Top 10 Celeb Interviews That Went Terribly Wrong
Some celebs are touchy people. They’re used to special treatment and they can get pretty offended when they think that reporters aren’t giving them enough respect. Stars live in fishbowls, surrounded by entourages, cushioned by big bank accounts, coddled by movie crews, directors and producers and praised by adoring fans. They start to believe their own hype and then begin to act like divas. The celebs on today’s list didn’t enjoy their interviews. They showed their displeasure by lashing out at the people interviewing them. Some stars were ruder than others. The unlucky reporters who had to withstand their disapproval while the cameras were rolling will probably never forget the way that these interviews went off the rails. Most stars on the list are actors. There are also a couple of musical artists, a former WWF wrestler and a late comedienne. What every celeb on the list has in common is attitude.
10. Billy Bob Thornton Got Huffy In Toronto
Billy Bob Thornton is a very good actor who gives memorable performances. Angelina Jolie’s ex-husband also dabbles in music. In 2009, he was touring with his “cosmic cowboy” band, The Boxmasters, according to Canada.com. During the tour, he did an interview with now-disgraced Canadian media personality, Jian Ghomeshi, and got super-offended when Ghomeshi didn’t follow his orders. Ghomeshi wasn’t supposed to mention Billy Bob’s movie career when he introduced The Boxmasters on his CBC radio show, Q. Ghomeshi did mention the band and this set the stage for a terrible interview, where a moody Billy Bob managed to insult an entire nation, by comparing Canadian concert-goers to mashed potatoes, without the gravy. Thornton was clearly huffy about Ghomeshi’s rule-breaking intro, and took it out on Canadians who made the dubious decision to spend their hard-earned money on Boxmasters tickets. To make the interview even more awkward and miserable, Thornton answered questions with the verbal dead end, “I don’t know what you’re talking about”.
Later on, Billy Bob got dragged in the press, and then tried to backtrack. He claimed that his negative comments were about the interviewer, rather than the fans. He also said he didn’t know the interviewer’s name. Billy Bob does have an eccentric vibe. He isn’t your typical actor, who smiles big for the press and tries to ingratiate himself. He marches to the beat of his own drummer, for better or worse. While he and Angelina were still in their lovey-dovey phase, they wore matching vials of one another’s blood around their necks. Despite the blood pendants, he’s claimed that he’s way more normal than most people think.
9. Tommy Lee Jones Stonewalled a Reporter
Tommy Lee Jones is a wicked actor who has delivered some stellar performances. Remember when he hunted down Harrison Ford’s character in “The Fugitive”? Jones is an actor who’s believable in every part. However, he’s known as a notoriously grumpy interview. He’s obviously no fan of press junkets and he will show his unhappiness by making the lives of reporters difficult. A press junket is a transaction between a film’s cast and the media. The movie’s stars are there to promote the film, which earned them huge salaries. The press is there to get sound bites and video which helps their shows or publications to thrive, and also promotes the movies. It’s a quid pro quo and most actors are gracious about the process. It’s tiring, and boring, but necessary, for contractual reasons and to give films a fighting chance at success.
Tommy Lee Jones was less than gracious while promoting Men in Black 3. A nervous-looking reporter fired off one semi-dumb question after another, and got stared down by the seasoned actor. At first, Tommy tried to answer the questions and even smile. Soon, he went “full curmudgeon”. He wearied of the social niceties and didn’t bother coming up with answers to the questions. In one instance, he said he couldn’t “wrap his head around” the question. Tommy looked like he wished the earth would open up and swallow him whole, while the young reporter gestured with his hands as he spoke. This interviewer was desperately trying to keep a terrible interview alive, but the conversation was definitely DOA.
8. Dave Schultz Punched Somebody Out
If you were a professional wrestler, would you slap somebody if that person claimed that wrestling was fake? Dave Schultz did. “Dr. D” got violent with a reporter named John Stossel in 1985. The hothead wrestler lost his WWF job as a result. Later on, Schultz attempted to write a book about his life and claimed that Vince McMahon blocked him every step of the way. Schultz did write a book, but didn’t talk smack about McMahon. He had been effectively silenced by the head of the sports entertainment organization.
