It was a bad day at the office for Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday after he allowed himself to get riled by a British TV interviewer who, not for the first time, has managed to get under the skin of a Hollywood A-lister.
Downey Jr. is in the UK promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron, doing the usual round of interviews to sell the new movie. Part of this process usually involves sitting in a small room, often for hours on end, answering the same questions over and over again. It’s a routine that would certainly test the patience of even the most tolerant of jet-lagged movie stars.
The actor’s interview with Channel 4 News took a turn for the worst just over five minutes in, when interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy brought up the subject of Downey Jr’s well-documented turbulent past.
As Guru-Murthy proceeded with his line of questioning, Downey Jr, looking visibly uncomfortable, shoots a please-get-me-out-of-here look at his publicist. Staying in his seat, he then meets his interviewer’s eyes with a gaze of such fury that you fully expect the Iron Man star to pick up his chair and use it to test the bounciness of Guru-Murthy’s head.
The excruciatingly awkward encounter struggles on like a run through a tub of mud, prompting an increasingly angry-looking Downey Jr. to clarify why he was there. “I’m sorry….I really don’t…what are we doing?” he asks the interviewer.
As this point the publicist steps in, bringing proceedings to a halt. As a member of the production team removes his mic, the actor can be heard saying, “You seem OK but it’s just getting a little Diane Sawyer in here.” And then he was gone.
‘I’m shutting your butt down’
It’s not the first time Guru-Murthy has succeeded in winding up a big Hollywood name. Two years ago the journalist pressed Quentin Tarantino on the issue of violence in his movies. However, the writer and director – tired of being asked the same old questions and keen to get on with the job of promoting his latest work – told Guru-Murthy, “I’m shutting your butt down,” a turn of phrase not often heard by Brits, though thanks to the irritation with which it was delivered, one which was clearly understood by the Channel 4 News anchor.
To see Guru-Murthy’s interview (above) with Downey Jr turn awkward, jump in at the 5:25 mark, and when you’re done, take a look below to see Tarantino shutting Guru-Murthy’s butt down.