Robert Downey Jr. labeled the Channel 4 journalist a “bottom-feeding muckraker” after repeatedly being asked personal questions while promoting Age of Ultron.
Celebrity interviews can sometimes become excessively intrusive, crossing boundaries to attain that one headline-worthy moment. Robert Downey Jr. just like all the other Hollywood celebrities also has had his fair share of such interviews. However, the actor has usually maintained his composure with wit. But unfortunately, there was one instance, though, when he lost his cool and walked off the studio set, later calling the journalist in question a “bottom-feeding muckraker”.
Robert Downey Jr as Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer
What Made Robert Downey Jr Walk Off This Interview Set?
While promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Iron Man actor, Robert Downey Jr., had a challenging experience with UK Channel 4 interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy. The interviewer became notorious for its intrusive questioning and by then Guru-Murthy had also clashed with the legendary director Quentin Tarantino.
Throughout the interview, Guru-Murthy persistently pressed the actor, and gradually, the questions became increasingly personal. It became evident that the focus shifted from the new film to the actor’s controversial past long before the interview concluded.
Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame
First, the interviewer pestered the actor about a political comment he made almost a decade ago in 2008 to the New York Times. Things soon started to heat up, and led him to question “Are we promoting a movie?” although the actor tried his best to explain his comment and maintain his composure. Robert Downey Jr. stated,
“Things that you said in an interview seven years ago, I could pick that apart for two hours and be no closer to the truth than I’d be giving you some half-a–ed answer right now.—I was talking to the person who was doing the interview that day, and that just happened to be my opinion. That’s the nice thing, you can have opinions and they kind of change and flow.”
But things reached their boiling point when the actor was questioned about his relationship with his father and his history of drug abuse. That’s when the actor smiled and waved goodbye to the interviewer promptly leaving the premises.
Robert Downey Jr Talks About the Infamous Channel 4 Interview
The star later visited Howard Stern’s show and delved deep into his experience of walking out of the set. Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t generally lose his composure, so naturally, people wanted to know what happened as the star offered insights into his mindset during that particular moment. He explained,
“I just wish I’d left sooner. There’s an assumption that … because you’ve sat down there [in the interviewee’s chair], you’re going to be scrutinized like 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.”
Robert Downey Jr. in a still from Iron Man
He further continued saying,
“I’m one of those guys who is assuming the social decorum is in play and that we’re promoting a superhero movie, a lot of kids are going to see it. This has nothing to do with your creepy, dark agenda that I’m feeling, like, all of a sudden ashamed and obligated to accomodate your weirdo sh-t. My heart’s beating in my chest, this is the first interview of the day: what do you think – are you in Kumbaya land? I’m a 50-year-old guy, I use fancy words and yet I’m completely unevolved when it comes to simple boundaries. You know what, you’re weirding me out. You are a bottom-feeding muckraker.”
Evidently, the actor really did not appreciate the direction the interview took and didn’t feel any remorse for walking off in the midst of it.