The interview that went very bad was a segment for 20/20. Schultz claims that he was just following McMahon’s orders when he roughed up John Stossel while the cameras rolled. After the incident, Stossel gave a deposition which stated that he had permanent damage to one ear because of what Dr. D. did to him. Schultz says he never went near the reporter’s ear. McMahon decided to pay Stossel four hundred and twenty-five thousand bucks. Schultz has referred to his victim, John Stossel, as a whiner and a crybaby. Schultz says he wasn’t charged with any crime after the interview and that he was never sued by the victim, either. Vince McMahon wanted Schultz to reimburse him for the big bucks that he gave to Stossel. David Schultz did get sued by McMahon, who is a billionaire. Lots of fans think that Vince did ask Dave to hit the reporter, but lied about it afterwards, as Schultz claims.
7. Joan Rivers Didn’t Like Talking About Her Fur Coats
Joan Rivers has sadly passed away, but was full of wit, temper and charm while she was alive. She was one of America’s most famous and beloved comediennes. When a CNN reporter took Joan to task for wearing real fur, the diva in Ms. Rivers emerged with full force. Questions about her love for fur made her edgy and she had to deal with other troublesome questions, too, so she decided to storm out of the interview. This happened in 2014 and the reporter, Fredricka Whitfield, didn’t seem overly concerned about Joan’s hissy fit. Maybe Fredericka’s concern about animals outweighed her desire to please Joan Rivers. Of course, the controversy created by Whitfield’s line of questioning generated tons of publicity.
Whitfield did provoke Rivers by needling her about fur. However, Whitfield wasn’t out of line. Wearing fur has become a hot button issue, so Joan should have had stock answers to fur questions ready for roll-out. The CNN reporter also questioned Rivers about “Fashion Police” and its practice of putting people down. Joan denied that “Fashion Police” was mean. Whitfield kept up the pressure by letting Joan know that Joan’s jokes about the deceased child of Casey Anthony were perhaps morally wrong. Rivers is usually thick-skinned, but all of this got to her and she fled. She was there to promote a book and clearly this wasn’t what she had expected.
6. Kanye’s Slavery Comments Broke The Internet
Kanye West hasn’t gotten where he is because he’s just like everyone else. He is not typical and, sometimes, he speaks without utilizing any sort of filter. Most of us take care to think before we speak, at least, in situations where voicing outrageous thoughts can backfire. Not Kanye. He says what is on his mind and then deals with the consequences. He went way too far when he said that slavery was a choice. This was during an interview at TMZ headquarters. Basically, Kanye ignored the fact that an entire system was in place to procure, abuse and keep slaves down. He obviously felt that slaves should have risen up, even though their oppressors had all of the money and all of the weapons and the law on their side (at least, until after the Yankees won the Civil War). West’s opinion seemed to imply some weakness or cowardice on the part of slaves. It could be argued that slaves were the bravest people around. Who had harder lives and just kept going?
Anyway, Kanye’s views were deeply offensive on many different levels. The system created to keep slaves down didn’t seem to be on Kanye’s mind as he spouted off, but he paid for it all later. His own wife, Kim Kardashian, reportedly went nuts after Kanye talked about slavery. She yelled at Kanye because she was afraid that they would lose everything over his comments. Lots of celebs also unfollowed Kanye on social media. Overall, this interview gone wrong led to so much backlash. One TMZ staffer who was there while Kanye talked about slavery got really, really offended. Kanye’s comments during this interview hurt his reputation badly.
5. Beyoncé Hated Being Questioned About Jay-Z
In 2010, Beyoncé agreed to an interview with A.J. Calloway from Extra. The interview started out OK, but it deteriorated because Calloway’s questions got pretty invasive. Beyoncé was visibly irritated when questions about her hubby, Jay-Z, didn’t stop coming and got really personal. For example, A.J. asked if Jay-Z wanted to have kids. Bey looked pretty annoyed by that question. Beyoncé is generally very gracious and ladylike in interviews and she obviously wants reporters to act the same. This means skipping the probing and personal questions, unless she has agreed to do that type of intense interview. It’s also possible that A.J. Calloway touched a nerve in some way.
Reporters have to remember that celebrities have feelings, just like everyone else. Beyoncé found Calloway’s line of questioning offensive, but Calloway didn’t seem to care. The music diva bristled when she was asked about her husband and his feelings about fatherhood. The interview was really too personal, because it’s clear that Beyoncé was not expecting those sorts of questions. She began to lose patience. Possibly, she wanted to preserve the sanctity of her relationship with her husband by not oversharing and the interviewer wasn’t making that easy for her. Also, the interviewer was putting the focus on her hubby, rather than herself.
