Robert Downey Jr walked out on an interview with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy after questions became increasingly focussed on the Iron Man star’s dark past. Krishnan referred to the time Robert spent in prison and his drug and alcohol abuse while referring to quotes the actor had given in the past before the seven-minute interview was cut short.
Robert, 50, was in London to promote his new film Avengers: Age of Ultron. He was his usual charming self throughout the exchange, until Krishnan asked Robert to explain a comment he made to the New York Times in 2008, in which he said, “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.”
Looking a little baffled by the question, Robert politely responded with a smile: “I could pick that apart for two hours and be no closer to the truth... I couldn’t even really tell you what a liberal is, so therein lies the answer to your question.”
Krishnan persisted, and then asked the star whether it meant that when he left prison more than ten years ago, he came out a liberal.
“ Umm, are we promoting a movie?” responded the married father-of-three, who has famously turned his life around following his conviction and after undergoing rehab, before explaining the quote was simply how he felt on that particular day.
It was Krishnan’s next question about Robert’s relationship with his father that broke the camel’s back. Before he could finish, Robert had stood up and started to remove his microphone, with Krishnan apologising for upsetting him. “ You seem OK, it was just getting a little Diane Sawyer and you’re kind of a schmuck,” Robert said before leaving the room.
While Robert has made no mention of the incident, Krishnan later tweeted a photo taken during the interview, with the caption: “ Oh dear. Abrupt end to our Robert Downey Jr interview when we started talking about jail and drugs.”
He later shared a link to a video of the interview, writing: “A steely moment from Ironman.”
It’s not the first time Krishnan has upset a celebrity interviewee. In 2013, he clashed with Quentin Tarantino after quizzing him about whether there’s a link between "enjoying movie violence and enjoying real violence".