While promotion the Fantastic Four reboot, the movie’s cast endured a painful run-in with two radio personalities from Atlanta’s Rock 100.5. One of the radio hosts asked how Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara could play brother and sister. “Am I missing something?” he asked, “You’re white and you’re black. How does that happen?” Like true professionals Jordan and Mara took it in stride, but the awkwardness did not stop there. The other host began hitting on Mara, saying “You’re way, way hot.” He eventually ended the interview by admitting that he’s a “toe guy.” Can you say awkward?
Likewise, Paper Towns’ leading lady, Cara Delevingne, had an equally bizarre exchange with the hosts of Good Day Sacramento (watch that interview HERE). The segment became uncomfortable after one of the hosts called the actress “Carla” Delevingne. But the fun didn’t stop there, the hosts then asked her if she had read the book on which the movie is based – a mundane question Delevingne had likely answered hundreds of times already during the press tour. Understandably, the actress pulled out of the interview, dropping the live feed to Good Day Sacramento. However, instead of taking the high road, the hosts joked that she seemed to need a nap or a Red Bull to correct her bad attitude. Having the last laugh, Delevingne took to Instagram over the weekend to poke fun at the awesomely awkward encounter. She posted a picture of herself reading Paper Towns with the caption, “I just found this book! It’s awesome!”
In honor of Delevingne’s killer response, here is our list of 10 awkward celebrity movie interviews.
Sacha Baron Cohen dumping “Kim Jong-Il’s” ashes onto Ryan Seacrest doesn’t make this list because the interview was held on an awards show red carpet and the awkwardness grew out of Sacha’s antics as – opposed to organically coming from poor interviewers. Likewise, Michael Jackson and Martin Bashir’s interview, as iconic and crazy as it was, doesn’t make the cut either. Moreover, awkward run-ins don’t count (sorry Courtney Love, Kurt Loder, and Madonna’s after VMAs trainwreck double interview). As memorable as they are, celebrity meltdowns and rants also don’t make this list, like any one of Charlie Sheen’s “tiger blood” references or Mr. Kanye West on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
No, this list specifically targets moments in which journalists’ created an awkward situation for well-intentioned talent.
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader on Being Nude (or Not)
Some journalists don’t always know what they are talking (or asking) about. The Skeleton Twins co-stars, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, were promoting their movie on Denver’s KWGN when entertainment anchor Chris Parente asked Wiig about nudity in the film. Stunned, she responded by saying, “not this film!” The two SNL alums capitalized on the awkwardness of the moment joking that it was Hader who was nude in the film. Then they inquired if Parente actually saw the film.
Eventually, all three began to joke and reinvent the plot of the film on the spot, even claiming the film was about Muppets. All three had a good laugh, and Hader clarified that everyone in the film is fully clothed. Parente promised that he would see the film when it opened in Denver. Refusing to go down for the count, he finished the segment with one last joke, asking Wiig if she was a bridesmaid in the movie too.
Check out the hilarious exchange – HERE!
Meg Ryan Schools the BBC on Journalism
Poor Meg Ryan. America’s sweetheart had no idea what she was walking into when the BBC’s Michael Parkinson asked her about a previous statement she made about acting “not being in her nature.” She questioned him if she actually did say that, to which he affirmed that she had said it, and asked if she was denying it. Cue the awkwardness and silence! Ryan began to twirl her hair and even fictitiously laughed as he inquired more about her desire to be an actress. To help move things along, Ryan tried to clarify her statement, stating: she was talking about being uncomfortable in the spotlight.
Things got more awkward when Parkinson inquired about her training to be a journalist and whether she mistrusted journalists as well. Not willing to let his bizarre line of questioning go, the interviewer began criticizing the way Ryan was sitting – including how uncomfortable she looked. Parkinson ended the interview by asking Ryan how she would handle the interview if she were in his shoes. She responded by saying, “I would just wrap it up now.”
Watch the Meg Ryan interview – HERE.
Hugh Grant Caught With His Pants Down
Let’s face it, timing is everything. Sometimes an awkward question is not necessary to get a cringe worthy interview – just ask Jay Leno. Back in 1995 Hugh Grant was busted in Hollywood for soliciting a prostitute. Fresh off the heels of that controversy, Grant was scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show to promote his film Nine Months. Leno wasted no time in commenting on it, asking “Well let me start with question number 1 — what the hell were you thinking?” Grant cringed and awkwardly adjusted himself in the chair as the audience laughed. He then began listing humorous explanations for arrest.
Eventually, Grant went on to sincerely admit that he had made a mistake – and the Hugh Grant interview became a ratings juggernaut for The Tonight Show, which had been in the second place behind the Late Show with David Letterman up until that point.
Watch the famous interview – HERE.
Don’t Call Amy Schumer a Skank
Warning: Don’t call Amy Schumer “skanky.” Don’t even call her character skanky. Just don’t do it! This funny lady is not known for taking the high road, especially with questions like the ones she received from a Melbourne-based radio Station during a press junket for her film, Trainwreck. The interview started innocently, but eventually turned into a trainwreck itself (get it?) when the interviewers asked Amy if her character was skanky.
It all went downhill from there. He said he was not trying to offend Schumer, to which she responded, “Whatever you are trying to do, you are. That’s a rude question.” The interview culminated in a conversation about pubic hairs and skanks along with a discussion about the real meaning of the movie, which neither side could agree on.
Watch the Schumer interview – HERE.
