This story first appeared in the Oct. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The right logo says a lot about a company. MGM wouldn’t be MGM without its lion. Amblin is defined by E.T. in a bike basket. And where would Pixar be without its hopping desk lamp? Then there’s the logo for Team Downey, the production house that Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan, opened a little more than four years ago. It’s in the shape of a yellow street sign, with a cutely drawn stick-figure mental patient in a straitjacket being chased by a stick-figure nurse with a butterfly net.
Which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about Mr. and Mrs. Downey, the most “perfectly symbiotic” marriage in Hollywood (at least according to Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie).
“I’m turning off the AC,” announces Susan, 40, getting up from her chair in the spacious “living area” of Team Downey’s three-story, pop art-filled headquarters on Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard. “It’s freezing in here!”
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“No, leave it on,” pleads Robert, 49. “This is a perfect temperature for creativity!”
Susan rolls her eyes — “Oh, please,” she mutters — then switches off the air conditioning and settles back down next to her husband, who is sprawled on his back on a leather sofa. It’s August, and she’s five months pregnant with the couple’s second child — their son, Exton, was born in 2012 — but whatever bump she’s sporting is concealed under a stylish shawl. By accident or not (if you believe what Freud said about accidents), the couple has arranged themselves for this interview in the position of a therapist and her patient — one sitting up, the other supine on the couch. If not for their frequent hand-holding and occasional smooching, you’d think you’d stumbled into a session.