Robert Downey Jr. recalls troubled past at MTV Movie Awards

MTV Movie Awards: Robert Downey Jr. Opens Up About His Past

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Robert Downey Jr. brought his fellow Avengers to their knees while accepting the Generation Award at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday night.

Cast mates Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner all took the stage to present their co-star with the award, which Downey called "the recognition I so desire." They then fell to their knees as Downey talked about his memories of the first MTV Movie Awards, and "clawing" his way to the top.

"I partied way too much. I've squandered, resisted, repented," he said, imploring the audience to "dream big, work hard, keep your nose clean."

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Robert Downey Jr. recalls troubled past at MTV Movie Awards
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Robert Downey Jr. accepts the MTV Generation Award onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Robert Downey Jr. accepts the MTV Generation Award onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Robert Downey Jr. (R) accepts the MTV Generation Award from actors (L-R) Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, and Chris Evans onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: (L-R) Actors Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner pose backstage at The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage)
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The irreverent show doles out such cheeky honors as best kiss and best shirtless performance, but also serves as an unofficial promotional platform for the upcoming blockbuster season. Early winners included Shailene Woodley, Jennifer Lopez, Channing Tatum, and Dave Franco and Zac Efron for best duo.

As the first winner of the night for best female performance in "The Fault in Our Stars," Woodley, who also received the Trailblazer Award, gave an emotion speech dedicated to the book's author, John Green.

"He gave this world a beautiful masterpiece," she said directly to Green, who was seated in the audience. Woodley said that the book changed her life when she read it and that his words will transcend the test of time.

Take a peek at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards red carpet:

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Robert Downey Jr. recalls troubled past at MTV Movie Awards
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress/singer Jennifer Lopez attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Scarlett Johansson (L) and singer Kelly Osbourne attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Scarlett Johansson attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Scarlett Johansson attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for MTV)
Actress Shailene Woodley poses on arrival for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Shailene Woodley poses on arrival for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Shailene Woodley poses on arrival for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Model Cara Delevingne attends the 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Rebel Wilson attends the 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Actress Rebel Wilson poses on arrival for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Cara Delevingne attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Hailee Steinfeld attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Hailee Steinfeld attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Anna Camp attends the 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Miles Teller (L) and Keleigh Sperry attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Miles Teller attends the 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Host Amy Schumer attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Host Amy Schumer attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Model Emily Ratajkowski attends the 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Victoria Justice attends the 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Brittany Snow attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Rappers Fetty Wap (L) and Ty Dolla Sign attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Producer Judd Apatow (R) and Iris Apatow attend the 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actress Spencer Grammer attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Tyler Posey attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: TV personality Zuri Hall attends The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for MTV)
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Lopez won for best scared-as-s--t performance as the unlucky teacher in the campy thriller "The Boy Next Door."

Tatum, who danced on stage with his co-stars from the upcoming "Magic Mike XXL" while presenting the award to Lopez, went on to win a prize of his own for best comedic performance in "22 Jump Street."

"It's unfair for me to get an award for just hanging out with my buddy Jonah (Hill)," he said.

Films such as Marvel space adventure "Guardians of the Galaxy" and coed comedy "Neighbors" are also competing for the fan-voted Golden Popcorn statuettes. In addition to the kiss and shirtless categories, other wacky awards included best villain, and best WTF moment. Vin Diesel, Sofia Vergara and Mark Wahlberg are among the presenters.

Host Amy Schumer, still a rising comedian, joked at the outset that, "half of you don't know who I am and half of you think I'm Meghan Trainor," she said, referring to the "All About that Bass" singer, before poking fun at MTV, Hillary Clinton and even Harrison Ford.

"This is going to be the party of the year. I just hope Harrison Ford doesn't crash it," Schumer said, referring to the actor's recent plane crash.

But the real focus was on what's coming up at the multiplex this summer, with previews planned for "Pitch Perfect 2" and other films.

There was even an agenda behind Downey Jr.'s accolade, of course: the promotion of "Ultron." The "Iron Man" star introduced a new clip from the summer blockbuster, which bows May 1.

Stars like Rebel Wilson from other summer films were also expected to appear on the show in support of their projects.

The team behind "Paper Towns," an adaptation of John Green's novel, debuted a new clip from the summer film during the pre-show featuring the main characters (played by Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff) on a night of pranking.

Even host Schumer had a film to promote: "Trainwreck," a relationship comedy from director Judd Apatow that Schumer wrote and stars in.

Go inside the 2015 MTV Movie Awards:

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Inside the MTV Movie Awards
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Robert Downey Jr. recalls troubled past at MTV Movie Awards
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actresses Isidora Goreshter (L) and Shailene Woodley attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: (L-R) Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara and Shailene Woodley attend the 2015 MTV Movie Awards - Show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Sofia Vergara (L) and Joe Manganiello attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Nat Wolff (L) and Cara Delevingne speak onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Dave Franco (L) and Zac Efron accept Best On-Screen Duo for 'Neighbors' onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: (L-R) Actors Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: (L-R) Producer/writer John Green, actors Cara Delevingne, Justice Smith and Nat Wolff attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Robert Downey Jr. (R) accepts the MTV Generation Award from actors (L-R) Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, and Chris Evans onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: (L-R) Actors Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actresses Bridget Regan (L) and Anna Camp attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Anders Holm (L) and Logan Paul attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto Rodriguez/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: (L-R) Actors Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner pose backstage at The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Singer Charli XCX performs onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actresses Reese Witherspoon (L) and Sofia Vergara speak onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: (L-R) Actors Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Michael B. Jordan speak onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Zac Efron accepts Best On-Screen Duo for 'Neighbors' onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Lilly Singh (L) and Jerome Jarre attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Dave Franco (L) and Zac Efron accept Best On-Screen Duo for 'Neighbors' onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Zac Efron pose backstage at The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: (L-R) Model Cara Delevingne, Actors Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Nat Wolff (L) and Cara Delevingne attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Emily Ratajkowski and Zac Efron speak onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Rapper Fetty Wap (R) and musician Pete Wentz perform onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Anders Holm (L) and Logan Paul speak onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actors Chris Evans (L) and Scarlett Johansson attend The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: (L-R) Actors Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Evans speak onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Robert Downey Jr. accepts the MTV Generation Award onstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)
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