmy Fallon, Tony Stark brilliantly demonstrates the breadth of spontaneous feeling that lives within his talent. Watch what happens when he smells bacon.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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You see. Only the finest can do this. The Tonight Show/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Casting agents choose superheroes for their chiseled faces and stoic countenance.

At least, that's what the end product would have you believe.

But inside the true greats is a multifaceted actor, ready to twist your feelings and turn your stomach with just a flicker of an eyebrow.

I now know this after watching Robert Downey Jr. offer a glorious gamut of inner depth while appearing on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon.

Iron Man is on a tour of interviews all around the globe to promote "Avengers: Age of Ultron," which by my count is the 11,372nd movie of the last decade to feature one or another superhero from the Marvel superstable.

Some interviews went not so well. In others, he was asked about important social issues such as the Apple Watch. (Iron Man's verdict: "Meh".)

Last night, though, Fallon challenged him to show the full range of his abilities as an actor.

Could he flip from being annoyingly philosophical to fishing for compliments? (Isn't that the very description of an actor's everyday behavior?) He most certainly could.

But the minute he was asked to act as if he was smelling bacon, well, not even Brando could have done it better. He smelled with his eyes and his mouth, which worked in unison to express a visceral inner need. If you don't guffaw by this point, you are immune to the joys of the human spirit.

It's easy to look at some superhero actors and decide they have the breadth of a nose hair.

Downey Jr. showed last night that true heroism means heeding the people's calling and answering it to their emotional satisfaction.