25 Celebrity Interviews That Went Horribly, Terribly Wrong
Not every celebrity interview goes smoothly — sometimes they just go downright wrong altogether. Being interviewed means being put on the spot and asked unexpected, often hard-hitting questions that can lead to moments that are awkward AF.
Whether it’s on a live television talk show or a random YouTube channel, you never quite know what to expect when it comes to celebrity interviews, from stars abruptly walking off camera to intensely uncomfortable moments caught on tape.
From Selena Gomez to R. Kelly, check out 25 horribly awkward celebrity interviews, below.
Robert Downey Jr.
While promoting Avengers: Age Of Ultron in 2015, Robert Downey Jr. sat down to chat with Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy during an interview that quickly went south. Downey Jr. was beyond less than pleased when he was asked about his tumultuous past and proceeded to walk off the set, abruptly ending the tense interview.
Film director Quentin Tarantino also chatted with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy in 2013, ending in another totally awkward interview scene. Tarantino was there to promote his film Django Unchained, but was less than amused when asked about the connection between cinematic violence and real-life violence, prompting the director to “shut down” the journalist’s question.
When actress and model Cara Delevingne appeared on Good Day Sacramento in 2015 to promote her film Paper Towns, the interview quickly went downhill. From asking whether Delevingne actually read the book her film was based on to accusing her of appearing “irritated” and “exhausted,” the reporters mistook the star’s signature mellow attitude for “a mood,” resulting in an unbearably uncomfortable interaction.
In 2011, Paris Hilton sat down with Good Morning America to discuss her life in the limelight, experience with a stalker and more. Yet when the interviewer asked if she ever worries that her moment has passed, an offended Hilton quickly walked off camera. Can you blame her?
In 2013, actor Jesse Eisenberg sat down with Romina Puga to promote his film Now You See Me in what might be the most uncomfortable interview we’ve ever been subjected to. From Eisenberg getting called a “jerk” to their vicious back-and-forth banter, this one is just full of cringe.
Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson stopped by KTLA to promote his film Robocop in 2014, which led to an awkward interaction between him and the anchor. Let’s just say this: Don’t dare mistake Jackson for Laurence Fishburne, because he will have no trouble calling you out for it.
Taylor Swift fired back instantly after being asked a cringey question on the 2015 Grammys red carpet. When speaking with Entertainment Tonight, the interviewer insinuated that Swift would be taking home “lots of men tonight.” The singer reacted to the sexist comment with a blank stare, quipping, “I’m not gonna be walking home with any men tonight.” Mic drop.
When Selena Gomez was promoting her 2013 album Stars Dance on WGN Chicago, the interview took an unpleasant turn when she was asked about her former flame Justin Bieber and his troublesome behavior. The interview immediately cut out, proving that sometimes silence is stronger than words.
When asked about his sexuality during a 2015 press conference for Legend, actor Tom Hardy put an end to the question fast, asking the reporter, “What on Earth are you on about?”
In an interview with Barbara Walters back in 2011, the Kardashians were called out for being famous for being famous and not having any real “talent” like singing, dancing or acting. Khloe responded with “but we’re still entertaining people, while Kim noted the pressure of being on reality TV.
In 2019, R. Kelly had an emotionally charged interview with Gayle King, which led him to stand up and start yelling frantically while King sat by and kept her cool. Publicists had to help calm the singer down as he discussed the sexual abuse allegations that were brought against him.
When singer Nicole Scherzinger stopped by The Wendy Williams Show, the conversation took a turn for the worst when her breakup with pro racer Lewis Hamilton came up. From the talks of Scherzinger’s age to the fact she wasted seven good years, it’s less than comfortable to watch the whole interaction.
During the 2017 New York Fashion Week, Jim Carrey had quite an awkward interview encounter with E! News. He walked in circles around the interviewer and went on to speak about how icons don’t exist despite attending the Harper’s Bazaar Icons Party.
While walking the 2015 Oscars red carpet, actress Dakota Johnson and her mother Melanie Griffith had an awkward mother-daughter moment when discussing her film 50 Shades of Grey. The two looked visibly uncomfortable and Johnson even had to be bleeped out at one point. Watch the interview to see for yourself.
While on a Friends With Benefits press tour, Mila Kunis was caught on camera clapping back at a reporter who asked why her co-star Justin Timberlake made a move into movies. Based on the footage alone, Kunis had no trouble handling that question at all.
Over the years, Charlie Sheen has made headlines for his antics and shenanigans. In 2011, he went viral after an interview with ABC where he noted “he’s biwinning” rather than bipolar.
While the late Joan Rivers was always known for her fashion commentary, she wasn’t having it when an interviewer called her out for wearing fur. Rivers fired back by asking: “Are you wearing leather shoes? Then shut up!” She promptly stormed off shortly after.
In 1995, singer Courtney Love threw her makeup compact at Madonna while she was being interviewed for the MTV Video Music Awards. Love proceeded to crash the interview to keep the awkward moment moving. Madonna responded with “Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now.” Let’s just say it was cringeworthy all around.
In 2013, rapper Kanye West and TV personality Sway had a convo that eventually turned into a heated discussion. At 17:26, West raises his voice when Sway starts to make suggestions on how he should be approaching things. Check out the video for yourself to see the moment unravel in real time.
In 2015, pop star Justin Bieber stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show and ended up talking about his naked paparazzi photo in Bora Bora. Not only was it the hot topic of the hour, DeGeneres also plastered it up on the screen behind him during the convo. Talk about an awkward moment...
Actor Tony Danza was caught off guard when his ABC interview got off to an awkward start. He was less than pleased to be there when his off screen comments were actually live. It was pretty apparent he didn’t want to be doing the interview, but the show must go on.
Sometimes interview questions can get too personal. Before Beyoncé became a mother, she was less than pleased when an interview from Extra pressed her on the idea of whether or not Jay-Z wanted kids. She simply answered with “are you serious?!”
Justin Bieber had yet another awkward moment during an interview on Late Night with David Letterman. Letterman heckled Bieber over his new tattoo and the singer mistakenly referred the Sistine Chapel as “the sixteenth chapel.”
While waiting for an interview to begin, singer and actor Harry Belafonte literally fell asleep as the cameras rolled. That’s one way to pass the time, but not a great way to start an interview.
During an interview on CNN, actor Jerry Seinfeld got visibly annoyed when Larry King was discussing the cancellation of Seinfeld. While the interaction was short, the cringeworthy moment is forever.