Watch: Robert Downey Jr. Walks Out on Interviewer Asking About His Past

Robert Downey Jr. seemed to be channeling Tony Stark’s intensity in an interview with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News, walking out of the room when asked about his past.

Journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy tweeted the video of his “Avengers: Age of Ultron” promotional interview with Downey Jr., captioning it, “A steely moment from Ironman.” In the video, Downey Jr. appears rather irritable from the start, but the interview really starts to go south when Guru-Murthy asks him to explain the following quote from a 2008 article in the New York Times: “You can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal,” Downey Jr. said.

When pressed on the subject of his past, the actor says, “Uh, are we promoting a movie?” As the interviewer attempts to justify his questions, Downey Jr. says, “I’m sorry, I, I really don’t — what are we doing? Bye.”

As he leaves the room, he says, “I’m sorry, it’s just getting a little Diane Sawyer in here.”

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” bows in theaters May 1.

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  1. Cherry Gray says:

    A journalist has the right to ask whatever question they wish; the artist has the right to not answer the question. It is against journalistic principals to restrict the questions a journalist may ask. These principals are commonly ignored by publicists, producers and artists. A news outlet should not agree to restrict their questions to help movie studios promote their products. The classy thing for an artist to do is simply say, with a smile, “I don’t have an answer to that,” or “I’m not interested in talking about that,” but to be offended is an arrogant response. It feeds into the idea that the artist is “bigger” and more important than the ideals of a free press.

  2. Marilyn says:

    Good for u Robert. None of anyone’s business

  3. el says:

    i dont blame robert downey jr for walking out what does the end of the end of the interiew have anything to with his movie

  4. sharadiva says:

    Thank you for walking out Mr. Downey. I was about to smash my monitor because Guru-Murthy was so annoying, off-point and blatantly rude. But you stopped the madness and I still have my monitor.

  5. bob says:

    Well, good for RDJ in this instance. I’m not necessarily a fan, but I think I would have felt the same way as RDJ did, and either end it politely as he did, or stay and get real pissed that the interviewer was bringing up long-ago, previously hashed out issues. Better to end friendly if possible.

  6. johndgriffiths says:

    The full quote is something like “You seem nice enough, but I’m sorry, it’s just getting a little Diane Sawyer here.”

  7. r patton says:

    Funny… I have seen him interviewed many times on Howard Stern and he has never walked out. Howard gets way more personal than Guru. I think it was more the his publicist in the background pulling him out.

  8. Well its simple get rid of arsehole interviewers Like Guru Murphy[shit what an awful name )if you invite someone to an interview about an upcoming event then stick to the
    subject but oh no the usless piece of shit wants to senationalise himself and doesn’t care if he offends his guest Well GM I hope many more invited guests turn you down as you do not deserve their time just so you can feed your misguided self importance

  9. Typical of Guru Murthy. He wants to make an innocuous interview to promote a movie franchise controversial by asking the actor about his personal life. He may as well have said, “here’s a question about the worst time in your life that’s going to really upset you…” He knows the business well and knows that a journalist has to get approval from the actor or their publicist before bringing up those kind of questions. RDJ has been pretty open and frank about his issues in the past so why bring it all up now?

  10. jennifer probert says:

    overcoming drug and alcohol abuse is really hard and downey junior is a testament to awesome human will power. he doesn’t need his past narrated to him, he is not that person anymore. and the questions asked were really stupid, not well thought out at all.

  11. Dan says:

    Actually., I am happy to see Robert walk out when the interviewer leaps around trying to get headlines.
    When promoting a movie, the idea is to sell tickets. Talking about prison and drugs, rehab… have the opposite effect.
    Shame on the interviewer for his callous attempt to create a news story.
    Reminds me of the paparazzi who picks a fight and the pictures sell for that much more!

  12. John Maguire. says:

    Silly boy – not an iron man after all.

  13. Gerrie Purcell says:

    RDjr was obviously trying to be polite and responsive in the interview up to the point Guru-Murthy overstepped the mark. It was low blow and downright sneaky and unjustified as even he was struggling to make any link to the point and the film and was obviously attempting a mini-moment expose.
    My usual response to ‘star walks out of interview’ would be ‘ah, prissy precious Hollywood Prince!!’ But in this case RDjr has gone up in my estimation and Guru-Murthy down. It was cheap shot and just plain flabby, lazy journalism. Bad call Channel4.

  14. charlesamiller says:

    Downey is on the Disney leash now. His orders were to discuss the Disney property and nothing else. The normally-talkative Downey didn’t walk out of this interview as a matter of personal principle; he walked out because the Disney muzzle prevented him from uttering a word.

    • stevenmillan says:

      One wonders how Robert Downey Jr. would have reacted if he was asked if he and several celebrities stars,producers,and filmmakers plan on contributing to William Shatner’s Kickstarter project to save California’s waters from completely drying out. BTW: I have No Plans on seeing any of RDJr.’s IRON MAN and AVENGERS films anytime soon.

