Robert Downey Jr, thinking he was being interviewed to promote his upcoming Avengers film, was interviewed by a famous UK journalist named Krishnan Guru-Murthy but RDJ promptly walked out after the subject of the interview dwelt on RDJ’s personal life instead of the film.
A lot of people seem to be blaming Krishnan Guru-Murthy for asking much to personal of questions, but really, that’s how Channel 4 content works. Interviews, especially by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, are with people who star or direct or sing, or whatever, in something recent, but are not being interviewed to promote the content they’re associated with — they’re being interviewed to investigate what makes them who they are as people, as individuals.
In the interview with Quentin Tarantino, QT gets pretty upset when the realization comes to QT that the interview is not actually a promotion of a film. However, the whole point of being interviewed by Krishnan Guru-Murthy is specifically to avoid talking about the promoted topic. QT even says himself that, gesturing in reference to the interview, that “this is a commercial for the movie, make no mistake.”
However, Krishnan Guru-Murthy interviews are not, by nature commercials for the movie. It is an interview about who QT is and what his internal struggles or motivations are. That’s how a Krishnan Guru-Murthy interview on Channel 4 works. Channel 4 isn’t allowed to promote content like that in the first place.
If you’re being interviewed on a food network, you’re going to get asked about food. If you’re being interviewed on a show about motorcycles, the topic of conversation will likely center on motorcycling. If you’re being interviewed by Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel 4, you’re going to get asked personal questions about your identity and by nature, the interview will split away from whatever you star in or are currently trying to promote.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy himself is already fairly widely known for straying from the topic of promoting a star’s or author’s intention to promote something, and to address controversy.
When Pharrell Williams, who at the time was promoting Blurred Lines, Krishnan Guru-Murthy focused on a perceived interpretation of controversial lyrics and PH’s motiviations as a person, rather than trying to promote the music.
When he interviewed Samuel L. Jackson, he asked about who his characters are compared to who he is as a person on a deeper philosophical level.
When Krishnan Guru-Murthy interviews Richard Ayoade, who is one of the stars of the British (original) version of The Office, who is promoting a book he wrote, the questions turn toward RA himself rather than the book. During the interview itself comes the realization that the interview itself is about him and not the book, and RA catches on and engages Krishnan Guru-Murthy in the process.
RDJ, however, runs away. He should have known, in the first place, that the interview would be about himself instead of the movie.
“Are we promoting a movie or something?”
No, RDJ, Channel 4 interviews, especially conducted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, are not, and haven’t been. You go to Krishnan Guru-Murthy to be asked those questions but RDJ’s assistants or own personal investigation into who is interviewing him ran up short on that detail.