"I always say too that if you want to judge a man or a woman then look at their kids."
Robert Downey Jr. says he wants to return to play Iron Man in the upcoming 'Iron Man 4' movie -- but only if Mel Gibson is hired to direct the sequel.
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Downey Jr. says that his return to the Marvel franchise blockbuster movies would be greatly helped if his friend Gibson was asked to be the director for the fourth film in the franchise.
Downey feels that it is time for Hollywood to forgive Gibson for things he has done in the past to alienate himself from the movie business. He feels it is time to give Gibson a clean slate that will allow him to prove that he has become a changed man.
"Nobody should make a case for somebody who just wants forgiveness but hasn't changed, but he's a fundamentally different guy," the 49-year-old told Deadline.
"I think it was just the very worst aspects of somebody's psyche being treated as though they were the blanket statement about a person.
"But honestly we are talking about a competitive business and it all comes down to this: because he is so gifted as a storyteller and a director, I don't know that he requires some sort of mass forgiveness.
"He has changed, but at the same time he's still Mel. He and I are so similar in so many ways. He really, honestly is the first to admit his character defects and also is just a great, great collaborative guy."
Downey Jr. has known Gibson for a long time -- and feels his close friend should be given a second chance. He tells anyone who doesn't believe that Gibson has changed should just look at how great he is with his kids.
"I always say too that if you want to judge a man or a woman then look at their kids," he said.
"He has the healthiest, happiest, most productive kids you could ever meet or know, and I'm fortunate to be friendly with several of them.
"He did a lot right, and there's stuff he taught me about parenting that didn't sink in at the time but have proven to be true."
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Gibson has directed multiple big time films that include 'Braveheart' and 'The Passion of the Christ.' He earned a bad reputation in Hollywood after a 2006 anti-Semitic rant at a Jewish cop when he was pulled over, and later investigated for domestic violence in 2010 in an incident involving his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.