Robert Downey Jr Storms Out Of Channel 4 Interview

Ben Arnold
Contributor

Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy must have been having flashbacks from the time he was berated by Quentin Tarantino for asking difficult questions.

Because yesterday, Robert Downey Jr stormed out of an interview with him, after he started to ask about his drug-using past.

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In a deeply awkward exchange, Downey Jr branded Guru-Murthy a ‘schmuck’ for asking the difficult questions, and abruptly ended the chat, which he thought was purely intended to promote his latest movie 'Avengers: Age of Ultron’.

Things started to get testy when Guru-Murthy asked about previous comments Downey Jr made years ago about his politics changing after he’d been in prison.

Downey Jr served time in 1999 after missing drug tests required for previous charges which saw him arrested for drug possession and trespassing.

After his prison term, he told the New York Times in 2008: “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.”

But it clearly wasn’t something he was comfortable talking about, saying: “I could pick that apart for two hours and be no closer to the truth than giving you some half-a**ed answer right now. I couldn’t even tell you what a liberal is.”

Things deteriorated further when he then started to broach Downey Jr’s 'dark times’ using drugs, and his relationship with his father, the director Robert Downey.

He might be best known for playing playboy Tony Stark these days, but there was a time in the 90s that he was rarely out of the headlines for wildman-style behaviour.

This certainly didn’t go down well.

“I’m sorry, I, I really don’t… what are we doing?” says Downey Jr.

“I’m just asking questions,” replies Guru-Murthy.

“Bye,” replies Downey Jr, standing up and leaving. “You seem OK, I’m sorry, it’s just getting a little Diane Sawyer, and you’re kind of a schmuck.”

Diane Sawyer is the US journalist who tends to delve into the more murky areas of celebrities’ pasts, but usually it’s something they’ve signed up for beforehand.

Guru-Murthy has form in this clashing with interviewees, however.

Quentin Tarantino famously 'shut down’ the presenter for going off the topic of movie promotion in 2013, when the director was promoting 'Django Unchained’.

Questions about his predilection for violence in his movies didn’t sit well, the director becoming visibly angry over his line of questioning.

But what do you think?

Was it fair enough that Downey Jr stormed out? Or is he fair game, with Guru-Murthy asking questions which many fans might want to hear the answers to?

Let us know in the comments below…

Image credits: Channel 4