The art of the interview… Some hosts have mastered this technique, and some have not. Awkward moments in celebrity interviews are like a car crash: we cringe watching them, yet we can’t look away. What happens when stars and journalists share these uncomfortable moments? Internet gold that lives on for all of eternity.
We love that interviews allow us to get up, close and personal looks at big name celebrities we admire, but sometimes these looks are too close. And let’s face it; considering the superstar status most of these celebrities wield, they don’t necessarily have to play nice.
Some celebrities take a not-so-subtle public approach in feuds à la Bruce Jenner and Jimmy Fallon style, while others like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan have straight up stormed out. Sometimes, we wonder just how many drugs a certain celebrity is on… since we actually have no idea what they’re saying. Some celebrity behavior is completely bizarre (WTF was Joaquin Phoenix doing on David Letterman?) and some need a little extra time to collect their thoughts (see the Pharrell Williams interview above). Of course, you have Charlie Sheen who will always make journalists feel the most uncomfortable. #Winning.
Try not to cringe during these infamously uncomfortable moments from celebrity interviews.
Bruce Jenner Confronts Jimmy Fallon (2013)
We all know Bruce Jenner’s face is tighter than a pair of spandex shorts from the ’80s, but just don’t tell him that. After Jimmy Fallon made jokes about all of the facial plastic surgery Bruce has undergone, the two apparently had a tiff during the London Olympics and Jenner told the late night host to “stop saying sh-t” about his face. If you thought Bruce was going on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to promote the 8th season of KUWTK, you are very, very wrong.
Tom Cruise Jumps on Oprah’s Couch (2005)
Just how happy was Tom Cruise about dating Katie Holmes? Reaaallly happy. Too happy. Uncomfortably happy. So happy in fact, that he made TV history by ecstatically jumping on Oprah’s couch proclaiming his love. Was it an act of true love? Drugs? A meltdown? We’ll never know… but what we do know is that this clip never ceases to leave us entertained yet stunned.
James Brown Interviews… Under the Influence? (1988)
James Brown sure was feelin’ good in his 1988 interview with CNN’s Sonya Live! LA. After being arrested for drug possession, running from the police, and domestic issues with his wife, the “Godfather of Soul” was asked to speak to the mishaps and left the world more confused than before. Ear to ear smiling and random phrases galore! But seriously, what is he even saying?….
Kayne West’s Rampage on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2013)
Everyone who’s terrified yet simultaneously entertained by Kanye West, raise your hand! If we’ve learned anything, it’s to not make the same mistake Jimmy Kimmel did and mock Kanye, because not only will he go on a psychotic rampage, but he will never.stop.talking. And no one needs that in their lives. After Kimmel spoofed Kanye’s aggressive BBC interview, reenacted by angry kids, Kanye was not happy, yet he accepted Jimmy’s invite to publicly work out their issues. The result was this cringe-worthy interview that left a mark on TV history and a scar on our minds. Tip of the iceberg: “I’m a creative genius and there’s no other way to word it.” Again, please stop talking.
Gene Simmons Jokes About Infidelity + Shannon Tweed Hits Him, Storms Out (2011)
Maybe for once, this KISS bassist should’ve held his tongue. In an interview on The Joy Behar Show, Behar attempted to discuss Simmons’ track record of being faithful and joked about him having reportedly slept with over 5,000 women, when he went along and joked right back. His girlfriend and former Playboy Playmate didn’t find this funny and came right out with a “F-ck off”, took her microphone off, hit him, and stormed out. As if it wasn’t awkward enough, Shannon lingered around the set to make the tension even worse. Can’t watch!!
Paris Hilton Leaves During Dan Harris Interview (2011)
Ever wonder what this hotel heiress thinks about being famous for being famous? We all do… Unfortunately, journalist Dan Harris of Good Morning America wanted to know too. He blatantly asks, “Do you ever wonder about your moment being passed?” Her response? Looks to the side in disbelief, get up, and walk away. So touchy!
Carrie Prejean Refuses To Answer Sex Tape Questions + Leaves Larry King (2009)
Former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, may have been okay with the capturing herself doing the nasty on camera, but she sure wasn’t fond with being asked about it. Not only did she refuse to answer King’s questions concerning the agreement she reached with the pageant organization, she called him “inappropriate”, cut her mic while a listener called in to ask her a question, and just stopped answering.
Joaquin Phoenix’s Bizarre Behavior Makes Global Headlines (2009)
This interview was so over-the-top awkward, it’s almost hard to get through. During an extremely strange interview with David Letterman, Phoenix had a massive beard, over-sized sunglasses, and gave little-to-no response to questions (and when he did, we’re not even sure they made sense). So why did the actor put Dave and the rest of the world in such discomfort? Apparently it was all performance art for his film I’m Still Standing. Dave asked if he’d ever take a break from acting, before quickly correcting himself: “I think you’re taking some time off tonight.” A year later, Phoenix returned to the show to explain and apologize for his behavior. Although David took it well, we’re not sure we did.
Selena Gomez Ends Interview When Asked About Justin Bieber (2013)
Ain’t nobody got time for Justin Bieber’s crazy behavior. And by nobody, we mean Selena Gomez. Entertainment critic Dean Richards probed Selena about why Justin was acting out, asking: “What don’t we get about him?” This was a satellite interview, so you can only imagine how this chat went from there. We can’t help but feel uncomfortable for Dean while he blankly stares into space waiting for her answers that never come… #Awkward.
Jesse Eisenberg Battles With Young Interviewer (2013)
Jesse Eisenberg may have taken his role as the pretentious Mark Zuckerberg a little too seriously. In an interview with Fusion’s Romina Puga to promote his movie, Now You See Me, the actor immediately mocks Puga when she refers to Morgan Freeman as “Freeman”, and the interview sadly takes it’s course from there. We still can’t tell if these two are flirting or battling, but all around it just took us back to the middle school playground. Memories we don’t want to relive…
Charlie Sheen Is Winning (2011)
How dare you for thinking Charlie Sheen isn’t clean and that he’s bipolar… He’s bi-winning. Duh. From one statement, countless memes, GIFs, and an epic hashtag were born.