"I just feel like they were the initial people…and I always liked particularly when they disagreed because that meant I could go see which one I agreed with, which would vary from year to year," Downey Jr. said.
The Ironman star was joined by Todd Phillips, who directed The Hangover and Downey's wife, producer Susan Downey.
She was valedictorian of Schaumburg High School's class of 1991. She wanted to show him her high school while they're in town but said they wouldn't have time.
"Just to be sincere about it, like, that's where I spent so much of my formative years and deciding where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do and stuff. And, I'm sure it's still there," she said.
Robert Downey Jr. received the Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award and took part in a discussion led by Phillips.
Money raised at the event benefits the Siskel Center's presentations, lecture series, and discussions with visiting scholars and filmmakers.