Robert Downey Jr. could have lost his career as an actor to drug problems. Mel Gibson’s help gave Downey a second chance.
Robert Downey Jr. got into some trouble for drug and weapon possession. He was caught with cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and guns over the course of about 5 years from 1996-2001. He was first arrested in ’96. He was on parole a month later and again on drugs.
He was caught when he wandered into a neighbor’s house and fell asleep in one of their beds. His troubles continued when he missed required drug tests over the next few years. He was found with drugs again in 2001.
Mel Gibson would help Downey’s career when he paid the insurance bond for Downey in 2003, so that he could act in The Singing Detective. The Singing Detective was his first big screen movie since rehabbing from his drug issues. In his contract for the movie was that he would receive 40% of his pay after completion of the movie to ensure that he didn’t relapse into addictive behaviors.
That clause, receiving 40% of his pay after the movies were done, would be present in later contracts for other movies. As you probably know, he's kept out of trouble and has had a major revival and starred in popular movies such as Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, and the Avengers.