We’re not gonna go biblical on you, man, don’t worry. But all that exposure to Jesus, not to mention all the time we are so not used to got us thinking about…returns and comebacks and all that jazz. Easter—happy Easter, BTW!—after all is the biggest of comebacks. Imagine: JC dying and then rising from the dead three days later.
And so a list. Of the coolest returns and comebacks in pop culture! Happy Easter, folks!
1. Robert Downey, Jr. His performance as Marvel’s coolest super hero Iron Man in 2008 may as well be one of the best comebacks in recent memory; it's been a long-time coming, too. “I’ve just been ready, and when the opening was there, I hit it,” RDJ tells Time magazine. By then, the actor had been clean for seven years, slowly rebuilding his career and credibility from the ground up.
Because before that, when roles in movies like Heart and Souls and Natural Born Killers proved too small for his talent, RDJ focused his energy elsewhere, going on a bender and getting arrested on a series of drug-related charges.
It was heartbreaking, seeing such brilliance, which we all first glimpsed in his magnificent portrayal of Chaplin in 1992, go to waste. In 2001, with the help of friends like Jodi Foster, Sean Penn, and Mel Gibson, RDJ finally got his act together, appearing in 16 movies (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Zodiac among them) before finally landing Iron Man where his personal demons made a cameo—his eyes show a lot!—before killing his beasts for good, we hope! It is but fitting that director Jon Favreau used AC/DC's thematic “Back in Black” in the opening scene of one of the highest grossing movies of all time to signal RDJ’s Hollywood comeback of the decade.
2. Gina Pareno. On the homefront, we have Gina Pareno, via 2006’s Kubrador. Thirteen years prior, in 1993, she appeared on Lovingly Yours, Helen, looking for another chance. Folks were startled to learn that the actress, “haggard and toothless” as Eric Caruncho describes her in an article for Sunday Inquirer Magazine, had just spent a year and a half in rehab as part of her sentence for drug possession.
Pareno first spent 2 months inside Makati City Jail before she accepted the rehab stint. Many friends offered to bail her out but Pareno insisted on doing time saying “Kung nasa labas ako, pwede ako tamnan ulit.” Time she did until finally, she was released and fell back to square one of her lone and long-standing dream. She nabbed a role on television remake of Darna and then finally, Kubrador. Apart from winning the Critics’ Choice award in the 39th Moscow International Film Fest, the movie came out a big winner in the Osion 8th Cinefan Film Fest. It won Best Picture, Best Director for Jeffrey Jeturian, and Best Actress for Pareno.