7:00am PT by Rebecca Ford
'Avengers: Age of Ultron': 8 Highlights From the Bizarre Press Tour
The stars of Avengers: Age of Ultron traveled the world to promote the new superhero ensemble film, which opened in theaters in the U.S. on May 1. While there were some fun and funny moments (like Jeremy Renner singing a ballad defending Hawkeye's skills), there were also a few missteps with the press.
As Disney and Marvel's sequel opens around the world this weekend, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the most bizarre moments from the press tour.
1. The Cast Plays Family Feud
Renner, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo played a raucous round of Family Feud on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Captain America Evans led his team "The Americas" while Iron Man Downey captained the other team, "The Mans." The battle for game show supremacy was peppered with plenty of silly moments, including name-tag stealing and some sexual innuendo.
2. Robert Downey Jr. Bails Mid-Interview
When the Iron Man actor star down with Channel 4 News' Krishnan Guru-Murthy during the press tour, he wasn't game for veering off the topic of the film to answer questions about his past. The actor walked out of an Avengers: Age of Ultron promotional interview when asked about what is euphemistically referred to as his "dark history." "I'm sorry, I, I really don't — what are we doing?" he asks, before the interview gets cut short. As he walks out, Downey Jr. can be heard to tell Guru-Murthy, "It's just getting a little Diane Sawyer in here."
3. Robert Downey Jr. Keeps Talking About That Bad Interview
Of course, after Downey's exit went viral, other reporters asked him about why he chose to do what he did. The actor said his only regret was not walking out sooner. "I'm one of those guys where I'm always kind of assuming the social decorum is in play and that we're promoting a superhero movie, a lot of kids are going to see it," he said on Howard Stern's SiriusXM show. "This has nothing to do with your creepy, dark agenda that I'm feeling like all of a sudden ashamed and obligated to accommodate your weirdo shit." He also tweeted a photo of himself with the real Diane Sawyer, writing, "A corrective experience with legitimate journalism" as the Instagram caption.
4. Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner Get in Trouble
During the press tour, in response to a question about fans' linking Johansson's Black Widow romantically with several characters, Captain America and the Hulk responded with demeaning comments about their co-star. "She's a slut," Renner said, prompting Evans to add, "I was going to say something along that line, she's a complete whore. … She'll flirt with everybody, leading everybody on." After the video went viral, both actors released statements apologizing for their words. "I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone," Renner's statement reads. "It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour."
5. Mark Ruffalo Answers "Sexist" Questions
While paired with Johansson for some of his inteviews, Ruffalo was tasked with answering the questions that are usually only asked of actresses. Ruffalo was game. "Do you have any special poses for the red carpet that you know are going to be so flattering?" asked the reporter. "Did you feel much pressure to slim down, get in shape, go on a diet?" Ruffalo was his charming self during the social experiment, and Johansson got to answer questions that were more interesting than "are you wearing underwear?"
6. Downey Dumps on Indie Film
Downey was asked if he would consider doing an indie film to take a little break from the tentpole world. But Downey said he had no interest and had some harsh words for the world of low-budget filmmaking. "They’re exhausting and sometimes they suck and then you just go, 'What was I thinking?' " he said. "Sometimes the little movies are the ones that wind up taking the most out of you because they’re like, 'Hey, man, we’re just running a couple of days behind. Do you think you can stay through your birthday and then come back on the fourth of July. And, by the way, like, the crew ... can you pay for the craft services? And, oh, by the way, man, when we go to Sundance, it’s like ... can we just sit you in a chair and you can sell this for six days in a row so that we’ll make 180 bucks when it opens in one theater?'"
7. Chris Evans Spooks Scarlett Johansson
While Johansson was chatting away on Ellen, she got a big scare when Evans crept up on her from behind. Her genuine surprise and embarassment gave the audience a good laugh.
8. Jeremy Renner Croons
Hawkeye visited Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show where he sang a little number set to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud": "Listen, I've got powers, too, and they're pretty sweet. I promise I can do so much more than just archery," he croons.