Robert Downey Jr. Walks Out On Channel 4
Iron Man loves to crack a joke, but when it comes to Robert Downey Jr.’s sobriety and past battles with drug addiction, he’s really not laughing. This came to light during an interview with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy in Britain, where Downey Jr. was promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron. Things turned sour when Guru-Murthy began asking questions about Downey’s family – and his colorful past.
As Downey sees where the interview is heading, he gets agitated and looks off camera for his handlers to intervene before suggesting that his inquisitor change subjects. Not taking the hint, Guru-Murthy asks the blockbuster comic book movie star about his dark period of drugs and drinking, to which Downey responds by getting out of his chair and leaving the interview, saying “it’s getting a little Diane Sawyer-y.”
Watch Robert Downey Jr.’s “Bye, Felicia” moment – HERE.
Jesse Eisenberg Vs. Romina Puga: Magic Time
In an interview promoting Now You See Me, Jesse Eisenberg got off to a rough start with Romina Puga. She mentioned that “Freeman” plays a magic debunker. Eisenberg sarcastically snaps back “Who’s Freeman, a baseball player?” She then refers to Eisenberg’s co-star (Morgan Freeman) as “Morgy,” which only makes things worse. Things only get stranger after she enlists Eisenberg in a game of debunking magic tricks. Eisenberg tells her that a thumb can’t pass as a finger in her trick, to which she retorts that he just has a fat thumb.
At the end of the interview, Eisenberg refers to Puga as “the Carrot Top of interviewers” after discovering that she had written her questions on her hand. When she says she’s going to cry, he tells her “No! Cry after the interview is over, or else it’ll look like I’m responsible!”
Watch this magical moment – HERE.
Mel Gibson Has Moved On To Calling People Assholes
Sometimes tackling the elephant in the room is not the best way to go. Dean Richards, a WGN-TV reporter, learned this firsthand during a satellite interview with Mel Gibson for Edge of Darkness. The turning point occurred when the interviewer asked why Gibson took a 7-year break from leading-man roles, to which Gibson gave a lengthy explanation on how he has evolved as a person, but Richards challenged him by asking if he thought the public would receive him differently after Gibson’s infamous anti-Semitic remarks.
Gibson’s eyes nearly bolt out of his head at the question, and he responded with “I’ve moved on. I guess you haven’t!” When the interview ended, Gibson called Richards an “asshole,” seeming not to care if he was still on the air.
Listen to the Gibson interview – HERE.
Quentin Tarantino Shuts Some Butts Down
Word to the wise: be careful when talking to Quentin Tarantino about violence in his films. Obviously movie critic Jan Wahl, of KRON 4 in San Francisco, didn’t get the memo. The live feed interview became full-on confrontation when she asked why Tarantino thought Kill Bill would be great for children – even though it included ample violence. Tarantino explained that the film was R-rated, but if parents took their children to see it, they would have a blast, adding that young girls would feel empowered by it.
Things turned extremely hostile when the two started screaming at each other. She asked why the need for such “gruesome, graphic violence.” He screamed back “because it’s so much fun, Jan, get it!” Tarantino finished by telling her that he did not make films for her, to which she said that she was glad he didn’t. Wahl then closed the segment by saying that Kill Bill is not for kids – and has no soul. Point. Set. Match.
Watch Tarantino serve it right down the middle – HERE.
Tom Cruise on Scientology and Psychiatry
Leave it to Tom Cruise to redefine the word awkward. When he swung by The Today Show to promote War of the Worlds, Matt Lauer asked questions about Scientology, psychiatry and the actor’s “feud” with Brooke Shields. Cruise delivered a stellar dramatic performance as an “expert,” demonstrating his specious knowledge of psychiatry and its history as a Nazi pseudoscience.
The conversation ended with Cruise schooling Lauer on the importance of knowing the facts and being a journalist, and yet it seemed as though Cruise’s knowledge on the subject was tinted by his connection to Scientology. Along with the couch-jumping incident on Oprah, this interview became a major embarrassment for Cruise at the time – though, learning from his mistakes, the actor has been awkward interview free for several years now.
Watch Cruise de-glib Matt Lauer – HERE.
Samuel L. Jackson Is Not Laurence Fishburne
When you interview a celebrity (or any person, for that matter), you should probably be clear about who you’re interviewing. Veteran entertainment reporter Sam Rubin seemed to forget that golden rule during an interview with Samuel L. Jackson for Robocop. Rubin mistakenly referenced a recently-aired Laurence Fishburne Super Bowl commercial, implying that Samuel L. Jackson was the star of the ad. A long silence ensued as Rubin realized he had just put his foot in his mouth.
Not letting the moment go Samuel L. Jackson called out Rubin on live TV saying “See you’re as crazy as the people on Twitter! I’m not Laurence Fishburne!” (Cue the laughter) Rubin admitted his fault and tried to move on, but Jackson would not let it go “We don’t all look alike. We might all be black and famous, but we all don’t look alike. Busted!” When Rubin tried to talk about Robocop, Jackson refused and listed a bunch of actors that he was not and commercials that he did not do. The interview continued down this awkward (but very funny) path until Rubin managed to get Jackson back on track and talking Robocop.
Watch this hilarious encounter – HERE.
Celebrities have been dealing with antagonistic journalists (and vice versa) ever since the dawn of mass media. Obviously, there are many more awkward celebrity interviews out there. Did we miss any terrible interviews? Let us know in the comments!