First of it’s important to state that this post is for me to explain why I think krishnan Guru-Murthy is a not only a poor interviewer when it comes to Film & TV, but a cunning one. I want to use the recent Robert Downey Junior interview for the new ‘Avengers’ film as an example and the personal questions asked during a PR round of advertising.
Robert was doing the all important interviews for the ‘Avengers’ as is required by all cast members which is conducted by various magazines and broadcasters. Either these are filmed liked Channel 4 did or they are just audio recorded and transcribed for a paper. Now when this is usually filmed they send a young, cheery presenter down who creates a positive atmosphere and promotes a fluid conversation intended for Youtube or small TV Segments as the target for these are teenagers and small kids. Channel 4’s mistake was sending down a serious, older man who normally reports broadcast news to conduct the interview. It created a stagnant interview which sees an uncomfortable Robert respond slowly to very non-specific questions. It’s obvious that he has no interest in Iron Man and The Avengers and Robert can sense this creating a very tense interview. The main aim is to either last the allotted 10 minutes and try to make it into a usable VT or ask invasive questions and wait for a reaction. To turn up to an interview for a film intended for kids and ask about his previous drug addiction and prison sentence is disrespectful to Robert. It also shows the desperation of a news reporter to incite a response for media purposes and to negatively represent a celebrity actor. In his online post for The Guardian, Krishnan opens with: “Are we promoting a movie?” asked Robert Downey Jr, clearly puzzled by how the interview was going. “You are, but I’m not,” is what I perhaps should have said to clear up the confusion.” like I have already said the reason that Robert is doing these interviews is to promote his new movie and not to talk about personal affairs. If he wanted to discuss it he would agree to a chat (or probably not in this case) and be well aware of the questions he would be likely be asked. However, to him Krishnan has deliberately caught him off-guard. These questions are intended to offend and discredit him. And this is the reality. Robert’s story lies not in his dubious past but his successful recovery and subsequent success. “If a movie star has no interest in engaging, maybe don’t offer them up to the news. Find one of the cast who does.” It’s easy to find good interviews with Robert so his excuse here is thin. Krishnan’s expertise lies in his own (current affairs and politics) and to give him any kind of work that includes interviewing actors and musicians is absurd. If he had a legitimate interest in the film and intended to use it as a publicity segment then that would be fine, but Channel 4 don’t do PR work for films.
TLDR: Krishnan used sly tactics to corner a movie star into telling him about his checkered past in order to boost ratings and save his awful interview thus portraying Robert as an obnoxious celebrity.