Hollywood’s elite might well be rich and famous but, underneath it all, they still suffer from the same kind of irrational fears that we do.
Some might be afraid of flying, despite statistics confirming that air travel is amongst the safest modes of transport on the planet today. Others are unable to even look at clowns – people who dress up as circus performers with the express aim of entertaining small children. These phobias are, of course, completely illogical but also entirely understandable – in most cases fears are shaped by an experience in early life.
Actors take the entire concept to a whole other level, though. Rather than simply being afraid of something like clowns or maybe flying, these stars step things up with the kinds of phobias you probably never even knew existed, let alone witnessed first-hand.
It’s a reminder that actors are not only human, but are also some of the most unique individuals to walk the planet right now. They all have their reasons for fearing what they fear, of course. However, from the outside looking in, these fears seem extremely weird.
With all of that in mind, here are the 18 Famous Actors You Never Knew Had CRAZY Phobias. How many of these are you familiar with?
18 Billy Bob Thornton - Antique furniture
Billy Bob Thornton suffers from a very unique type of Furniturephobia – a type of phobia whereby the afflicted individual suffers from an irrational fear of furniture in its various forms. Thornton’s phobia is a little different to most of this kind, though. He’s not afraid of any old chair or desk per se, but rather any built before 1950.
"I get creeped out and I can't breathe and I can't eat around it," Billy Bob once revealed to Ananova. "I've had friends tell me that maybe I was beaten to death with an antique chair in a former life."
It gets weirder still, though. According to an interview with the New York Times, Thornton is also fine to be around antique furniture from Asia or the Americas. "It’s that French/English/Scottish old mildewy stuff," he said. "That’s the stuff I can’t be around. It was too big to be functional.”
17 Carmen Electra - Water
Baywatch might have seemed like a lot of fun to anyone watching at home but for star Carmen Electra, who joined the show late in its run as lifeguard Lani McKenzie, it was a very traumatic experience.
Electra suffers from Aquaphobia: a fear of water. It’s not so much that she can’t swim – she’s not a great swimmer, sure, but the problem is more complex than that.
On a show that required her to spend a fair amount of time jumping and swimming in water, that amounted to an absolute nightmare, as Electra has openly admitted in the years after. "I wasn't the greatest swimmer in the world,” she once revealed to the Daily Mail. “It wasn't easy trying to look good with the water getting in my eyes and up my nose."
16 Nicole Kidman - Butterflies
Nicole Kidman suffers from an irrational fear of butterflies, otherwise known as Lepidopterophobia. This refers to the specific fear of flying insects. Over the years Kidman has made several attempts to shake off her phobia, such as walking into the giant butterfly cage at the American Museum of Natural History. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
The fear apparently stems from her time growing up in Australia. "Sometimes when I would come home from school the biggest butterfly or moth you'd ever seen would just be sitting on our front gate,” she told Daily Beast. “I would climb over the fence, crawl around to the side of the house -- anything to avoid having to go through the front gate.”
15 Pamela Anderson - Mirrors
At her peak as lifeguard C.J. Parker on the hit series Baywatch, Pamela Anderson was a source of constant fascination and adoration from fans the world over.
That role and much of the success that followed helped Anderson cement her status as one of the most desired women on the planet. Even now, wherever Anderson goes, photographers follow. Pictures of Pammy still go for big money because people simply love to look at Anderson.
The feeling isn’t necessarily mutual though. Anderson actually suffers from eisoptrophobia – a fear of mirrors. "I have this phobia—I don't like mirrors. And I don't watch myself on television," she told Daily Mail. "If anything comes on, I make them shut it off or I leave the room." Probably for the best if Barb Wire comes on.
14 Cameron Diaz - Door Handles
Cameron Diaz suffers from a very specific kind of Mysophobia, which refers to the irrational fear of germs. The Shrek star simply refuses to touch doorknobs and will often use her elbows to open them rather than touch any potentially germ-infested handles.
The phobia, which is close to falling under the category of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, means Diaz spends much of her time cleaning the doorknobs in her LA home. At one point she cleaned them so much that the original paint came off them.
The actress has also been known to frequently wash her hands in an attempt to combat the problem. In any case, Diaz appears to have found a way to reduce the anxiety she felt around doorknobs, telling ABCNews “I think I’ve made my peace with it.” Few are convinced, though.
13 Madonna - Thunderstorms
Madonna might be one of the most successful pop stars of all time but she’s never quite enjoyed the same success as an actress. She just can’t quite convey her emotions on the screen, often coming off as stilted or wooden.
