Celebrity interviews don’t always go as planned. Occasionally, even the most famous journalists ask terrible questions, placing the star in an awkward position. Some celebrities attempt to respond and move along, while others simply express bewilderment, become extremely angry, and even storm out.
Here are the most cringe-worthy ways celebrities have reacted to the worst interview questions of all time. You won’t believe who shut down Matt Lauer prior to his termination from NBC (page 9).
1. Mila Kunis defends her co-star — in Russian
The question: “Many people move to showbiz, and sometimes it’s for the better. But why is Justin in movies? … Isn’t [music] enough?”
During a Friends With Benefits press conference in Moscow, a condescending reporter asked Justin Timberlake why he left singing for acting. His co-star, Mila Kunis, was clearly annoyed, chastising the reporter in Russian, saying, “Why movies? Why not? … What kind of question is that? Why are you here?”
The crowd of journalists and a surprised Timberlake laughed at the reporter in Kunis’s line of fire. The former pop star responded by saying she’s his “bodyguard.”
Next: Don’t ask this actor if he’s gay … or straight.
2. Tom Hardy shoots straight with a reporter
The question: “Do you find it hard for celebrities to talk to media about their sexuality?”
The last thing Tom Hardy expected to discuss while promoting Legend was his sexuality. Yet, during a press conference, a reporter asks Hardy about his “ambiguous” sexual preference.
After a pause, Hardy responds, “What on Earth are you on about?” Then he says no, he doesn’t find it difficult for celebrities to talk about their sexuality. He then poses a question to the reporter: “Are you asking about my sexuality?” The reporter meekly says, “Sure,” to which Hardy shoots back, “Why?”
Before the reporter can say anything, Hardy simply offers a “thank you” and moves on.
Next: This Seinfeld comedian mortified a famous TV host.
3. Larry King proves he doesn’t watch Seinfeld
The question: “You gave it up, right? They didn’t cancel you, you canceled them?”
Larry King should have done more research before his 2007 interview with Jerry Seinfeld. During their conversation, King asked whether Seinfeld was canceled. Spoiler alert: It was not.
Seinfeld looked befuddled and, after a few seconds of silence, shot back, “You’re not aware of this? You think I got canceled? Are you under the impression I got canceled? I thought that was pretty well-documented. Is this still CNN?” The comedian pointed out Seinfeld was the most popular show on TV, joking, “Do you know who I am?”
As King attempted to toss to commercial, Seinfeld continued to hammer him, asking for a resume for King to review.
Next: Megyn Kelly gets way too intrusive.
4. Jane Fonda wants to “alter” her interview with Megyn Kelly
The question: “I’ve read that you said you’re not proud to admit you’ve had work done. Why?”
While speaking to Jane Fonda about her new Netflix film, Megyn Kelly brings up Fonda’s plastic surgery, which shocks the actress. After an awkward pause, Fonda asks Kelly, “We really want to talk about that?”
Fonda immediately transitions back to the film she was promoting, saying, “Let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, Our Souls at Night, rather than plastic surgery.” Luckily, Kelly drops the topic, and the subject of plastic surgery never comes back up.
Next: A reporter learns this “iron man” isn’t bulletproof.
5. Robert Downey Jr. literally runs from his past
The question: “You’ve talked about your relationship with your father … the dark periods you entered, taking drugs and doing all of that. I’m just wondering whether you think you’re free of all of that?”
When Krishnan Guru-Murthy spoke with Robert Downey Jr. to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron, the 2015 interview took a dark turn. Downey clearly is uncomfortable with where this is going, just saying, “Sure.”
Guru-Murthy then stumbles through a question about Downey’s past, to which Downey responds, “Are we promoting a movie?” When Guru-Murthy pushes further, this is the last straw. Downey walks right out of the interview, saying it’s getting “a little Diane Sawyery” and calling the reporter a “schmuck.”
Next: A reporter didn’t do his homework on this sitcom star.
