Robert Downey Jr. is a man with a past.

At one time, the media reveled in his struggles with addiction, arrests, imprisonment, and his apparently failed career. But if Robert Downey Jr. is a man with a past, he is also a remarkable comeback story. Mel Gibson, who has had difficulties of his own, stood by the troubled actor when the chips were down, helping him to get back on his feet and revive his life and career.

“I’d hate it if he turned on me,” said Downey Jr. of his friendship with Gibson. “I’d lose it.”

In recent years, RDJ has had the opportunity to return the favor to Gibson as the latter became embroiled in controversy and divorce, issues that were, like Downey Jr.’s to some extent, self-inflicted.

Watch here as Robert Downey Jr. deals graciously, yet firmly, with an interviewer who is bent on ambushing him by holding his past against him. RDJ thinks he’s going into an interview to discuss his upcoming Avengers movie. But the interviewer wants to make headlines. We think it is riveting.

Larry Alex Taunton is an author, cultural commentator, and freelance columnist contributing to USA TODAYFox NewsFirst ThingsThe AtlanticCNN, and The American Spectator.  In addition to being a frequent radio and television guest, he is also the author of The Grace  Effect and The Gospel Coalition Arts and Culture Book of the Year, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens. You can subscribe to his blog at