4. Denzel Was So Rude During a Press Junket
Would you have the courage to be really rude to a reporter during an interview that millions of people would eventually see? Denzel Washington clearly has a healthy ego, as he didn’t hesitate to behave in a very ungracious manner during an interview. This interview was held during a press junket. Exhausting, dull press junkets seem to bring out the very worst in actors and actresses. The person who endured this painful interview with Denzel was Laila McKinnon. She’s said she flew twelve thousand kilometers to talk to him for less than ten minutes. She chilled in a hallway of a hotel, waiting for her brief moments with the critically-acclaimed actor. He was apparently in a mood, as he didn’t appear on time and was asking for tea from underlings. Anyway, Denzel eventually appeared for an interview with Laila, but it might be better if he hadn’t.
Laila says you can’t get too creative in press junket interviews, because there just isn’t enough time. She says Tom Hanks, George Clooney and Hugh Jackman all try really hard during press junkets. Denzel was different. He was there to promote his “runaway train” action flick, Unstoppable. She lobbed the usual shallow and non-threatening press junket questions at Washington and he just wouldn’t play ball with her. He wouldn’t talk about the past. He wouldn’t talk about the future. He was rude and disinterested. The interview is now infamous. She really didn’t deserve such a surly interview subject, but Denzel did not care about her feelings.
3. Chris Brown Had a Meltdown On GMA
In 2011, Chris Brown let his legendary bad temper out while appearing on Good Morning America. He got angry because a reporter named Robin Roberts asked him about his violent attack on pop diva, Rihanna. It seems like Chris wasn’t expecting to be called to the carpet about that terrible incident on a morning television show. Roberts asked him about it over and over again and he got so mad he broke a window, pulled off his shirt and then fled, topless, into the Time Square area of New York City. Before he lashed out, he did an interview and also performed a song from one of his albums. The album is called F.A.M.E. After his tantrum, a New York Police Department representative let the public know that the police didn’t go to GMA to investigate. Chris has trouble managing his rage and his deep-seated anger comes out in nasty and negative ways. Maybe he felt blindsided by the reporter, but that’s no excuse for what he did.
2. Robert Pattison Walked Out Because of K-Stew Questions
If you’re interviewing Robert Pattison, do yourself a favor and avoiding asking him questions about Kristen Stewart, because he doesn’t want to answer. During an interview at On Air with Ryan Seacrest, he dodged uncomfortable questions about “K-Stew”, with a little help from his publicist. Ryan dove in and tried to get answers to the questions that everyone was asking. He wanted to know whether Robert was going out with his Twilight co-star, Kristin. Rob’s publicist wasn’t having any of it. The publicist jumped in and put a stop to the line of questioning. Once the publicist intervened, things got really awkward. Rob wasn’t rude at all, like most of the celebs on today’s list. But he still fled from the interview upon the instructions of his publicist. Before Ryan talked about fans and how they wanted to know what’s up with Rob and Kristen, things were fine. Rob was kind and spoke to fans outside of the studio, and then went in to talk to Ryan. He said he feels obligated to please everyone that he meets, because this character in Twilight means so much to them. However, he wasn’t willing to override his publicist, who pulled him out of the interview within a few minutes of its start.
1. Tom Hardy Shamed A Reporter During A Press Conference
Journalists called Tom Hardy a “spoiled baby” after he got crabby during a press conference. He’s known to be a little grumpy in interviews. He’s a bit unpredictable and an interview with him always has the potential to go downhill fast. Tom was doing press at a Toronto Film Festival when a very brave reporter decided to ask Tom Hardy about his own sexuality. The reporter said that Tom’s sexuality is “ambiguous”. Tom clearly took offense and didn’t mind shaming the reporter, by asking him what he was on about. If looks could kill, the glare that Tom gave the reporter would have knocked the life out of him. The line of questioning was undoubtedly invasive and rude. Tom might not feel like his sexuality is anyone’s business, because it isn’t, and he might also feel that his sexuality isn’t ambiguous anyway. This reporter wanted the big sound bite and took a big risk. Tom then turned the tables by questioning the reporter about what he was doing. Of course, he didn’t answer the reporter’s question.