British interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy pushed Age of Ultron star Robert Downey Jr. a little too far during a recent press interview, causing the actor to walk out half way through after being asked probing questions concerning his well documented chequered past.
The interview started out civil enough, but quickly derailed after RDJ felt Channel 4 presenter Krishnan was wandering inappropriately off-topic. Trouble began when the interviewer brought up a 2008 interview with The New York Times, in which RDJ was quoted saying his political stance changed after he spent time in prison.
I don't want to pry, so if you don't want to talk about it that's fine. What you said to The New York Times once was, it was after your incarceration, and you said 'you can't go from a $2000 dollar a night hotel suite to a penitentiary and understand it and come out a liberal. i just wondered what you meant by that.
Well the funny thing is - and I appreciate your point of view - things that you said 5 or 7 years ago or things that you said in an interview that made sense to you at a time, I could pick that apart for 2 hours and be no closer to the truth that i'd be giving you some half-assed answer right now.
I couldn't even really tell you what a liberal is, so therein lies the answer to your question.
Fair enough - RDJ gives a satisfactory answer to the question, but Krishnan won't let it lie, pushing the actor further...
"Does that mean you're not a liberal? Or that you came out of prison not being a liberal?"
"Erm, are we promoting a movie?!"
Hang on, this interview is supposed to be about The Avengers, right?
The next question made things even more tense
You say we're promoting the movie, obviously you're doing a promotional round of interviews and that's why we're talking about the movie, but we'd also like to talk a little about you and I don't know how comfortable you are talking about yourself at the moment.
"You have as much time as anyone else will"
Judicious as always.
"Okay, let me just ask you a few more questions and you can answer them if you want to and not if you don't want to."
Then RDJ started looking to his side, most likely his publicist, suggesting he was becoming uncomfortable
Someone off camera tries to wrap it up, but Krishnan insists he has 3 minutes left
RDJ Responded with this fiery little comeback...
But, unperturbed, Krishnan pushes on:
The reason I'm asking about the past is 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 to and taking drugs and drinking and all of that.
I just wonder whether you think you're free of all of that?
I'm sorry, what are we doing?
Having had enough, RDJ gets up and leaves
Ever the gentlemen, Downey Jr. maintained his composure and quietly walked out, remaining magnanimous at all times.
Clearly the seasoned star has had a dark and troubled past, but an Avengers press interview hardly seems like the best time to dig up old bones.
You can watch the full interview here (the drama begins at about 5:00):
What do you think? Was RDJ right to walk out, or should he have answered the question?