04/19/2012 07:10 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Robert Downey Jr. Talks Fatherhood In New Esquire Interview

Robert Downey Jr. might play a hero in his upcoming film “The Avengers” -- but in a new interview with Esquire, he says that's not the way he wants his 2-month-old son to see him in real life.

In the magazine’s May issue, Downey Jr. discusses his parenting philosophy and celebrates the birth of Exton Elias, his son with producer Susan Downey.

“Do I want to be a hero to my son? No. I would like to be a very real human being. That’s hard enough. … [H]ero to me is not applicable to the human experience.”

Looking ahead to the future, the actor reflects on successful parenting techniques by recalling his own father's inflexibility. “Sometimes you just gotta be drop-kicked out of the nest,” he notes, adding, “There are some parents who have really done it right and told their kid, ‘You know, we have this dough, none of this is for you. You have to get your own.’”

When it comes down to it, though, the actor says he’s not trying to stick to an iron-clad regimen: “Does any new parent, even if you’re not a first-time parent, ever really know what to do? Only thing you have to do, the only requirement, if you can hack it, is to not transfer your own discomfort in the moment to this fresh soul, right?”

To read more from Robert Downey Jr. on everything from marriage to addiction and the advice that changed his life, pick up the May issue of Esquire.