by Richard Johnson
May 20, 2015
Robert Downey Jr. has infuriated journalists and independent filmmakers with his recent insults — and one is firing back.
Wayne Darwen, the model for Downey’s newsman character in “Natural Born Killers,” told me, “Junior was a lot more interesting when he was a substance-abusing, suffering artist — brave and silly enough to push the envelope.”
The former “A Current Affair” producer added, “He should remember that it was the untamed spirit of the indie movement and the writings of journalists he now walks out on, that made him a name in the first place.”
Downey abruptly ended a British TV interview in April when a reporter tried to ask him about his politics and his troubled past (drugs and jail).
The “Iron Man” star, promoting “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” called the reporter a “schmuck” and then later said the reporter was “a bottom-feeding muckraker.”
Downey, Hollywood’s highest-paid actor at $75 million per year, then insulted independent filmmakers on Entertainment Weekly Radio.
The actor said he would never make a low-budget movie “because they’re exhausting and sometimes they suck and then you just go, ‘What was I thinking?’ ”
As for the young, idealistic artists who struggle to get their films made without studio support: “Most of you are kind of inexperienced and lame,” said Downey.
“His own father was one of the most influential indie filmmakers in history!” Darwen said. “Junior sold out for a comfortable life in boring Sherlock Holmes reboots and cartoon remakes. At least indie films come up with fresh stories.”
When “Birdman” director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu called superhero movies “cultural genocide,” Downey said, “Look, I respect the heck out of him, and I think for a man whose native tongue is Spanish to be able to put together a phrase like ‘cultural genocide’ just speaks to how bright he is.”
Darwen wrote, co-directed and stars in his own independent feature, “High There,” being released on BRINKvision DVD and on demand on June 23.
The gonzo documentary won the people’s choice award at the recent Cannabis Film Festival in Humboldt County, Calif.