Those looking for an emotional response from the singer would be better served sticking around during a thunderstorm. Madonna suffers from astraphobia, otherwise known as a morbid fear of thunder and lightning.
So, while she might be fighting fit and boasting biceps of steel, the pop legend is liable to wilt in the face of the merest hint of stormy weather. If only she had Mark Wahlberg’s wise-cracking cuddly companion from Ted, at least then she would have a thunder buddy to call upon.
12 Christina Ricci - Plants
Christina Ricci rose to fame as Wednesday Addams, the fearless and often fearsome daughter in The Addams Family movies. Across two movies, Ricci, a mere child at the time, dealt with any number of gothic horrors. Alas, as an adult, the real-life Ricci is an altogether more fearful individual and there’s one very easy way to get her running for the hills: with a pot plant.
The official term for it is botanophobia but, in Ricci’s case, this phobia is a little bit more specific. "It's more indoor plants," Ricci once explained according to Marie Claire. "If I have to touch one, after already being so repulsed by the fact that there is a plant indoors, then it just freaks me out."
Exactly what it is about the idea of a plant being indoors that so repulses Ricci is unclear. She obviously has her reasons.
11 Matthew McConaughey - Revolving Doors
Matthew McConaughey isn’t afraid of putting his body on the line in the name of art. He lost an astonishing 50 pounds to play the AIDS-striken Ron Woodroof in the powerful biographical drama Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey is afraid of some other things, though. While he’s not particularly keen on tunnels, the Texan’s real fear is revolving doors.
Technically termed as Entomophobia, the fear of doors combines elements of Agoraphobia and Claustrophobia to debilitating effect. More often than not, those afflicted can’t even look at them.
No one is really clear what McConaughey’s issues with stem from though – including the actor himself. Once asked by Us Weekly what it was that made revolving doors such a terrifying prospect, McConaughey simply answered "I get anxious just being near them."
10 Oprah Winfrey - Chewing gum
The multi-millionaire chat show phenomenon might be one of the most powerful women in the world of entertainment, but give her a piece of gum and she’s liable to lose it with you.
Oprah Winfrey has made no secret of the fact she suffers from Chiclephobia – a phobia of chewing gum. According to Winfrey, it all stems back to her childhood and her grandmother’s habit of sticking used chewing gum to her own furniture.
"My grandmother used to save it in little rows in the cabinet. I'd be scared to touch it because it was so gross, so I have a thing about gum," she told Contact Music. As a result, Winfrey has adopted a zero-tolerance policy to gum. "One guest in my home sat at the dinner table, took out some gum from her mouth and put it on her plate - after she left, I threw the plate out."
9 Kyra Sedgwick - Talking Food
Kyra Sedgwick’s phobia may be the most unusual on this list: she is apparently completely terrified by the idea of talking food. Her husband, Kevin Bacon, lifted the lid on Sedgwick’s irrational fear of characters like the famous California Raisins during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
In fact, Bacon revealed the phobia actually forced him to turn down an offer to voice the giant Peanut M&M in a series of commercials for the popular candy brand.
"I thought about it, and I said I can’t do that to my wife, because my marriage is more important," Bacon said. "I really think she would’ve left me." In turning the offer down, the Footloose actor effectively waved goodbye to arguably one of the easiest and best paid jobs on offer. Never mind talking food, they probably can’t stand the sight of M&Ms after this.
8 Channing Tatum - Porcelain Dolls
Pediophobia refers to the irrational and persistent fear or worry of dolls. Channing Tatum’s own irrational fear of dolls was born out of television and movies. However, the Magic Mike heartthrob wasn’t left shaken by some of the more obvious doll-based horror movies – the Child’s Play franchise and Annabelle immediately spring to mind.
According to Tatum, who revealed all in an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, this particular phobia stems from an episode of the Friday the 13th TV show that featured a possessed porcelain doll.
It was an episode that has stayed with Tatum ever since. “I just think they’re really super freaky. They have, like, real eyes and they look real,” he said. "I just imagine when I walk by them their heads turn with you the whole time."
7 Tyrese Gibson - Owls
Tyrese Gibson is an action movie star associated with blockbuster franchises like the Transformers and Fast & Furious. On camera, he’s a wise-cracking, all-action tough guy. In real-life, however, he’s a sufferer of Oclophobia: the irrational fear of owls.
