“I have no set plans for my future,” says Robert Downey Jr., who plays the titular detective in the upcoming film Sherlock Holmes (due Dec. 25), directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch). “I’ve never had it this good — this is my day in the sun — and I certainly don’t want to look a gift horse in the molars. But [my wife] Susan and I want to begin to be in our lives as much as we are in our jobs. I’d love just to sit here and say, ‘What movie’s playing tonight?’ I’d love to finish the new book about D-day I’m reading. I love painting, I love music.”

The actor, who got his comeback in Iron Man in 2008 and will reprise the role in next summer’s Iron Man 2, isn’t even sure he wants to keep acting. “I’m f—ing really good at what I do — and have been for a long time, so I don’t waver on that,” he says. “But here’s the thing: I can only be a guy on a call sheet probably, I don’t know, maybe a couple more times. It’s something I’m so grateful to have in my palm, and yet I already see its inevitable decay.” Or not. Then again, he says with a weary smile, “If Sherlock Holmes performs well, I could be busy for the next 5 or 7 or 10 years.”

For more of our interview with Robert Downey Jr., plus inside scoop on the making of Sherlock Holmes, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands November 20.

Iron Man 2
  • Movie
  • 125 minutes