April 23, 2015

"You seem okay, it's just getting a little Diane Sawyer."

Robert Downey Jr., promoting his new super-hero type film, puts up with questions from Channel 4 Newsman Krishnan Guru-Murthy, up to a point. I love this clip, because Downey is so calm and pretty thoughtful, but when the questions get to his dark past, he shifts to a different, steelier version of calm, and there's just a wonderful subtle anger in his face as he uses his eyes to try to unnerve Guru-Murthy and get him to stop. But Guru-Murthy forces himself to babble into one more question about Downey's dissolute past, and Downey gets up and walks away, with that parting shot — politely and calmly delivered — that I've put in the post title.

57 comments:

Gahrie said...

One of the things I appreciate about Robert is the fact that he was able to pull himself back from the brink and go on to have a quality acting career.

I understand that getting questions about your unsavory past may be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but Robert should realize that he has to face the music.

In fact Robert should be doing more to publicize his past, and make the point that it is never too late to reform and restore your life.

Pat said...

I respect the guy for calling bs and getting up. He's right, it was a promotional interview, and if he doesnt want to talk about something he doesn't have to, see ya.

n.n said...

What did Downey, Jr. do that he lost the opportunity to repent and right to privacy? Or perhaps the better question is what does Guru-Murthy believe he did that merits losing that privilege.

Sometimes... often the past is just the past which should be left in the past.

readering said...

It's a press junket--intended to be rotating short, repetitive interviews about this weekend's blockbuster opening, in which he's first-billed in an all-star cast--and probably has a back-end participation. Good preparation for a career in national politics.

virgil xenophon said...

Agree w. Gahrie. It's not like it's a deeply hidden past, or something that will ruin his career, so why be gun-shy, rather than "calm and pretty thoughtful?"

Fen said...

Krishnan Guru-Murthy: "have you now or ever in the past, been a supporter of the Communist Party?"

Glad Downey walked out on the little putz. I'm guessing that no matter how politely you ask them to stay on topic, they find a way to ambush you. So walking out is the only way to get the message across to future Media Weasels.

"Your foot is shaking, little metrosexual bitch. Better ask that Big Question before you soil your pants"

Priceless! :)

AprilApple said...

You must be a good liberal, right? right? What's wrong with you? Here in McCarthywood, you must profess your love for the state.

Fen said...

In fact Robert should be doing more to publicize his past, and make the point that it is never too late to reform and restore your life.

What if he just wants to do what *he* wants to do with his life?

That's okay too, right?

Bobber Fleck said...

Guru-Murthy was guilty of a very long windup before a pitch which was intended to hit the batter.

Chris N said...

My girlfriend in college loved Downey Jr. A lot.

I came to realize he was the bad boy, the talented, lost soul who could be saved and redeemed. This made me the square.

This taught me a lot about her. Who was gonna ride her wild horses?

virgil xenophon said...

PS: If one willingly subjects one's self to the public sphere, it's pretty much "in for a dime, in for a dollar."
Downey should expect such things and take them in stride..

FullMoon said...

He was starting to breathe faster. Restrained anger. Downey wanted to knock the guy out.

Nice to hear successful recovery stories.

Might be useful as a deterent, though to give equal time to the performers who ODed, or ended up broke ass junkies on the street.

EDH said...

The interviewer spent way too much time trying to describe RDJ's past, rather than ask a question that would allow RDJ to say something relevant about it as it relates to his present.

Bobby said...

Yes, because that's what Disney wants: they're releasing what they hope is their latest in a string of billion-dollar-grossing films, and they don't want or need Downey (who, incidentally, is already signed for $40-mil+points for Captain America III) to distract casual fans and PG-13 parents with talk about his drug-addled past.

Downey DOES talk about his past- a simple Google search will bring up lots and lots of interviews where he talks about it- but as far as Disney is concerned, the promotional tour for their Big Movie is neither the time nor the place for that.

Downey is merely staying on message. He's showing a discipline that can't be underrated (especially given his opposite tack on the promotion of the first Sherlock Holmes movie).

Good for him.

SteveR said...

In the realm of Hollywood/celebrity self promoting there is a lot of this interviewing stuff and it was clearly supposed to be limited to the current gig. So Downey was right to get pissed off. But its full of assholes.

robother said...

