After four minutes of questions about Tony Stark and two very tense, very awkward minutes of questions about his “dark periods,” Robert Downey, Jr. stood up and bailed on an interview with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy. But not before telling Guru-Murthy he’s “kind of a schmuck.”
“Are we promoting a movie?” Downey asked, after Guru-Murthy tried to get the actor to elaborate on something he said to the late David Carr in a 2008 New York Times interview.
“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. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics every since.”
Downey clearly didn’t want to analyze some “half-assed” thing he said last decade, and begged off by saying “I couldn’t even really tell you what a liberal is,” but Guru-Murthy haltingly tried to push the issue.
The last straw came when Guru-Murthy asked a tangled question about whether Downey thinks he’s free of drugs and alcohol, and maybe his father or something?
If this situation—a celebrity who showed up to do an uncontroversial promo piece and an interviewer who wants to press about political views instead—seems familiar, it may be because you’ve seen Guru-Murthy’s infamous 2013 interview with Quentin Tarantino.
This is one where QT, faced with questions about onscreen violence that he’s answered hundreds of times before, uttered the immortal lines, “I’m shutting your butt down!” and “This is a commercial for the movie, make no mistake”—but he didn’t actually get up and leave.