Where is the line when it comes to interviewing celebrities? Robert Downey Jr. and the cast of "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" are on the press circuit right now, going through interview after interview. On the other side, so are the reporters. Both sides may be bored with the same questions over and over. For the journalists, part of the job is to try and come up with a question or angle that isn't the same old, "What was it like working on this movie vs. the last one?" They are not working for the movie studios, so it's not their jobs to sell the product. But you also have to respect the star's privacy and recognize that they are there to promote a specific project, not open their personal lives for your headline.
A lot of fans are currently backing RDJ for walking out of an uncomfortable interview with Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who went from classic "Iron Man" and sequel questions to more personal probes into RDJ's life.
If you watch the seven-minute interview below, it starts out like a typical junket talk, but if it had stayed like this no one would have cared much one way or the other. Frankly, it's not that interesting and once they exhausted all the "Avengers" stuff it wasn't too shocking to want to move on a different topic, however briefly. But the chosen topics -- personal questions about RDJ's past -- just made things awkward. RDJ and his publicity team, whom he kept turning to, were clearly uncomfortable. RDJ kept it classy at the start, then got confused and openly asked what they were doing. After another look to his team, he said "Bye" and left. On his way out, RDJ quipped to Guru-Murthy that it was OK, it was just getting a little bit "Diane Sawyer" with the questions.
On that note...
Fast-forward to Friday, when RDJ continued his media tour on ABC's "Live with Kelly and Michael" and ran into Diane Sawyer herself. She posed with him for a photo, which he shared Friday on his new Instagram, writing, "A corrective experience with legitimate journalism @kellyandmichael #dianesawyer #kellyandmichael #avengers #ageofultron #presstour #marvel #earlybirds."
What do you think of that shade? The fact that so many fans are on his side may prompt more interviewers to just stick to light film-based questions. Maybe that's for the best, but it's not "illegitimate journalism" to ask questions that make celebs uncomfortable. Diane Sawyer does it herself all the time.