A lot of actors, musicians, and other celebrities love using interviews to promote their latest projects and discuss their creative process. Some, however, would rather let their work speak for itself.
Here are 14 celebrities who hate doing press:
1. Joaquin Phoenix's distaste for TV interviews and press conferences boils down to his desire to lead a normal life outside of his career.
He told the Independent, "I don’t mind one-on-ones occasionally, or roundtables where there’s a discussion. It’s the TV stuff I struggle with where it’s just soundbites — I fucking hate that, and press conferences where you’re up on a stage and people are down there constantly taking pictures, it’s fucking awkward."
"I don’t really want it to not feel awkward. I don’t ever really wanna be comfortable up on that stage," he continued.
He said, "It’s just, I’m not a career actor. There are some people who do that stuff, and they do it often; whereas, I’ll take breaks from working and my life is just normal, and I’m growing fucking vegetables in my garden."
2. Halsey announced their decision to stop doing press after an Allure interview that failed to use their correct pronouns and took quotes out of context.
Calling the magazine out on Twitter, she said, "First your writer made a focal point in my cover story my pronouns and you guys deliberately disrespected them by not using them in the article...Your admin bastardized a quote where I discuss the privilege of being the white child of a Black parent and intentionally used a portion that was the antithesis of the point I was trying to make."
They also pointed out the irony of this quote they gave in the interview: "I don't do press anymore. I just don't translate very well in print. Even saying this is going to get me in trouble. I already know that it is. I think sometimes [with] women who are articulate, people read it as pretentious."
3. In a 2018 Medium blog post, Lauryn Hill revealed that "[her] last interview was over a decade ago."
"People can sometimes confuse kindness for weakness, and silence for weakness as well. When this happens, I have to speak up," she said.
She wrote the blog post in response to an interview pianist/producer Robert Glasper gave, in which he claimed she'd "stolen all of [his] friends' music" and "likes to fire bands."
4. Nicolas Cage went 14 years without going on a talk show.
In 2022, he told Jimmy Kimmel Live!, "This is a big night for me. ... This is the first time I have been on national television on a talk show in 14 years."
"I waited for you and your audience," he said.
5. From the start of his career, the Weeknd has been incredibly selective with his interviews.
For example, he did his first on-camera interview in 2016 — five years after the release of his debut album House of Balloons.
The year before, he told Rolling Stone, "We live in an era when everything is so excessive, I think it’s refreshing for everybody to be like, 'Who the fuck is this guy?'"
"I think that’s why my career is going to be so long: Because I haven’t given people everything," he said.
6. Brad Pitt feels that press and publicity is "everything we didn't sign up for" as an actor.
He told Newsweek, "There's this whole other entity that you get sucked into. You have to go and sell your wares. It's something I never made my peace with."
He continued, "Somehow, you're not supporting your film if you don't get on a show and talk about your personal life. It has nothing to do with why I do this."
7. Similarly, Harrison Ford doesn't see the point of promoting his work through interviews. His notoriously curt answers have earned him a reputation of being "grumpy."
He told the Mirror, "I don’t know anything about [the movie business]. I just work here. I have tried very hard not to give a rat’s ass about the business part of it, because to me, it’s the wrong way of looking at it. I have always looked at movies as a job."
Addressing his reputation, he said, "Am I grumpy? I might be. But I think maybe sometimes it’s misinterpreted. I’ve always been an independent son of a bitch, so if I’m grumpy, then call me grumpy. I’m all right with that."
8. Jesse Eisenberg also developed a reputation as an actor who doesn't enjoy being interviewed. In 2013, he was widely criticized for an interview in which he called journalist Romina Puga "the Carrot Top of interviewers" and joked that she should "cry after the interview's over, 'cuz otherwise it'll look like [he's] responsible for it."
He said, "Everyone that’s seen it tells me they thought it was a funny thing. Listen, I would never wanna upset somebody, and if I did upset her, obviously I would have acknowledged that."
9. Since turning 18 and becoming a co-president of Dualstar, Mary-Kate Olsen has largely stayed out of the public eye and rarely gives interviews. She and her sister Ashley didn't even want to be the face of their fashion lines.
Mary-Kate told Marie Claire that designing for their brands is "kind of like a mask to hide behind."
She said, "I look at old photos of me, and I don't feel connected to them at all. … I would never wish my upbringing on anyone…"
10. Growing up as a child star also gave Ashley Olsen a distaste for living in the public eye and speaking to the press.
She told i-D, "We really didn’t want to be in front of [our fashion lines]. We didn’t necessarily even want to let people know it was us, in a way."
She continued, "I mean, it was one of those things where it was really about the product, to the point where we’re like, 'Who could we get to kind of front this so we don’t have to?' I think, to this day, you’ll see we really put the product first."
In a viral clip, their younger sister Elizabeth Olsen told a paparazzi who told her she was "much nicer" than her sister, "You guys have been bothering them their whole lives."
11. As her career progressed, Beyoncé took cues from Nina Simone about how much to reveal about her personal life to the public. The more successful she has become, the fewer interviews she's done.
In her documentary Beyoncé: Life Is but a Dream, she said, "I think when Nina Simone put out music, you loved her voice. That’s what she wanted you to love. That’s what — that was her instrument. But you didn’t get brainwashed by her day-to-day life and what her child is wearing and who she’s dating and, you know, all the things that really — it’s not your business, you know?"
She continued, "And it shouldn’t influence the way you listen to the voice and the art. But it does."
12. Kate Moss hates interview so much that they used to make her sick with anxiety.
She told the New York Times, "I just hate it. When I used to do interviews a long time ago, I used to get very ill just worrying about them before they came out. I just didn’t like it. "
"When I first started out, I did press because I wasn’t really aware that they would write something really horrible, but then they did, and I was like: 'Oh no, I don’t want to go back there. I don’t really want to open up myself to that kind of criticism,'" she said.
She continued, "I think that a lot of the time you walk in a room they already know what they want to write about you, so it doesn’t matter what you’re like. But sometimes, I will do it if I like the person or the project."
13. J. Cole largely stopped giving interviews around 2014, but he begrudgingly began doing press again in 2018.
He told Billboard, "You want to know the honest truth why I did this interview? Ib [Ibrahim Hamad, Cole’s manager] and the team thought it would be good. No disrespect to Billboard, but I literally was not in the mood. I was fine."
He continued, "And sometimes, when I do do [press], I end up feeling like it wasn’t fulfilling. But I also understand I’ve been stuck in my ways. 2014 was probably the year I decided, 'Fuck it, I’m through trying to play whatever game is going on.' Then shit worked so well I fell all the way back."
"I’m on the other extreme now. I don’t want to be so stubborn where I don’t listen to people. I’m also building a company, a record label, with other artists. Their success, in some way, may depend on me being a little more present or accessible," he said.
14. And finally, Frank Ocean doesn't do a lot of interviews, but he decided to make his Instagram public because he felt "like there was dissonance between how [he] was seen by the audience and where [he] was actually."
He told GQ, "With some pop stars, the idea of them is maybe more balanced or fully formed: a half-dozen magazine covers, x amount of interviews, a daily influx of media. There's a way you wanna be in the visual press, although you could potentially be misrepresented; when you're completely minimal with media, there's a lot of pressure on whatever one thing you're doing, the stakes are higher."
"Social media helps that, 'cause you're fully in control and can message that how you want," he said.