As anyone who’s ever conducted – or attempted to conduct – an interview with a celebrity can tell you, the world of celebrity PR is a very strange one, and sometimes, personalities just don’t mesh.
The result? Awkward interviews that drag on, or in the worst (or best) case scenario, devolve into passive-aggressive slanging matches that make for brilliant car crash TV; it’s horrific, yet we’re unable to look away.
Sometimes celebrities are just jet-lagged or tired, and a question touches them the wrong way, while sometimes, the celebs are just being douchebags. There’s been plenty of controversy this week over Bruce Willis’ less than inspiring interview on The One Show, which demonstrates his clearly buzzing enthusiasm for the latest entry in the Die Hard franchise, and that caused us to pore through the archives to uncover the 10 most cringe-worthy celebrity interviews.
If you can make it to #1 without spasming into a cringe-induced coma, well done indeed…
10. Joaquin Phoenix In Character On Letterman
We start off our list with the gentlest of the 10 interviews, because it actually has a degree of artifice to it, which reduces the cringe factor somewhat.
Phoenix had previously announced his retirement from acting to become a rapper, though this in fact turned out to be a hoax, and part of Phoenix’s divisive mockumentary I’m Still Here. Phoenix appears on Letterman’s show to sell the hoax, kitted out in a well-grown beard and sunglasses, while Letterman attempts to talk about Phoenix’s new film at the time, Two Lovers.
Phoenix resorts to giving brief answers, causing Letterman to sharply retort, “What can you tell us about your days with the Unabomber?”. Letterman resorts to ripping it out of a mostly non-responsive Phoenix, delivering the brilliant closing line, “Joaquin, I’m sorry you couldn’t be here tonight”. Though saved somewhat by the fact it turned out to be a work (at least on Phoenix’s part), it’s still painful to watch.
This article was first posted on February 15, 2013