  15. Rob Runge says:

    Good For RDJ. Press Junkets are to promote a product. Not go dredge up quotes from 7 years ago and go after a person’s past. The man is extremely talented, has a beautiful family and he’s got his life back on track. He handled that with aplomb.

  16. Nathan says:

    Unwarranted invasion into an actor’s personal life has little to do with the job of interviewing an actor about a film role. It’s an abuse of process and an insult to someone who has crawled over broken glass to resurrect his personal life from ruinous behaviour to remade man. Anyone with a modicum of sensitivity would support this evolution and not try to throw the interviewee under the emotional bus.

  17. Jeff Taylor says:

    What a lame excuse for a journalist. His questions were simply idiotic.

  18. Sivam Ravi says:

    Why not ask these kind of questions about past life to corrupt politicians?…

  19. There are meaningful ways for an interviewer to connect a subject to their project, and their are pointless, wobbly and charmless ways — and Guru-Murthy went for all three of the latter. Downey Jr. has been fairly open, obviously, about his past, and I’m sure in the proper context and situation, he would have been again. The focus should be on how Guru-Murthy gave serious entertainment journalists a bad name by not forming, articulating his questions well, and for not quite getting his subject’s answers. Guru-Murthy seemed intent on landing some sort of gotcha/money-shot quote, while having us, the actor and Channel 4’s viewers believe he was going for something heady and deep. How transparent and embarrassing for Channel 4 . . . and to think, Downey Jr., flustered, blindsided and hurt as he was, still managed to leave saying the reporter seemed nice but that he wasn’t prepared for a Diane Sawyer-type interview. That’s a fair reaction (and a compliment — Guru-Murthy, shifty and sweaty and tongue-tied, is no Diane Sawyer obviously). Downey could have shown more grace — maybe he was jetlagged. He could have thrown a few bones like “I’m so grateful I’ve grown and conquered some issues, and have more work to do.” But that’d be in a more serious environment, not in a cramped spot where someone is putting him on the spot, out of the blue, about some political quote he made years ago while cameras are rolling. Some finesse, please, Channel 4.

  20. First, they need to fire whomever wired him, his levels were horrible. Second, don’t the reporters usually have a list or a talk to about what the actor will and will not discuss? You could see the actors breathing change, he was not comfortable with this, and I would bet money that the reporters were told not to discuss person stuff. It really has zero relevance to the movie release. Report is just a dumb ass trying to make a name for himself. That was his 15 minutes of fame.

  21. Bobbi says:

    I have a brand new respect for Robert Downey Jr…

    • Sue says:

      Absolutely, he was more graceful than that interviewer deserved.

      • Downey was graceful time, and again. I think he made it loud and clear to the interviewer, and, certainly with his response, that it was 7 years ago, and opinions change– should have been more than sufficient, with anyone respectful in a room. the personal questions had absolutely nothing to do with the film, were ill-conceived, sensationalistic, small-time crap. GuruM sucked all the energy dry out of the room, when everyone got up, Guru was still Sitting, and still thinking what about me. You sit in a chair while your interviewee gets up? Worst of all interviewer asked the most banal, unimaginative questions. Downey did his best to help with a narrative. Guess what Mystery is better than knowing every personal detail of a human being. Interviewer incredibly disrespectful, and unprofessional. press junkets have rules, and a list of questions, and this guy pressed on, creepy. In the end those questions were answered, long ago,
        again and again, its evident in Downey’s bountiful life.

  22. Steve says:

    I’d fire that inept interviewer and get one who can string words together in a sentence without stammering.

  23. Zaza says:

    unbelievable that he asked questions about his past. I mean you supposed to ask about the movies. His past is non of your bisness

  24. Marilyn Glasser says:

    Good for Mr. Downey. And, I beg to differ. He did not seem irritable at all; possibly a little tired and therefore distracted given the press schedule, but I thought he was gracious and forthcoming in his responses, and similarly so in his departure. There are so many other great questions that could have been asked of him, the man has gotten on with his life, and I think his response regarding things he said in the past rings true for a great many of us as. Life goes on, we evolve, and thinking changes for the better, hopefully.

  25. Truth Teller says:

    The truth is you he absolutely nothing wrong by leaving the interview when he did, and he actually handled his exit nicer than he needed to. The interview got incredibly awkward and was not 100% professional, despite the fact that Robert tried to answer the personal questions calmly.

  26. Robert Moore says:

    Guru-Murthy should’ve stuck to what he was assigned to do, which was to talk to Downey about the movie. He just ruined any credibility he had in trying to be Diane Sawyer.

