While guest hosting The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Robert Downey Jr. met a young fan who claims the Iron Man star changed his life. Downey Jr. filled in for DeGeneres on a show this week. Downey Jr. and DeGeneres have bonded since she first interviewed him on her show over 15 years ago. She has had him on several times since to promote his Iron Man movies and upcoming film Dolittle. This is the first time he appeared on the show solo as host. Other clips from the show revealed that he'd be interviewing Rami Malek, inviting The Black Eyed Peas to perform their hit single RITMO, and playing games like "On the Spot" with the audience.

The first Iron Man came to theaters in 2008 and is based on the comic book series of the same name. CEO and scientist Tony Stark is living life large, thriving off the fortune of Stark Industries until he is shot down by a missile and captured in Afghanistan. With only an electromagnet preventing the shrapnel from the missile going into his heart, he works alongside fellow prisoner Yo Hinsen to build a suit of armor powered by the electromagnet and escape from imprisonment. Upon returning home, Stark perfects the suit to become the superhuman Iron Man.

Ellen Tube uploaded a video of Downey Jr. interviewing 10-year-old Vincent and his parents. Vincent's mother explained that Vincent stopped talking at the age of 1 and was diagnosed with autism at 4. When Downey Jr. asked what it was like to lose the ability to communicate, Vincent responded, "painful." Vincent's father explained that it was difficult for Vincent to make friends and express his needs. Vincent then proudly declared that he his parents bought him an Iron Man helmet. Once he put the helmet on, he was able to talk through it, using his imagination to channel Iron Man and become a more confident version of himself. Vincent's father claimed that Vincent "transformed into a different child" within 24 hours. Check out the video of Downey Jr. on The Ellen DeGeneres Show below:

Downey Jr. expressed that, despite having incredible guests and playing fun games with the audience, interviewing Vincent was the part he was looking forward to the most and that the story "really grabbed" him. Downey Jr. connected to Vincent and pointed out that they had something in common: both of them were able to use the same Iron Man mask. He also shared that it gave both of them "a voice." Downey Jr. then admired the side-by-side comparisons of Vincent and Downey Jr. dressed as Tony Stark and posing identically. The two then high-fived before Downey Jr. announced he'd partnered with Shutterfly to donate $20,000 to the family.

Many people underestimate the significant impact that superhero movies and comic books can have on young minds. Kids that watch these everyday characters transform into superheroes and save the world are inspired and believe they can do anything. It's important for children to have positive role models like these heroes to improve confidence. Specifically, people on the Autism spectrum are seeking examples of good role models and a chance to escape to a fantasy world they can understand, one that Marvel excels at creating. Celebrities like Downey Jr. who use the opportunity of playing a character like Iron Man to connect with people who look up to them should be commended.