- Despite having celebrated careers and winning countless awards, many celebrities can’t stand the idea of watching themselves on-screen.
- Some actors who say they don’t watch their own films include Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Jesse Eisenberg, and Julianne Moore.
- Others, like Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix, say they have only seen a couple of their projects.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Although actors make a career out of being watched, not all of them enjoy seeing themselves on-screen.
Here are 12 actors who say they don’t watch their own movies.
Adam Driver typically doesn’t watch his own work, but he made an exception for “Star Wars.”
In a 2019 interview with Seth Meyers, “Star Wars” star Adam Driver said that he has never been a fan of watching his own movies.
“I’m used to doing plays. I came from a theatre background, so it never really equated to me … like why would I want to watch that? So long as I know what it feels like … that’s good enough for me,” Driver said.
Even though he doesn’t really watch his own work, the actor made an exception for the final film in the “Star Wars” Skywalker saga since he’s such a big fan of the franchise.
Plus, he wanted to see how the final film looked with the addition of CGI since he shot most of his scenes on a green screen.
“You’re standing in front of the screen and they’re like, ‘Trust us. Your lightsaber is working … There’s space behind you. It looks really cool,'” he explained.
Constance Wu said she hasn’t seen “Hustlers.”
During an interview on “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” Constance Wu shared that although she’s watched her film “Crazy Rich Asians,” she won’t watch her more recent movie “Hustlers.”
“I still haven’t seen it,” she shared, explaining that she wants to “focus on the present” and avoid being too self-critical.
Tom Hanks said he believes watching himself in movies is a “horrible mistake.”
Although he’s been in some of Hollywood’s most iconic films, Tom Hanks told ABC News in 2016 that he doesn’t watch much of his past work, including hits like “Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia,” and “Cast Away” – which all scored him Academy Award nominations for best actor.
He said he doesn’t watch his own flicks because he thinks doing so is a “horrible mistake.”
“Because you never learn what to do. You only sort of learn what not to do. The thing about looking at the old movies is that they don’t change,” he explained.
Reese Witherspoon said she “would spiral into a state of self-hate” if she watched her own movies.
During a 2010 interview with the Daily Express, Academy Award-winner Reese Witherspoon said she refuses to watch her past work and sometimes she even forgets about scenes she was in.
“I have absolute amnesia about every movie I have ever made,” she said. “I won’t watch them because if I did I would spiral into a state of self-hate.”
Witherspoon went on to say that she has caught glimpses of her work and felt strange about it afterward.
She added, “I sometimes catch the odd clip of something. I look at it and think, ‘I have absolutely no memory of that.’ It’s really weird.”
Al Pacino has said he doesn’t feel the need to watch the majority of his movies.
The star of some of the industry’s most highly respected films, Al Pacino told USA Today about his heralded career in 2019, noting that he doesn’t rewatch much of his work.
“There’s no real need [to go back]. I’ve seen it; I know what it is,” Pacino said. “If it’s good, I feel lucky. If it’s not, it’s something you try to forget.”
He said the only exception is if he happens to catch one of his old films on TV.
Jared Leto said he doesn’t really revisit his old films.
Oscar-winner Jared Leto told SyFy Wire in 2017 that although he doesn’t usually watch his own work, there have been a few exceptions (“Requiem for a Dream” and “Blade Runner 2049”).
“As soon as you watch it, that’s when it becomes subjective,” Leto said. “I just think with watching your own films, it can be too self-conscious of a process. You either like what you did and you’re prone to repeat it, or you didn’t like it, and it can make you self-conscious. I’m not sure how much win there is for me.”
He also implied that he doesn’t feel the need to watch his movies because he already knows how they will end.
Megan Fox has cringed while watching clips from her old movies.
During a 2019 interview with Entertainment Tonight, actress Megan Fox was shown clips of various projects from her past.
The actress audibly gasped and visibly cringed at the sight of her own work, telling ET that it was “weird” to watch herself.
“I just got sick to my stomach … ugh, kill me. Just kill me,” she said, reacting to the clips from films she had been in. “Why are you doing this to me? Just smother me or something.”
She explained that it’s hard to watch herself because she is very much a different person now than she used to be.
Fox added, “It’s weird. Because I’ve grown so much as a person, I would think that I would listen to myself talk and be like, ‘God, who’s that?’… I just am looking at that girl and I want to give her a hug.”
Julianne Moore has said that making movies is what gives her joy, not watching them.
Actress Julianne Moore has an incredible filmography that has earned her multiple Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
But in 2013, she told Britain’s Daily Express newspaper that she can’t sit through any of her films.
“I haven’t seen any of my own movies,” Moore said. “I can’t sit there for a premiere or anything. I like being in the movie more than I like watching them. That’s my big thrill, rather than seeing the finished product.”
In 2015, Joaquin Phoenix said he has only seen two of his movies
In 2015, actor Joaquin Phoenix revealed to Time Out London that at that point he’d only seen two of his many films – “Her” and “The Master.”
He said he had hoped that watching his own films would help him grow as an actor, but that hasn’t been the case.
”I thought I might be mature enough to watch and learn,” he said. “To think: These are the mistakes that were made. But it’s still something I struggle with.”
Angelina Jolie has said she doesn’t like watching her own movies very much.
In a 2009 interview on “Good Morning America,” Angelina Jolie explained that although she has seen most of her work at least once, there are some projects she has never seen.
“I like the process of doing them more than watching them,” Jolie explained.
She also said she doesn’t feel the need to watch any of her movies more than once.
Javier Bardem said he “can’t handle” watching himself on-screen.
In a 2012 interview for GQ, Oscar-winner Javier Bardem said he loves acting, but doesn’t enjoy watching his films.
“The fact that I like to make characters doesn’t mean that I like to watch my characters being made, my performance,” he said.
He went on to say that he judges himself too much when viewing his work on screen.
“I can’t even watch that f—ing nose, that f—ing voice, those ridiculous eyes. I can’t handle that. But when I’m doing it, I don’t see my nose or hear my voice; it’s like there’s something stronger, bigger than that. And I need to express it,” he said.
Jesse Eisenberg has said he refuses to watch his movies and he won’t read critic reviews of them.
In 2016, actor Jesse Eisenberg told Business Insider that he avoids watching himself on screen and he does not read critical comments.
“I don’t watch anything I’ve been in, and I don’t read reviews or analysis of movies I’ve been in, or my plays,” he said.
When asked if he would watch his work under any circumstances, he was adamant about keeping true to himself and his process.
“I have a very specific feeling about what I do,” Eisenberg said. “I really like thinking that you’re working in this bubble and I can experience these personal emotions without thinking that it’s going to be scrutinised by, in some cases, a lot of people, in some cases, a small group of people. To take that burden off yourself of thinking about how it’s going to be perceived by other people or myself has kind of made me feel that much more comfortable.”