In Ben Stiller’s latest film, “Tropic Thunder,” Robert Downey Jr. busts out the prosthetic hair and make-up to portray a self-indulgent actor, whose penchant for getting “into character” has him walking around looking like a black man. In the film, Downey’s character, Kirk Lazarus is an Academy Award-winning actor, who stars alongside Ben Stiller’s character in “the most expensive Vietnam War film ever,” reports Entertainment Weekly.
The character being played by Lazarus is Sgt. Osiris, originally written as a person of color and Lazarus takes this detail to heart, determined to immerse himself in his character as much as possible by dyeing his skin. According to Downey, “If it’s done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago.” He adds, “If you don’t do it right, we’re going to hell.”
The movie’s premise is as follows: a group of narcissistic actors filming a big-budget, modern-day “Apocalypse Now”–lead by Ben Stiller’s action hero character–are abandoned by the director and writer of their film when their antics prove too much and they’re forced to fend for themselves. However, it seems they never realize that the cameras have stopped rolling.