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Iron Man meltdown: Robert Downey Jr. brings a tot to tears

That moment you learn your hero's not who you thought he was — that's how it was for an 18-month-old Massachusetts boy who was brought to tears by Robert Downey Jr. 

Seems the kid expected to meet the real Iron Man. The one in the suit.

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Downey, who plays genius billionaire philanthropist playboy Tony Stark as well as the titular character in the "Iron Man" movies, had been in Sunderland, Mass., for a few weeks filming "The Judge" down the street from the Denno family when mom Heather Denno finally took up her husband's challenge to get a photo of the actor, the Boston Globe reported. And she brought son Jaxson, an Iron Man fan like his daddy, with her to meet the superhero.

Eventually Downey noticed the boy and started waving, then came over to say hello, the paper said.

"I said to my son, 'Hey, here's "Iron Man,"' but he didn't have the red suit on so Jaxson put his hands over his face and got upset," Denno told the Globe.

Cue the waterworks! However, when it came to calming down little Jaxson, Downey was a real superhero indeed.

"He was amazing. You could tell he was a father," Denno told the paper. "He was so sweet and nurturing."

The actor has two sons, one of whom, Exton, is coming up on the 18-month mark himself.

Once Downey talked to Jaxson, the tears turned off, the boy's mom told People. He was just "so confused because I kept telling him it was Iron Man and he knew it wasn't," she told the mag. "Well, not Iron Man in the suit."

Actually, we're surprised it wasn't Downey who shed a few tears: If you look closely at pics taken by Heather Denno, you can see the tot was wearing a Superman shirt.

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