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(CBS/AP) Robert Downey Jr. may not be a real superhero, but he sure acted like one for a little Massachusetts boy.

Heather Denno took her 1 1/2-year-old son Jaxson to watch filming for the movie "The Judge," starring Downey, in her hometown of Sunderland this week.

Downey, star of the "Iron Man" movies, spotted the little boy and went over to say hello.

Heather Denno told Jaxson that Downey was "Iron Man."

Confused because of the lack of the trademark metallic red and gold suit, Jaxson burst into tears. "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," the boy's mother said.

The actor put a comforting hand on the boy and calmed him.

Heather Denno toldThe Boston Globethat Downey was "sweet and nurturing," and she could tell he's a dad. For more on their encounter, visitThe Boston Globe.

"The Judge," which also stars Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga and Leighton Meester, follows a successful lawyer who returns to his hometown for his mother's funeral only to discover that his estranged father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. It's expected out in 2014.