Robert Downey Jr. Calls Guru-Murthy “A Bottom-Feeding Muckraker” For Dredging Up Actor’s Prison Time During Avengers Interview
Robert Downey Jr. has had time to reflect and cool down after storming out of an Avengers: Age of Ultron junket following an interviewer questioning him about his prison time. But he’s still miffed, to say the least.
You’ll remember that we reported last week that Robert Downey Jr. prematurely ended a junket interview to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron after questions about his prison time. The interview, with Channel 4 journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, was reminiscent of an altercation between the very same journalist and Quentin Tarantino some years ago over screen violence.
The Channel 4 newsreader is developing an unenviable reputation for opportunistic sidetracks, attempting to turn interviews designed to promote mainstream movies to a mass audience into human interest exposes. There’s a place and time for these things. Guru-Murthy hasn’t quite grasped when that time or place might be.
I don’t disagree that there is some merit to his thinking (for example, has Iron Man’s self-made success in some way mirrored Downey Jr.’s own battle with drug addiction, and previously with Tarantino how violence in the movies may or may not influence real life violence) but the mechanism by which he delivers his line of questioning is disingenuous, vicious in its opportunism and relentlessness, and poorly timed. At the very least, Downey Jr. should have been briefed that his past misdemeanours were going to be addressed and given the opportunity to opt in or out.
He was there to promote a mainstream superhero movie in order to fulfil contractual agreements with the studio. Anyone would forgive him a sense of anger at being suddenly asked how prison changed his life view, and how that, in some way, could relate to saving New York City from mythical mutants while wearing a weaponised iron suit that enables him to fly about like Superman.
Since rightly walking out of the interview, Downey Jr. has had chance to sleep on it and is still notably miffed. “I just wish I’d walked about sooner,” he told Howard Stern on his radio show, calling Guru-Murthy “a bottom-feeding muckraker.”
Downey Jr. felt the interviewer’s line of questioning had a “creepy, dark agenda” that had no place when promoting a superhero movie that a lot of kids were going to see.
The actor now has renewed reservations about the junket interview process. “The assumption is that there’s a button that because you’ve sat down there you’re going to be scrutinised like you’re a kiddie fiddler who’s running for mayor. What I have to do in the future is give myself permission to say, ‘That is more than likely a syphilitic parasite, and I need to distance myself from this clown.’ Otherwise, I’m probably going to put hands on somebody, and then there’s a real story.”