While speaking with Howard Stern on Tuesday, Avengers: Age of Ultron star Robert Downey Jr. discussed in detail the reasons why he walked out of an interview with British journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
“I just wish I’d left sooner,” Downey said of the interview, video of which went viral last week. “I’m one of those guys who I’m always assuming the social, kind of, decorum is in play. And that we’re promoting a superhero movie, a lot of kids are going to see it, and this has nothing to do with your creepy, dark agenda that I’m feeling all of a sudden, like, ashamed and obligated to accommodate your weirdo shit.”
Of Guru-Murthy, Downey said he was “a bottom-feeding muckraker.”
In the interview, Guru-Murthy asked Downey about his politics, his past drug addiction and his jail time. According to the journalist, each were topics discussed beforehand with a representative for Downey.
“We don’t do promotional interviews on Channel 4 News. We agree with PR people that as well as talking about a new movie for a while we want to ask wider ranging questions on relatively serious topics, and we don’t guarantee to run any answers in particular,” Guru-Murthy wrote in a piece for The Guardian about the incident. “When Robert Downey Jr.’s PR man rang up asking what we wanted to talk about, we said we had no particular agenda but would ask about the new Avengers superhero movie and his recovery from jail and drug abuse to Hollywood stardom.”
Downey did not reference Guru-Murthy’s comments in his interview with Stern, but the star did offer his viewpoint on the junket interview process.
“The assumption is that there’s a button that because you’ve sat down there you’re going to be scrutinized like you’re a kiddie fiddler who’s running for mayor,” Downey said. “What I have to do in the future is have to 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.”
Listen to the full segment with Stern below.