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Robert Duvall dons the robes for his role in 'The Judge'

(L-r) ROBERT DOWNEY JR. as Hank Palmer and

(L-r) ROBERT DOWNEY JR. as Hank Palmer and ROBERT DUVALL as Joseph Palmer in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Village Roadshow Pictures' drama "THE JUDGE," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Claire Folger / Claire Folger

There are few actors working today who can be considered living legends, but at 83 years old, Robert Duvall is certainly among them.

With six Oscar nominations under his belt, Duvall now takes on the title role of "The Judge," a small-town judge whose son, Robert Downey Jr.'s hotshot New York defense attorney, returns home for his mother's funeral only to get embroiled in defending his father, who has been accused of a hit and run.

Duvall may be selective these days on what he does, but he was hesitant to take on this role.

"I didn't want to do it at first because there's a lot of negative scenes in there," he explained. "Then I thought about it and talked to certain people I respect. Once I decided it was going to work, I was ready to jump in and do it.

"It's good to be in a big movie, especially with somebody like Downey," the actor continued. "He has the kind of leverage that he can get most anything done he wants to."

In his role as Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), Downey has famously improvised dialogue, and Duvall was on board with going in that direction when necessary.

"I know how to improvise and I like to when it becomes a legitimate thing," he said.

While Duvall doesn't feel New York City is the right place for him at this point in life, the actor reflects fondly on his theater experiences in the 1950s, when he roomed with Dustin Hoffman, as well as his 1977 turn as Walter Cole in David Mamet's "American Buffalo."

"It's the highlight of all the theater experiences I had through the years," he said.

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