Robert Downey Jr. Walks Out of Interview After Being Asked About His Past
Robert Downey Jr. sat down for an interview with Britain's Channel 4 News, and if everything went according to the actor's plan, we wouldn't be writing about it. Instead, things went according to interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy's plan, which meant Downey Jr. cut the interview short and walked out early after talk turned from his new movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, to his history of drug abuse and incarceration.
Guru-Murthy is a pro at agitating his interview subjects. In a notrious YouTube moment, he went toe-to-toe with Quentin Tarantino after the director snapped when Guru-Murthy's questions veered away from Django Unchained—and those methods are on full display here. Guru-Murthy uses the first half of his allotted time to lob soft ball questions about Age of Ultron, before he starts drawing parallels between Downey Jr.'s character, Tony Stark, and the actor himself. You can see Downey Jr. beginning to squirm, as clearly this can't be the first time a journalist has probed into his sketchy past.
Then Guru-Murthy brings up a decade-old quote Downey Jr. gave to the New York Times about emerging from prison a liberal. At this point, the interview has gone off the rails and despite eventually walking off, Downey Jr. handles the awkwardness like a pro. There's a time and a place for questions about Downey Jr.'s struggles with —and eventual triumph over—addiction, but a seven-minute interview at a junket for a superhero movie isn't that time.
As he walks out, Downey Jr. tells Guru-Murthy, "You seem ok, it's just getting a little Diane Sawyer and you're kind of a schmuck."