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Robert Downey Jr. said he and Chris Evans will welcome MCU costars when they ‘retire their jerseys’

The actor said he and his costar knew when to wrap up their roles and had the power to do so.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) appear in “Avengers: Endgame.” Marvel Studios

SALT LAKE CITY — Robert Downey Jr. talked about having the power to end his time as Tony Stark following “Avengers: Endgame” for an interview with Disney’s Twenty-Three Magazine.

IGN reports the actor said he and Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, knew they had hit a point where they needed to bow out to allow other stories to be told. And while the actors are gone, Downey said he will still be there to “welcome others as they retire their jerseys.”

”We had to get off. We opted to, and knew it was part of the job to get off the bus while it rolled on to other destinations,” Downey said. “There’s something very sobering about it.”

Digital Spy also notes Downey, who was honored at D23 Expo as a Disney Legend, isn’t keen to discuss his “legacy.” Instead, he’d rather give the spotlight to Evans and Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo’s activism efforts.

“Mark Ruffalo is an activist, Chris Evans is a diehard American and proponent of true democracy,” he said. “I don’t really have the gumption, the skill set, the drive, or the humility either of those guys do.”

That’s not to say the Iron man actor hasn’t made an impact. I previously reported for Deseret News that both “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau and costars Tom Holland and Chris Hemsworth have both praised Downey for his mentorship offscreen.

“He has such great knowledge, and when he’s on a set as an actor he’s not just being an actor,” Favreau said in an interview with A.V. Club. “Maybe he would take a shot and help mentor some younger actors throughout. He already does it informally off-screen, but to be a director, too, I think it would be wonderful.”

As for Downey’s future plans, Herb Scribner wrote for Deseret News the actor doesn’t necessarily want to be solely defined by his work with Marvel but hasn’t had to face his next steps just yet.

“I had an incredible 10-year run that was creatively satisfying. It was very, very, very hard work and I dug very deep, but I have not been forced to explore the new frontier of what is my creative and personal life after this,” he said.