Robert Downey Jr. Says the 2024 Oscars Felt Like His 'Wedding Night' with Wife Susan — Here's Why (Exclusive)

The newly-crowned Oscar winner tells PEOPLE he carved out an intimate moment with his wife when few were looking

<p>John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock</p> Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr.

John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock

Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr.

One special moment stood out to Robert Downey Jr. following his first-ever Oscar win.

At the 96th Academy Awards on Sunday, the star claimed the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his work in Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan and also starring Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh.

Speaking to PEOPLE afterwards, Downey, 58, said the supercharged experience reminded him of another memorable night with his wife, Susan Downey.

"We just said, let's just check in [with each other] tonight, because it was like, you know what this feels like? It's like our wedding night," he tells PEOPLE.

Related: Robert Downey Jr. Thanks His 'Veterinarian, I Mean Wife' Susan in Oscars Speech: 'You Loved Me Back to Life'

"There's this thing where there's all this stuff going on and it is in a lot of ways for other people," he says, including his late father, his three three kids AvriExton and Indio, and the couple's supportive circle of friends.

"But the best part of the night — sorry, world — was there was a commercial break and we just touched heads, like two dinosaurs that were letting each other know that we we were a couple. And it was great."

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr.

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr.

The actor previously earned two Oscar nominations: for his lead role in 1992's Chaplin and a comedic supporting turn in 2008's Tropic Thunder.

In his acceptance speech Sunday, Downey approached the microphone with quips saying, "I'd like to thank my terrible childhood and the Academy, in that order."

He then joked, "I'd like to thank my veterinarian — I meant wife — Susan Downey over there. She found me, a snarling rescue pet, and loved me back to life. That's why I am here. Thank you."

Downey was still working out his speech, which included heartfelt remarks for Nolan and his Oppenheimer cast (and a personal shout-out to his children) the morning of the Oscars, he says.

"Susan and I were trading anxiety level check-ins this morning," he tells PEOPLE. "So at certain points, without knowing what I thought I was going to say, she was giving me feedback in a vacuum about what it maybe should or shouldn't contain or eliminate. But it worked out fine and I could tell that she wasn't disappointed by the time I got back to my chair."

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p> Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey

Getting ready for the big night, Downey channeled any pre-show jitters toward creating a calm atmosphere.

"Even when we just checked into the hotel where we got ready, [Susan] comes in, she puts down her purse, she sits down and she starts. I have a 85-point process of making the room our own," he tells PEOPLE, grinning: "I was outside, I was rearranging furniture. I mean, it's pretty freaky."

Susan adds that also included "sage, incense."

The Oscar winner nods. "It was a little musty in there. Yeah, I'm the ambiance guy," he deadpans. "Oh my god, it's so romantic."

Related: Robert Downey Jr.'s Wife Woke Him from Nightmare About His Kittens to Break His Oscar News (Exclusive)  

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

Downey, who has referred to Oppenheimer as "the best film I’ve ever been in," previously told PEOPLE that while the awards recognition for the project is an honor for him, the real takeaway has been connecting with the cast.

"The reward was the experience. There is a bond, and we have just huge respect for each other," he said.

Costar Blunt added to PEOPLE, "I'm just happy we have each other. I feel like we've been such a little gang of this Oppenheimer ride, which seems to be forever lasting and extends beyond what any of us dreamt of."

Oppenheimer is currently streaming on Peacock.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.