Top 10 Stars Who Fired Back at Their Interviewer



Top 10 Stars Who Fired Back at Their Interviewer

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Sometimes interviews can get a little heated. From Samuel L. Jackson asserting that he is NOT Laurence Fishburne, to Anne Hathaway firing back at sexist questions about her weight, these stars weren't afraid to call out their interviewer. WatchMojo is counting down the stars who confronted their interviewer.

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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Stars Who Fired Back at Their Interviewer

Sometimes interviews can get a little heated. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top Ten Times Stars Fired Back at Their Interviewer.

For this list, we’ll be looking at well-known celebrities who harshly defended themselves against an incompetent, belligerent, or simply downright foolish interviewer.

#10: Samuel L. Jackson

People have been mixing up Samuel L. Jackson and Laurence Fishburne for years. But this interview and case of mistaken identity was the one that finally pushed Jackson over the edge. KTLA's Sam Rubin asked Jackson about the supposed Super Bowl commercial that he starred in, and this set Jackson off on a two-minute tangent in which he completely eviscerated Rubin on air. He constantly cut him off, told him that not all black people look alike, and even took a jab at Rubin’s job as an entertainment reporter. Rubin can do nothing but awkwardly laugh it off before conceding that it was a “well-deserved spanking.”

#9: Tom Hardy

If anything, Hardy was far too polite. This interviewer at a press conference opens his questioning with the ridiculous statement that Hardy’s sexuality seems ambiguous. He then keeps rolling, asking if celebrities find it hard to openly discuss their sexuality before clarifying that he is asking Hardy directly about his. The actor simply asks why he is asking about that, which stumps the kid in his tracks, probably ending his career in the process. Hardy then gives him a simple but commanding “thank you,” ends the questioning on his own terms, and proves that he is just as badass in real life as he is in front of a camera.

#8: Anne Hathaway

It seems as if male interviewers can’t shake the image of Anne Hathaway in a catsuit. First, it’s Extra’s Jerry Penacoli telling Hathaway that she is in “phenomenal shape” and asking what the leather suit was like. Then it’s Chris Van Vliet asking her how much weight she had lost to get in, again, “phenomenal shape.” While Hathaway takes it in stride and has a smile on her face the whole time, you can still tell that she was a little uncomfortable with the question, and, obviously, refused to answer it directly. He was lucky she’s so sweet.

#7: Mel Gibson

There are a few things you don’t bring up in a simple promotional interview, including, as we’ve seen, a star’s sexuality and weight. We can add their past drinking problems to that list as well. Gibson appeared on WGN-TV with reporter Dean Richards to answer questions about his movie “Edge of Darkness.” Things were going well enough until Richards brought up Gibson’s problematic past, resulting in Gibson telling Richards to move on before wryly giving him a thumbs up and calling him an asshole. Richards probably just wanted ratings and views, and he certainly got that. And a little something extra...

#6: Robert Downey Jr.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4 News has certainly made a name for himself in the early 21st century because of his belligerent interviewing style, as showcased with this infamous Robert Downey Jr. interview. RDJ’s reluctance to answer personal questions is clearly evident, as he looks off to his publicist and begins to breathe deeply. So when a well-warned Guru-Murthy brings up Robert’s troubled past, Downey simply says goodbye and walks out, leaving a curiously bewildered Krishnan sitting in awkward silence. To his credit, Downey doesn't unleash on him, but it's pretty bad for an interviewer to have their subject walk out of the room.

#5: Scarlett Johansson

OK, here’s a tip for all you budding reporters out there. Unless you're writing for a porn magazine or a lingerie blog, maybe don't ask your subjects about their underwear. Here we meet up again with Extra’s Jerry Penacoli – you know, the Anne Hathaway fan – who is now asking Scarlett Johansson about whether she wore underwear under her Avengers costume. Scarlett quickly deflects the question and harshly berates Penacoli, all while Jeremy Renner sits there and awkwardly laughs along. Johansson asks what kind of interview this is, and we can’t help but ask the exact same question.

#4: Quentin Tarantino

Once more we see Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy missing the mark, and the social cues. Guru-Murthy asks Tarantino about the relationship between cinematic and real violence, you know, Tarantino 101. Tarantino repeatedly tells Guru-Murthy to drop it and that his stance on the subject is well-documented, yet Krishnan sticks with it, leading to an incredibly awkward, four-minute long back and forth. We’re honestly surprised that Tarantino didn’t walk out like RDJ. Surely after the tenth time you tell someone to move on and they don’t do it, you would start to get a little annoyed. Has this guy not seen “Reservoir Dogs”?

#3: Jerry Seinfeld

“Seinfeld” is one of the most popular television shows, and arguably the most admired sitcom of all time - and Jerry doesn’t want you to forget it. During an interview with Larry King, the host asks the comedian if he stopped the show on his own terms or if it was canceled. This leads to Seinfeld ripping into King, asking King if knows who he is, telling him about the 75 million viewers who tuned in to the finale, and subtly jabbing King about the decreased quality of his talk show. You could argue that Seinfeld’s response was a little uncalled for... but 75 million viewers, damn it!

#2: Tom Cruise

It's one thing to ask a stupid question, it's another to prank your interviewee. Here Tom Cruise was being interviewed at an event, when the interviewer squirted him with water via his prank microphone. Cruise seemingly has the patience of a saint, because he calmly berates the man and calls him a jerk instead of decking him straight in the face. And the best part? When the interviewer turns around, his face is puckered as if he’s about to cry. You know you’ve done a good job firing back at someone when they literally cry as a result.

Before we unveil our top pick, here is an honorable mention.

Snoop Dogg

#1: Kanye West

It isn't clear, but apparently Sway doesn't have all the answers. In this Sway in the Morning interview, Kanye West displays great modesty by declaring himself to be the single greatest artist of our generation – an equal to Shakespeare. When Sway tries to give Kanye advice on how to further his genius, Kanye goes ballistic and screams “You ain’t got the answers!” countless times directly into the microphone. To top it off, Kanye takes a jab Sway’s clothing line and constantly interrupts him by yelling into the mic. Kanye absolutely exploded on him - but then again, Kanye will Kanye, and Sway should have expected that.