Gibson’s phobia of owls is pretty severe too. So severe, in fact, that he apparently has to avoid anything associated with owls – including the raunchy restaurant chain Hooters, which has an owl for its logo. That’s only the half of it, though.
“It started when I was young. I can't even look at the image of an owl,” Gibson revealed to IMDb. "I've never been to Hooters in my life and I've never seen any of the Harry Potter movies because they have owls throughout." No Harry Potter movies? Poor guy.
6 Alfred Hitchcock - Eggs
He might be the master of suspense and one of Hollywood’s first great horror movie directors, but it didn’t take much to give Alfred Hitchcock the heebee-jeebies. The Psycho filmmaker suffered from a condition known as Ovaphobia, or a fear of eggs and couldn’t even look at the things, let alone eat them.
“I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me,” Hitchcock once claimed. “Have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting."
What makes this particular phobia all the more unusual is the fact Hitchcock famously directed a film called The Birds. You know, those feathered animals that lay eggs in the first place? That must have been a difficult shoot.
5 P Diddy - Toes
P Diddy’s phobia is a little more unusual than most – he has an irrational fear of toes. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female toes either, Diddy simply can’t stand to look at them.
The rap mogul and sometime actor revealed his phobia during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno alongside Kate Beckinsale back in 2008. "I have this foot thing... I really fear a long second toe,” he said.
P Diddy’s toe issues even play an important part in his love life too. As Combs explained: "I somehow get to see the toe on the first date - it's mandatory. I may not go for a kiss, but I'm definitely going to see if that second toe is long."
4 Robert De Niro - Dentists
Robert De Niro has always been a good looking guy but his teeth could probably do with fixing up. The Raging Bull actor is what’s known as a Dentophobic – he has a pathological fear of all dentists.
De Niro is different to most other Dentophobics, though. Dentophobics tend to feel nervous or uneasy about undergoing dental surgery itself. De Niro, on the other hand, is afraid of dentists because he actually believes dentistry equipment can and will cause diseases.
The Oscar-winner wasn’t always so fearful of getting his teeth fixed though – in 1991 De Niro apparently paid a dentist $5,000 to make them look suitably dodgy for the role of Max Cady in Cape Fear and then paid another $20,000 to have them fixed after. Did something bad happen then?
3 Megan Fox - Dry Paper
Megan Fox definitely isn’t afraid of standing up to the likes of Michael Bay but present her with a newspaper, book, or even a movie script and she might have trouble. Not with reading it, of course, but touching it.
Fox suffers from a unique version of Papyrophobia – the fear of paper. It’s not paper per se, that the Transformers star is afraid of but, more specifically, dry paper. Fox confirmed her phobia during an appearance on Tonight with Jimmy Fallon back in 2009.
"Some people don't like nails across a chalkboard because it gives them goosebumps," she told The Indian Express. "I don't like dry paper. Scripts, newspapers, or anything that's not laminated, I have to keep licking my fingers. If I'm reading I have a cup of water to dip my fingers in. I'm really neurotic."
2 Helen Mirren - Talking on the telephone
Helen Mirren is acting royalty – and that’s not just because she’s played the Queen of England. With a career dating back to the 1960s, she’s been an enduring presence on both the big and small screen for fans on both sides of the Pond.
Unfortunately, Mirren, for much of that time, has also been dogged by another unusual phobia: telephones. Again, Telephonophobia is a very real condition suffered by a select few out there – including Mirren.
"I'm very frightened of the phone. It just makes me so nervous. I will always avoid picking it up if I can,” she told The Daily Mirror in 2009. "The invention of the answering machine was amazing." The answering machine only really came into widespread use in 1984. That’s a long time to be suffering in silence.
1 Orlando Bloom - Pigs
Orlando Bloom might be the all-action star of both the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchises but, rumour has it, he’s not quite so brave and daring when the cameras aren’t rolling.
In fact, Bloom is said to have a pretty major fear of pigs. These claims date back to Bloom’s time on the Ridley Scott crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven. The story goes that during filming, a pig broke loose from its pen and ran riot on set.
Bloom – brave, dashing hero that he is – supposedly made a run for it as soon as the hog started causing havoc. He’s been dogged by claims that he has a phobia of pig ever since. Of course, Bloom denies this.
Asked to confirm the rumours during an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he said "No! I love pigs! They’re cute!" Would he really admit to it even if he was though?
Do you know of any other actors with unusual phobias?Let us know in the comments!