While promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron in London, Robert Downey Jr. was asked a personal question about his troubled past – you know, the kind of question we might actually want to know the answer to. Downey wasn’t having it and briskly ended the interview.
After asking the standard questions one asks of a star promoting a film, Channel 4 News’ Krishnan Guru-Murthy bravely ventures into personal territory. Things do not go well.
“You’ve talked in other interviews about your relationship with your father and the role of all of that in the dark periods you went through – taking drugs and drinking and all of that,” Guru-Murthy says, rather awkwardly. “And I was just wondering whether you think you’re free of all of that?”
Camera zooms in on an uncomfortable looking Downey.
“I’m sorry… I really don’t… What are we doing?” the actor says.
“Well, I’m just asking questions, that’s all,” says the interviewer.
At which point Downey smiles, waves, says, “Bye,” and gets up and leaves. “It’s just getting a little Diane Sawyer,” he adds, before exiting the room.
Guru-Murthy, I get that interviewing actors for 10 minutes while they’re on a press junket for a superhero movie is not the glamorous, hard-hitting journalism you had your hopes on, but asking a celebrity about their “drugs and drinking and all of that” in the last three minutes of an interview about their role as Tony Stark is bad form.
At the end of the clip we find Guru-Murthy laughing, shaking his head and sharing a knowing look with his cameraman that says, “Boy, these celebs, I tell ya!” But come on, man. If you’re going to sneak in the inappropriate question at the end, make it about something that happened last week, not something they’ve discussed at length with the folks who get more than 10 minutes. That’s not brave, it’s just rude.