    • He’s just trying to be a controversial and “hard hitting” interviewer. The trouble is that he knows damn well that he needs to get approval from the actor to do that kind of interview and that involves a pitch, some effort & background negotiation. That’s a skill in itself. For example, David Frost did it with aplomb, particularly with Richard Nixon. I honestly don’t know how Guru Murthy thought this wouldn’t end in recrimination. To correct another commenter, it’s Guru Murthy who is a silly boy. He was on the receiving end of perhaps the most acerbic interview ever. Have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjC3ycS_2js

  27. Marlene says:

    Having just come back from London, this twit interviewer is very symbolic of the BS journalism being practiced in the UK. Mindless garbage spews from these rookie clowns that clog the airwaves on the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. Robert Downey Jr. gave him move than enough of his time.

  28. 1favored says:

    Good for you Robert Downey Jr.! The “interviewer” was wrong. I don’t think anyone needs to answer for their personal business, talking about his father and drugs. It’s not a Dr. Phil session. It’s was suppose to be a promotional segment for a movie. I am sick of “gotcha and tabloid journalism”!!!

  29. ric Sebastian says:

    Good for Robert Downey!! He was NOT “rather irritable from the start”, as you wrote. He was very nice to a jackass interviewer who was looking to get some notoriety for himself.

    • Ben There says:

      Yes. You hit the nail on the head. “Irritable from the start” ? Where does that ‘observation’ come from ? The author of this article reads too much of nothing into RDJ’s maanerisms and body language. Looked to me like RDJ was making the best out of this obligation, and was quite well spoken throughout. He handled himself and this buffoon quite nicely.

  30. JD Massier says:

    The guy asking the questions is obviously a liberal dumbass.

  31. Curt Riess says:

    Robert was right to walk out. Either one promotes a movie or one does an interview about the private life. Tony Stark should ne doing a different interview gig in the future.

  32. bondelev says:

    I find it interesting that the interviewer is well lit, but RD Jr. seems completely unlit.

  33. jjl80126 says:

    Wow, its just Manny Being Manny. He gets more pub for his comic book movie. Big Deal. Settle Down.

  34. Sara Freeland says:

    He is an actor. He owes us nothing more then the best movie he can make. He was perfectly within he’s right to walk out.

  35. Jean Donahue says:

    I don’t blame him at all. The past is past. He has moved on and rightly so. He is a different person now. Good for him!!

  36. Mary says:

    Go Robert!

  37. Jay says:

    This is reminiscent of the time he interviewed Tarantino for Django Unchained. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrsJDy8VjZk

  38. Steve Webber says:

    No should interview him again. Ever. All the interviewers walk away from him. If he can’t answer a simple question with becoming a huffy puffy pissy good luck and be gone.

  39. arundale says:

    From urban dictionary.com: n. English term, primarily used in United Kingdom. The literal meaning is “bottom” or “rump”; aka backside, buttocks, sacrum, tail end. This lends itself to the slang meaning of “ass,” or “clueless person of arrogant stupidity.” It is not always directly translatable to American slang. For example, if you used the term “prat hat” in the U.K., you would likely be laughed out of town by the locals.

  40. arundale says:

    Krishnan Guru-Murthy is what is referred to as a pratt.

  41. That journalist is so dumb. Coming from England, I have seen him before, and I hate him more now!!!

  42. Andrea says:

    He handled it with class and shame on the interviewer for not catching a clue!

  43. you bet says:

    the interviewer is an ===hold with out imagination. good thing he did not meet Van Gogh!

  44. Rachel says:

    “Channeling tony stark?” Oh please! Robert Downey Jr. responded by excusing himself and leaving. There was nothing out of line or dramatic about that. The reporter tried to make a name for himself, by digging into stuff way too deep for a press junket on a superhero movie.
    Bad reporting & Shame on the news outlets for giving this press. title should read:
    Reporter realises hes not the next Diane Sawyer.
    Clumsy interview leads to irritated Super Hero
    Behind the scenes of a press junket : report finds new ways to waste interview time.

  45. Sharon says:

    I dont blame him to walk out why not talk about what his doing now and what he does for charity? RDJ has come so far from where his life began plz leave well alone somethings are best left unsaid and somethings are just too personal!

  46. Jeff Rivera says:

    Downey was incredibly polite and generous until he was pushed and then he even then, smiled and excused himself. What obligations do celebrities have to talk about their personal lives or the past if they don’t want to? I think the way Robert responded was completely understandable.

  47. Darren Stone says:

    I’m with RDJ on this one. Good for him to walk out.

  48. Tony says:

    Pathetic attempt to provoke and self promote. Let it be. No reason to ask those questions.

  49. I am very grateful for the grace Mr. Downey used while he was clearly made uncomfortable by the interrogatory nature if the interviewer .

  50. Asif says:

    Another classless interviewer thinking he’s all that important. Good on Robert to walk out on the douchebag.

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