6. Mayim Bialik schools a reporter on her career
The question: “How many people think that you can solve calculus at the drop of a hat?”
In this SAG awards interview, a reporter asks Mayim Bialik if people mistakenly think she can solve calculus because she’s on The Big Bang Theory. But that’s a pretty bad question considering Bialik can do just that, which the reporter would have known if he read even the first line of her Wikipedia page.
“I actually was trained in calculus for several years,” she points out. “Yeah, I’m a neuroscientist. So, you may not have known that.”
Next: This interview was double the awkwardness.
7. Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong agree that mass shootings aren’t funny
The question: “I think you guys would be able to advise me on this: What happens if there’s a shooting at the club you’re at but you haven’t paid your bottle service bill yet? Like, do you ask for the check or just run?”
While interviewing Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong in 2016, a Clevver News reporter referenced a scene in their movie where there’s a nightclub shooting. She asked if they’d pay before leaving in this situation.
Munn and Jeong seem taken aback by this. After a pause, Munn points out if there’s a shooting, you should run or try to save people. Jeong agrees, but it only gets worse from there. Later in the interview, the reporter asks Jeong, a former doctor, to look at her tonsils. She’s clearly joking, but Munn and Jeong aren’t into it, resulting in a cringe-worthy four minutes.
Next: A reporter crosses a “violent” director.
8. Quentin Tarantino loses it on a well-known journalist
The question: “But why are you so sure that there’s no link between enjoying movie violence and enjoying real violence?”
Journalist Guru-Murthy has riled up more than one celebrity during an interview. During press for Django Unchained, he asked the director, Quentin Tarantino, about how movie violence might inspire people to commit real-life violence. Tarantino has answered this question nearly every time he’s released a movie for the past 20 years.
So Tarantino erupts fairly quickly, telling the reporter, “Don’t ask me a question like that. I’m not biting. I refuse your question.” Guru-Murthy could have dropped the subject, but he kept pushing, resulting in one heck of an awkward exchange.
Next: This exchange with Matt Lauer may hint at his future troubles.
9. Anne Hathaway wants to talk Oscars — not outfits
The question: “We’ve seen a lot of you lately … You had a little wardrobe malfunction the other night. What’s the lesson learned from something like that?”
Back in 2012, Matt Lauer interviewed Anne Hathaway about her role in Les Miserables. The Oscar winner’s powerful performance provides more than enough fodder for an interview. But Lauer opened by asking about her wardrobe malfunction captured by paparazzi.
Lauer’s creepy question surprises Hathaway, but she comes back with a masterful response. “I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings it back to Les Miserables because that’s what my character is.”
Years later, this interview took on a new light when NBC fired Lauer after accusations of sexual misconduct.
Next: Reporters should know divorce is a touchy subject.
10. Nothing about this interview is comfortable for Michael C. Hall
The question: “So, Debra. Jennifer Carpenter. So, how did that end?”
In 2013, Michael C. Hall endured an incredibly uncomfortable interview in Bangladesh. After a series of basic questions a simple Google search would answer, the reporter abruptly asks Hall about his failed marriage. Not only was it personal, but the journalist brings it up in the least delicate way possible.
Hall is confused at first. But when he realizes what she meant, he gives a surprisingly eloquent response, saying, “Oh, well, you know, some relationships have a beginning, middle, and end. Though we are still, truly, friends.”
The painful exchange didn’t end there, however. The reporter then asked Hall “yes or no” questions about his current relationship status.
Next: The reporter should’ve dropped this touchy subject the first time around.
11. A clueless reporter offends Christina Hendricks — twice
The question: “So, you have been an inspiration as a full-figured woman.”
In this 2012 interview, a reporter tells Christina Hendricks she’s a “full-figured woman.” She also asks Hendricks for a story about her inspiring someone due to her size.
At first, Hendricks laughs and says, “I don’t know.” She’s clearly offended by the term “full-figured.” According to BuzzFeed, off-camera, Hendricks said she thought the reporter calling her full-figured was “just rude.”
