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As Oppenheimer hit screens during the actors’ strike this summer, Robert Downey Jr. was not able to attend the premiere or promote the film. Instead, he screened the movie in the Hamptons. Downey Jr. sat next to Paul McCartney and was so starstruck that he couldn’t pay attention to what was happening on screen. 

Robert Downey Jr. was completely starstruck by Paul McCartney

Downey Jr. could not attend the premiere for Oppenheimer due to the actors’ strike. Instead, he hosted a small premiere in the Hamptons and invited everyone he knew who was staying in the area.

“I invited everyone who was in the Hamptons,” he said on Jimmy Kimmel Live, “and for the first time in my whole career, strangely, everyone RSVP’d.”

Paul McCartney holds a guitar and lifts his fist into the air.
Paul McCartney | Jim Dyson/WireImage

Many celebrities attended, but Downey Jr. was the most starstruck by McCartney, who sat next to him during the screening.

“I sit down, and the movie starts and I realize I’m sitting next to Paul McCartney,” he said. “And I was like, dude, Paul McCartney RSVP’d and he’s sitting next to me. And then I was just like, smelling his cologne, and I started like, breathing in the same rhythm as him. I didn’t even watch the movie.”

Downey Jr. has been famous for decades, but even he can’t help feeling starstruck in the face of legends.

Robert Downey Jr. won a Golden Globe for his performance in ‘Oppenheimer’

Had Downey Jr. been able to focus on the screen, he would have watched himself give an award-worthy performance as Lewis Strauss. The actor has been the subject of Oscar buzz since the film’s release and he recently picked up a Golden Globe for Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. He beat out Willem Dafoe for Poor Things, Robert De Niro for Killers of the Flower Moon, Ryan Gosling for Barbie, Charles Melton for May December, and Mark Ruffalo for Poor Things.


Robert Downey Jr. Felt Cillian Murphy ‘Looked Through Me Like I Didn’t Exist’ in ‘Oppenheimer’

“A sweeping story about the ethical dilemma of nuclear weapons grosses 1 billion dollars, does that track?” he said in his acceptance speech, per Deadline. “No, unless and but because Universal went all in on Christopher Nolan, to direct Cillian Murphy with Emma Thomas producing with Emily [Blunt] and Florence [Pugh] and this cast and crew and helped them render a goddamn masterpiece.”

His co-star, Cillian Murphy, also picked up a win at the Golden Globes for Actor in a Drama Motion Picture.

Paul McCartney and Steven Spielberg saw the movie together

McCartney attended the Oppenheimer premiere with another living legend: Steven Spielberg. The pair attended the July screening as they both have homes in the Hamptons. 

McCartney and Spielberg have been friends for decades, with McCartney turning to Spielberg for advice on making a movie about The Beatles in the 1980s. 

“I talked to Steven Spielberg about it, and he was much more encouraging than Dick Lester,” McCartney told Rolling Stone. “He said Martin Scorsese might be a good person to talk to.”

While Scorsese has yet to make the definitive Beatles movie, he did make the documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World in 2011.