Robert Downey Jr. Describes Almost Getting Into A Fight With A Hollywood Exec Before An Interview

Robert Downey Jr. said he thought he was “going to have to light this guy up.”

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Robert Downey Jr G

Robert Downey Jr. may be an A-list actor, but apparently not everyone recognizes him — not even when he’s on the set of a popular radio show, about to sit down for an interview.

The 54-year-old actor was waiting to be interviewed for Sirius XM’s “The Howard Stern Show” on Monday when he inadvertently got involved in a near altercation, Page Six reports. Downey described the incident, moments after it happened, during his own interview: He was at a monitor in the green room, watching host Howard Stern interview other guests when a male executive approached him aggressively, he recalled.

“I was just standing out there … standing in front of the TV screen when this little nebbish bigwig says, ‘Out of the way,’” he said.

Downey then explained that he was watching the show before it was his turn for an interview, at which point the executive reportedly said, “Who the f--k are you?”

The “Iron Man” actor went on to joke that he thought the interaction was going to turn physical, telling Stern, “I’m going to have to light this guy up,” according to The Blast.

That did not happen, however, as Downey attributed the man’s behavior to his ego, and what he described as “status games,” which he said are common in Los Angeles, the outlet reports.

Downey shared photos of his interview with Stern on Instagram, and added the hashtag “bigwig” to the collection of pics taken on set. As evidenced in the posts, Downey has recently been sporting a shorter haircut than seen in the “Avengers” films, which may have contributed to him not being as readily recognized in public.

Downey has not shared the name of the executive he interacted with before his Stern interview. Whoever it is, they may want to thank their lucky stars that a confrontation with Downey did not evolve into a full-fledged fight; Downey is actually a trained martial artist, having studied Wing Chun for a number of years, Vice reports.

While discussing his love of martial arts during an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” years ago, Downey, who struggled with substance abuse in his younger years, credited the fighting style with helping him gain control of his life, according to the outlet.

“Martial has just been... I can’t even say how much it’s impacted my ability to stay well and focused,” Downey said, per Vice’s report. “It’s a spiritual practice. It’s grounded me and its primary purpose is to promote a sense of spiritual warriordom and to respect your society and to be prepared to defend yourself and your society if necessary.”

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