10 Actors Who Put Insane Effort Into Details Nobody Noticed

3. Robert Downey Jr. Proved He Wasn't Right-Handed To Portray Chaplin

Margot Robbie Suicide Squad

Robert Downey Jr. is a consummate professional, and he's always been the kind of actor who puts his everything into a role. When it came time for him to portray silent movie star and director, Charlie Chaplin in his eponymous film, he gave one of his best performances.

RDJ was fascinated with Chaplin, and he studied the filmmaker extensively to prepare for his role. In the end, he won the part over 30 actors vying for the role, and much of that success came from how much work he put into channeling Chaplin in his performance.

The one thing he did that hardly anyone in their right mind would ever notice had to do with the way Charlie Chaplin played tennis. As it happens, Chaplin held the racket in his left hand, but RDJ learned the game while playing with his right, dominant hand.

To become Chaplin, and for only a very small part in the film, the actor spent months learning to play tennis with his left hand. He also learned to play the violin with the same hand. This is something nobody watching the movie would have noticed. There wasn't a critic alive in 1992 who would have cried foul at seeing Chaplin play tennis in one scene with his right hand, but RDJ didn't care. He wanted his performance to be as close to real-life as he could, and that's exactly what he delivered.


Jonathan is a graphic artist, illustrator, writer, and game designer. Jonathan retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects. He writes for ScreenRant, CBR, NerdBastards, Listverse, Ranker, WhatCulture, and many other sites online. You can check out his latest on Twitter: @TalkingBull or on his blog: jonathanhkantor.com