In a moment of clarity, the deep wisdom of Nancy Reagan's admonition, "Just say No" suddenly dawned on Robert Downey Jr.
I love the blunt acknowledgment that this is just about promoting a movie; the Guru's hesitancy seems to confirm the truth of that perception; both know there's no way Downey would be on this loser's little show if it weren't to promote a movie. The Guru can try to leverage it into some gambit at becoming the next Diane Sawyer, but Downey is under no show business or personal compulsion to help him make his journalistic bones.

Coupe said...

I once gave $50,000 to the parks trust fund. Do they remember that? No. They only remember I robbed a bank.

It's just not fair.

Darcy said...

While I have an interest in what Robert Downey would say in response to questions about his struggles, I don't feel owed an answer just because he's a celebrity. I admire his courage in refusing to answer.

"Should" is a word I use carefully of late, if at all. I resent being told what I should do or say. Or feel.

MadisonMan said...

Agreed that the interviewer's leadup was just too long and winding road.

I'm sorry he's getting publicity now for his clumsy interviewing skills.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Shouldn't an actor of his talent have been able to run the interviewer's clock out with empty, entertaining bullshit?

Laslo Spatula said...

My Kit for interacting with strangers is rope, vaseline, a cucumber and an Orange Ball Gag.

Do not ask me about my past.

I am Laslo.

Julie C said...

Yeah, his parting shot was: you aren't a journalist with Diane Sawyer's reputation or prestige. You ain't no Barbara Walters. I don't have to play nice with you when I'm here to do my contractually obligated publicity for this very expensive movie.

I'm a fan. Although he needs to lose the goofy shoes.

n.n said...

Screw his privacy

Not if he has served time for his violations.

Tobias said...

The interviewer did give Robert Downey, Jr. the option not to talk about his questions...

"If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine."

and

"...not answer them if you don't want to."

Freeman Hunt said...

Thank goodness people are starting to refuse stupid questions. It's amazing the questions people will agree to answer in interviews.

Freeman Hunt said...

No, you do not have to tell anyone anything personal about yourself just because you bring joy to millions of people. You don't owe them. You get money; they get films. That's the exchange. Everyone wins.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Clayton Hennesey said...

Shouldn't an actor of his talent have been able to run the interviewer's clock out with empty, entertaining bullshit?

Yes, but a self-promoter of his talent knows which route will get him the best P.R.

Ctmom4 said...

@ Gahrie " I understand that getting questions about your unsavory past may be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but Robert should realize that he has to face the music." For how long though? He has. in the past. Doesn't he ever get to get past that?

I think the interviewer was more interested in getting him to recant any conservative leanings he may have than in his recanting his bleak past. The possible conservatism is the true blot on his character.

Gusty Winds said...

I liked Downey's polite parting shot turning Diane Sawyer into a verb. Downey just wanted to stay within the scope of the interview. A great action movie.

For some reason it reminds me of Elvis' June 1972 interview before the played Madison Square Garden.

Q: Mr Presley, as you've mentioned your time in the service, what is your opinion of war protesters and would you today refuse to be drafted?

Elvis: Honey, I'd just sooner keep my own personal views about that to myself cause I'm just an entertainer and I'd rather not say.


Elvis was smart enough to realize his audience lived on both sides of the political aisle and wanted everyone to enjoy the show.

I can't watch Tom Cruise, Leonardo Dicaprio, and the rest without thinking was assholes they are. Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk) from the Avengers is the worst.

Adam Duritz from Counting Crows is the worst. He wrecks his live shows with the political ranting and alteration of hit songs. It's like he's up there to sing for himself.

m stone said...

I prefer the exit route over some blathering non-answer that so many celebrity/pols sink into. Pols are the worst.

Downey's success after his past is proof enough of his reformation.

He also answers questions directly and well.

Henry said...

Clearly a sequence of questions got derailed when Downey deflected the first one. The painful thing was to watch Mr. Guru-Murthy ad-lib his way back to his questions which no longer had an arc of succession.

"Your foot's starting to jump a little bit, you better get to your next question" is plenty steely.

Bob Ellison said...

The interviewer wrongly thinks he's an interrogator. The interviewee thinks the interviewer is a dick, and follows through on that conclusion. That's why this is enjoyable.

Henry said...

I don't worry much about Robert Downey's personal past. The guy can dominate a screen.

Ralph Hyatt said...

I thought he was great in Back to School. Probably his greatest performance ever.

Ralph Hyatt said...

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=back+to+school+robert+downey+jr+football&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=A29EFC32D58B014270A8A29EFC32D58B014270A8

mikee said...

At some point, redemption or recovery or successful overcoming of one's past - call it what you will - has to be accepted by the person who had problems but now is a better person, (George W. Bush, another example), and by those who interact with that person.