The interview resumes, with Hendricks hoping the reporter moves on. But she repeats the question and uses the phrase “full-figure” again. Hendricks laughs in disbelief as her publicist can be heard telling the journalist to ask something else, which she finally does.
Next: We’d never want to offend this tough guy.
12. Reporter tries to interview “Samuel L. Fishburne”
The question: “Did you get a lot of reaction to that Super Bowl commercial?”
In an infamous interview, KTLA reporters interview Samuel L. Jackson, and one asks about his Super Bowl commercial. The only problem? Jackson wasn’t in a Super Bowl commercial — it was Lawrence Fishburne.
Jackson immediately asks, “What Super Bowl commercial?” Some awkward silence follows as someone informs the reporter Jackson is not Fishburne. As soon as Jackson realizes what happened, he goes off on the anchor for about four minutes, telling him, “We don’t all look alike!”
Since then, Jackson has been known to sport an “I’m not Lawrence Fishburne” t-shirt.
Next: This actor is famous for his weight fluctuations.
13. Jonah Hill couldn’t bear the “weight” of this interview
The question: “Are you still considered the fat guy when you go to a party?”
While promoting his animated series Allen Gregory in 2011, Jonah Hill received some terrible questions from reporters. The worst comes from a journalist who asks the actor (who’s famous for losing a lot of weight) about his heavy frame.
Hill is not amused, wincing and saying, “Do you have any other questions that are smart?” But the bad questions don’t stop coming. Other reporters ask Hill why he decided to lose weight (because he wanted to get healthy, obviously) and whether he’s happy his movie was successful (he was, obviously).
Next: This celebrity walks out of the interview.
14. Reporter asks Paris Hilton whether her moment has passed
The question: “Do you ever worry about your moment having passed?”
This ABC News interview with Paris Hilton is surprisingly harsh. The journalist, Dan Harris, basically tells Hilton she’s outdated and irrelevant.
This came after Harris already asked if Kim Kardashian has overshadowed Hilton and whether she’s upset by her show’s low ratings. When Harris finally gets to the question about her moment passing, Hilton doesn’t even respond — she just walks off.
After talking with her publicist, Hilton reluctantly resumes the interview, answering the question by saying she continues to try to reinvent herself.
Next: These talk-show hosts grill a celebrity about her bad attitude.
15. Reporter asks Cara Delevingne if she’s tired
The question: “… You seemed a lot more excited about it than you do right now. Are you just exhausted?”
Cara Delevingne’s 2015 interview with Good Day Sacramento didn’t begin well, with an anchor calling her “Carla.” Then, the hosts asks some boring questions, such as whether she read the book Paper Towns before starring in the movie. Delevingne, apparently sick of interviewers asking the same things, provides sarcastic answers.
The interview was already awkward. But then a host makes it worse by asking Delevingne why she doesn’t seem excited and whether she’s tired. Delevingne actually recoils from the aggressive question, uncomfortably laughing as she says no.
The hosts won’t let it go, though. One anchor chimes in to say she seems irritated. They finally end the interview early and tell Delevingne to take a nap, proceeding to make fun of her as soon as she’s gone. Needless to say, Delevingne has not returned to Good Day Sacramento.
Next: A reporter tells this director that his movie is horrible.
16. Reporter asks Duncan Jones why his movie is so bad
The question: “Were you the right man to write the script, but the wrong man to make the film?”
Rarely do you see an interview where the reporter criticizes a celebrity’s movie. But that’s exactly what happened in this conversation with director Duncan Jones to promote Warcraft.
When Jones says he hoped the movie would establish the world and characters, the reporter lets Jones know he did a terrible job. Jones says he doesn’t think this is the case. Later, the reporter elaborates on issues he has with one of the movie’s characters and pitches his own, “more coherent” version of the film.
Jones handles himself surprisingly well under the circumstances. But needless to say, the interview ends in an awkward fashion.