Robert Downey Jr. Jokes 'It Only Took 50 Years' for Him to Be on Cover of PEOPLE: 'I've Finally Arrived'

The Oscar winner is on the cover of PEOPLE, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty</p> Robert Downey Jr. on Feb. 9, 2024

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

Robert Downey Jr. on Feb. 9, 2024

Robert Downey Jr. is basking in being PEOPLE's latest cover star.

The actor won his first Oscar on Sunday for his performance in Oppenheimer, and on this week's cover of PEOPLE he smiles while holding his shiny new trophy.

On his Instagram Story Tuesday, Downey shared the cover and wrote, "I've finally arrived... I'm on the cover of @people magazine!!"

He then joked, "It only took 50 years...," a nod to PEOPLE celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

In this week's issue, Downey, who next stars in HBO’s The Sympathizer, says he has no plans of slowing down after reaching his Academy Award accolade: "I got a couple other tricks up my sleeve."

Related: Robert Downey Jr. Pulls the Ultimate Style Flex by Dressing Up Like His Oscar Statuette: 'Oh Happy Day'

<p>Robert Downey Jr./instagram</p>

Robert Downey Jr./instagram

During his accepatance speech Sunday, Downey, who'd been nominated twice before, thanked his wife and producing partner Susan, saying, "She found me, a snarling rescue pet, and loved me back to life. That's why I am here."

He also thanked, among others, Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan, producer Emma Thomas, and his costars Cillian MurphyEmily Blunt and Matt Damon.

<p>PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images</p> Robert Downey Jr. wins Best Supporting Actor at 2024 Oscars

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Robert Downey Jr. wins Best Supporting Actor at 2024 Oscars

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"Here’s my little secret: I needed this job more than it needed me. Chris knew it, Emma made sure that she surrounded me with one of the greatest cast and crews of all time. Emily, Cillian, Matt Damon ... it was fantastic and I stand here before you a better man because of it."

"You know," he added, "what we do is meaningful, and the stuff that we decide to make is important."

For more on Robert Downey Jr., pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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