Downey has nothing to explain any more. If you want a clown to dance the recovering-addict jig to make you feel superior, find someone else.

Michael McClain said...

I'm glad RJD has overcome his past. He was and is brilliant actor. Downey is a joy to watch on the screen.

That said, Guru is a putz.

eddie willers said...

I wished he'd have said:

"When I was a drunkard and coked out of my mind, I was a liberal. But now I'm sober."

Also, call me anal, but the stereo image of the video is reversed. Annoying.

traditionalguy said...

That was beautiful watching a thoughtful, mature man set a boundary that those who enjoy hurting him shall not cross.

That is the most mature man I have seen in action a very long time. Bravo!

David said...

So the theme today is assholes? Pete Rose and then this interviewer? The interviewer was an asshole well before the personal inquiries. His questioning about Iron Man was pretentious and annoying.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Eh, I didn't think either one acted badly. The interviewer had to work to hard to try and shoehorn in the questions, but they weren't disrespectful nor wildly out of bounds. RDJ remained polite and chose to end the interview, no big deal there, either.
I'm not sure why this is supposed to be news, really.

Gahrie said...

What if he just wants to do what *he* wants to do with his life?

That's okay too, right?


Sure. Hell I think it would have been OK if he had continued to use drugs and ODed. I am a firm believer in the freedom to make your own choices.

I just think using his lifestory to help others is the civilized thing to do for a man in his position.

doofus said...

You will notice that RDJ looks to the side before walking out. That is him checking with his publicity person that this little dweeb has broken the rules of the junket, ie, he has two minutes to talk about Avengers, not RDJ. I am impressed the way he stays on-message and overcomes his pretty clear anger at the ambush journalism to keep it classy. What a guy!

robinintn said...

Over at Moe Lane there's a headline: As God is My Witness, I Thought Robert Downey said 'Dinosaur.'

Bill said...

I tend not to trust people with hyphenated names. They're usually either snotty toffs or snotty leftists.

William said...

Bonus points to Downey for ending the interview in a way consistent with his Ironman persona--just the right mixture of arrogance and humor. So it works out ok for publicizing the movie.

William said...

He would have made an interesting choice to play Stephen Hawking in that biopic.

Paul Snively said...

Because.

CatherineM said...

Gahrie- he has spoken about his past. A lot. That was 20 years ago. Move on. Also, that wasn't the interviewers interest. The interviewer wasn't interested in helping people. He was interested in "gotcha!" You're not a liberal! Explain yourself infidel!

The only thing RDJ could have done better was run out the clock. "I am sorry...what interview...NYT? Hmmmm. I don't recall. What year?....hmmmm not ringing a... Oh sorry. Must go. Lovely to meet you!

T J Sawyer said...

I've heard the name Robert Downey Jr. but couldn't place him. So, I read his Wikipedia entry. Still couldn't figure out who he was so skipped the video.

I hope he is not someone that is really important.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

That wasn't arrogance; that was self respect in action. I respect guys who have self respect. Well played, Robert Downey, Jr.

Rhythm and Balls said...

You guys are funny the way you fawn over this as if it was a groundbreaking event. Anyone can refuse a question at any time. And always could.

Rusty said...

Rhythm and Balls said...
You guys are funny the way you fawn over this as if it was a groundbreaking event. Anyone can refuse a question at any time. And always could.


Said the lame ass joker who isn't Ironman.

tds said...

it's a bit like intentionally offering a cigarette to someone who quit smoking, or a vodka shot to an AA member

I Callahan said...

I've heard the name Robert Downey Jr. but couldn't place him. So, I read his Wikipedia entry. Still couldn't figure out who he was so skipped the video. I hope he is not someone that is really important.

Either you're over 95 years old, under 8 years old, living the Ted Kaczynski life or just showing us rubes how much better you are by not watching TV or movies.

Pet peeve - statements like the above are just as ridiculous as those made by some of these celebrities themselves.

zefal said...

Julie C said...

"Yeah, his parting shot was: you aren't a journalist with Diane Sawyer's reputation or prestige. You ain't no Barbara Walters. I don't have to play nice with you when I'm here to do my contractually obligated publicity for this very expensive movie."

I'd say he was just stating that was the type of questions Sawyer would ask.

EMD said...

I just think using his lifestory to help others is the civilized thing to do for a man in his position.

He's done this repeatedly at appropriate times. Just not every interview needs the "tell us about your junkie days" line of questioning.