My views on the Robert Downey Jr. interview walkout

robert

The past two days I have been reading everybody’s thoughts about this awkward Robert Downey Jr. interview with Channel 4 News reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy. If you haven’t seen it, where have you been?! But check out the video below. Basically, he walked out after Krishnan began asking him questions about his chequered past.

The interview has divided opinion – with some siding with Robert and some with Krishnan. While I don’t think Robert handled the question in the best possible way, I think the fault lies with the journalist. And I am a journalist, so I’m allowed to say that.

I saw Robert in person at the Avengers: Age of Ultron press conference this week and his huge ego was crystal clear. He thinks a lot of himself and he likes to be the star of the show, so I can imagine he was not expecting such a personal question in a film junket and I couldn’t gain control of the situation in the interview, so he walked.

"what are we doing here?"

“what are we doing here?”

However, Krishnan should not asking such prying questions in a junket situation. Those deep, personal questions are for prolonged interviews (more than 20 minutes) for a proper profile piece or special TV show. Not a junket slot that lasts five minutes and is focussed primarily on the film. Downey Jr. was expecting the same lines of questioning he had been answering all day – and even before the questions turned personal, he seemed uncomfortable and tired.

I don’t understand the purpose of Krishnan’s questions either. What does an old quote about his political views matter? Do we really care about celebrities’ political bias? Asking him stuff about his prison time and drug addiction was also pointless because Downey has said it all before. He was not going to get anything new within such a limited space of time. It was just futile trying to get someone to open up within 5-7 minutes.

Downey’s attitude was clear though, with him asking “are we promoting a movie?!” and “what are we doing?!” He made it clear he didn’t like the personal tone and that’s fair enough. You could see he was super pissed off but managed to keep an air of friendliness about the situation – but that’s because cameras were on him. So in conclusion, he didn’t react in the most professional way but it could have been handled far worse. He didn’t come off badly to me here though because I ultimately thought Krishnan was out of line.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Last week during a press junket interview with Channel 4, Robert Downey Jr walked out when the reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy started asking personal questions about his past (you can see the video and my thoughts on that here). […]

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