Robert Downey Jr has opened up feeling like a "trust fund kid" because of Marvel and distancing himself from his role as Tony Stark.

Downey has stepped away from the Marvel Comics Universe after 11 years as Iron Man earlier this year, with his superhero character sacrificing himself to save the world in Avengers: Endgame.

In an interview with Off Camera with Sam Jones, Downey admitted that the huge success of the Avengers movies gave him a sense of security you normally didn't get as an actor.

While he did not discuss his pay packets in the interview, Downey is widely reported to have earned as much as $106 million for Endgame and $71 for the first Avengers movie.

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He's believed to have inked a deal that gave him back-end profit participation rather than a flat salary payment.

"There's always a dependency on something that feels like a sure thing. It's the closest I will ever come to being a trust fund kid," Downey said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Downey, who had arguably become the face of the MCU movies, understood why so many fans identified him with Tony Stark so closely.

"Initially, by creating and associating and synergising with Tony Stark and the Marvel Universe … and being a good company man, but also being a little off kilter, being creative and getting into all these other partnerships, it was a time when … what do they say? Owners start looking like their pets," he said.

But Downey said he had drawn on the concept of "aesthetic distance", something he had learnt during his theatre training.

"I am not my work. I am not what I did with that studio. I am not that period of time that I spent playing this character," he said.

"And it sucks, because the kid in all of us wants to be like, 'No. It's always going to be summer camp and we're all holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'."

The actor in a promotional poster for Avengers: Endgame. Photo / Supplied
The actor in a promotional poster for Avengers: Endgame. Photo / Supplied

While Downey found success with movies such as Less Than Zero and Chaplin in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he also struggled with drug addiction.

In 1996 he was arrested for possession of cocaine, heroin and a gun, and more trouble with the law followed in the years afterwards.
Downey finally got clean in 2003 after deciding to throw his drugs in the ocean and never looked back.