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Kid cries because Robert Downey Jr. not really Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. smiles at young Jaxson Denno, and then comforts him when he starts to cry.Heather Denno

Sunderland resident Heather Denno thinks actor Robert Downey Jr. is good-looking — “gorgeous,” if you want to know the truth — but she wouldn’t have walked down the street to see him film a scene this week if her husband didn’t make her.

“Yeah, my husband’s a huge ‘Iron Man’ fan. He said you have to take Jaxson down to see ‘Iron Man,’” Denno told us, referring to the couple’s 1½-year-old son. “But I felt weird, like a tourist in my own town.”

Downey has been in Western Massachusetts for a few weeks shooting “The Judge,” a dramedy costarring Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Leighton Meester, and Billy Bob Thornton. When he’s on the street, as he was when Denno wandered past with her son in a wagon and her dog on a leash, Downey draws a crowd.


Robert Downey Jr. comforted Jaxson when he started to cry.Heather Denno

She stood and watched for a few minutes and then returned home. But Denno hadn’t taken any pictures of the actor so her husband asked her to go back. That’s when Downey noticed Jaxson, began waving to the little boy, and finally came over to say hello.

“I said to my son, ‘Hey, here’s ‘Iron Man,’ but he didn’t have the red suit on so Jaxson put his hands over his face and got upset,” said Denno.

Maybe because he plays a superhero, Downey knew just what to do and say to calm the kid.

“He was amazing. You could tell he was a father,” said Denno. “He was so sweet and nurturing.”

And what did her husband think of her brush with greatness?

“He had joked that if I got a picture with [Downey], he’d give me $100,” said Denno. “He still hasn’t paid me.”