So, [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) has been out in select parts of the world for about a week, but it comes out today in America, and of course one of its stars is billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark. Oh wait, that's actually Robert Downey Jr... they're both so cool that it's difficult to differentiate between the two sometimes. Anyway, RDJ recently was in the news for refusing to answer some more personal questions from British journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
Here were his words to Howard Stern on the matter, which caused a lot of controversy and went somewhat viral last week. It seemed that while Guru-Murthy wanted to talk about RDJ's troubled past, he was more interested in plugging his film.
Here's Downey Jr. on the events that transpired during the press event:
“I just wish I’d left sooner. I’m one of those guys who I’m always assuming the social, kind of, decorum is in play. And that we’re promoting a superhero movie, a lot of kids are going to see it, and this has nothing to do with your creepy, dark agenda that I’m feeling all of a sudden, like, ashamed and obligated to accommodate your weirdo shit.”
Downey Jr. referred to the journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy as “a bottom-feeding muckraker.”
Guru-Murthy insists that RDJ's PR people had to have been at least somewhat prepared for this line of questioning. He wrote a piece in The Guardian about what happened and more broadly the process of press junkets:
“We don’t do promotional interviews on Channel 4 News. We agree with PR people that as well as talking about a new movie for a while we want to ask wider ranging questions on relatively serious topics, and we don’t guarantee to run any answers in particular. When Robert Downey Jr.’s PR man rang up asking what we wanted to talk about, we said we had no particular agenda but would ask about the new Avengers superhero movie and his recovery from jail and drug abuse to Hollywood stardom.”
Downey Jr. didn't mention these comments, but he did have a little bit more to say about press junkets in general... which, to be fair, can be a little bit excruciating, tiresome, and possibly controversial for stars.
“The assumption is that there’s a button that because you’ve sat down there you’re going to be scrutinized like you’re a kiddie fiddler who’s running for mayor. What I have to do in the future is have to 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.”
Yes, I do agree with RDJ here that if he were to get into a fight with an entertainment journalist it would make for quite the story. I'm sure whoever that writer was would wait for his black eye to heal before firing off one of the coolest stories ever.
But, on a more serious note, I agree with what RDJ has to say here for the most part. I know that celebrities are often thought of as having easy lives and that they don't have any serious problems like the rest of us. We put them in this ridiculous spotlight and expect them to behave how we want them to.
But, having witnessed the press junket circuit and process first-hand, I know how brutal it can be. For someone like Downey Jr. who wants to move on in his life, bringing up things that happened years ago will certainly catch him off-guard and at the very least annoy the man.
Regardless, RDJ handled this how I think I would have. He successfully removed himself from a situation that made him extremely uncomfortable. Good on him.
Here's the entire Howard Stern interview via Soundcloud:
(Via: Entertainment Weekly)