From Robert Downey Jr losing his cool with Krishnan Guru-Murthy to Ellen DeGeneres being corrected by Dakota Johnson about a birthday party invitation, there are few things that grab our attention quite like an awkward celebrity interview.
True, they’re not usually much fun for the stars involved, and sometimes even we have to resort to watching through our fingers, but we can’t deny hitting that replay button over and over whenever a celeb lands themselves in an embarrassing interview situation.
And as you can see from our collection below, plenty of stars have had things take an uncomfortable turn when they find themselves in the hot seat...
Dakota Johnson on Ellen
Let’s start with one of the more recent additions to the awkward interview hall of fame. Things here start on an awkward note, when Ellen DeGeneres accuses her guest of not inviting her to a birthday party, only for Dakota Johnson to reveal that, in fact, the comedian was invited, she just turned down the offer.
“You’ve been on the show many times,” Ellen protests at one point. “Don’t I show [that I like you]?”
At one point towards the end, Dakota jokes that the interview is “not going well”, and even jokes about leaving the stage completely, but ultimately they manage to get things back on track.
Fern Britton on This Morning
And speaking of lost invitations, Fern Britton was unimpressed when she felt she’d been snubbed from a Bafta event celebrating This Morning’s accomplishments, and even confronted Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about it live on air.
The row eventually crossed over onto social media, at which point it emerged that her people received the invite but didn’t actually pass it along to Fern herself, assuming she wouldn’t have wanted to go.
Mark Wahlberg on The Graham Norton Show
Mark Wahlberg riled many viewers during his Graham Norton appearance in 2013, when he repeatedly interrupted fellow guest Sarah Silverman in the middle of an anecdote, at one point rising from the sofa and sitting on the host’s lap, only to get a little too intimate with him.
Graham said of the interview years later: “I think it’s that sort of thing when you finish drinking, that isn’t the drunkest you’re going to be.
“You realise when you get home, ‘Ooh, I’m drunker than when I left the pub’. I think maybe there was a bit of a timelapse and he did get very drunk.”
Joan Rivers on CNN
The late Joan Rivers was being interviewed about her new book in 2014, but took issue when she felt the interviewer was asking questions that were a little too on the serious side.
Eventually, the comedian stormed off completely, the final straw being when she was asked about her choice to wear fur on the cover of her book.
Joan later told The Hollywood Reporter: “The CNN interviewer was a news reporter and not an entertainment reporter. She did not seem to understand we were talking about a comedy book and not the transcripts from the Nuremberg Trial.
“Every question was an accusatory one designed to put me on the defensive.”
Cara Delevingne on Good Day Sacramento
Things started to nosedive early into this promotional interview for Cara Delevingne’s film Paper Town in 2015, when the host called the model-turned-actor “Carla” before she’d even said a word.
Eventually, the presenters on Good Morning Sacramento cut the interview short themselves after noting that Carla seemed “less excited” than she had in recent exchanges and “a bit irritated”.
After the interview went viral, Cara suggested that her British sarcasm had been lost in translation.
Jesse Eisenberg on Say My Name With Romina
It’s hard to pinpoint the most excruciating moment here. Is it when Jesse Eisenberg tells presenter Romina Puga that she’s “on his time”? Or perhaps when he appears to take offence to her joke about him having a “fat thumb”?
Maybe it’s the immortal line “I said your name into the camera, what else do you want?”, before the frostiest card trick performance we’ve arguably ever seen.
Avril Lavigne on Popworld
Have two people ever seemed less interested in speaking to one another than Alex Zane and Avril Lavigne, particularly when the smell of the city of Venice crops up in the conversation?
Popworld, of course, was known for its irreverence when it came to interviews, but seemingly Avril’s people forgot to mention this to her before she sat down on the sofa.
Madonna on The Late Show With David Letterman
The Queen of Pop’s appearance on David Letterman’s talk show in 1994 came when her credibility was at a low moment, and this interview definitely didn’t help matters.
She dropped the F-bomb so many times the host was visibly stunned, before going on to ask him to smell her underwear, and inquire if he was a fan of urinating in the shower.
More than a decade on, Madonna later blamed having smoked a joint moments before going on stage for her behaviour.
Peter Andre on Sky News
“Talk to me about the tour...”
Poor timing meant Peter Andre was booked to be interviewed on Sky News the day after his ex-wife, Katie Price, married Alex Reid... and he certainly did not enjoy being quizzed about the possibility of the cage fighter potentially adopting his children.
The emotional singer eventually cut the interview short, telling Kay Burley: “I’d rather just stop this, if that’s OK?”
Lady Gaga on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross
Lady Gaga gave one of her first UK interviews with Jonathan Ross at a time she was emerging as one of the biggest stars in the world, but the chat wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.
The host seemingly didn’t know what to make of Gaga, sipping tea and speaking in a hushed voice, but he wasn’t exactly without blame, asking tired questions a quick Google search would easily give the answer to and asking the singer about the oft-repeated rumour at that time that she had a penis.
She shrugged off the comment with a joke, but it was still presumably not the way Gaga had been hoping to launch herself in the UK.
Russell Brand on Morning Joe
The awkwardness here kicks in at around the 4:45 mark, when a discussion about Russell’s accent grows into him accusing the morning presenters of “casual objectification”.
“Is this what you all do for a living?” he questioned, before going on to blast their bad manners, as they repeatedly spoke about him as if he weren’t sitting at the table.
It’s safe to say, this won’t be kick-starting Russell’s breakfast telly career over in the States...
Dakota Johnson on the Oscars red carpet
Another appearance from Dakota Johnson, but once again we’d argue the awkwardness here isn’t actually her fault.
Having already been introduced as Melanie Griffith’s “little girl”, Dakota was clearly not comfortable chatting about her steamy Fifty Shades scenes in front of her mother, who insists it would be “strange” for her to watch the film when pressed on the issue by the host.
Robert Downey Jr on Channel 4 News
And while we’re on the subject of walk-outs, Robert Downey Jr made one of the most dramatic walk-outs ever in 2015, when he took issue with Krishnan Guru-Murthy asking him about his past struggles with addiction.
The Iron Man star later branded Krishnan a “syphilitic parasite”, stating: “I’m one of those guys who I’m always assuming the social, kind of decorum is in play and that we’re promoting a superhero movie.
“A lot of kids are going to see it, and this has nothing to do with your creepy dark agenda that I’m feeling all of a sudden like, ashamed and obligated to accommodate your weirdo shit.”
Quentin Tarantino on Channel 4 News
Surprisingly, Robert Downey Jr wasn’t actually the first time that Krishnan Guru-Murthy had upset a celebrity with his line of questioning.
Years earlier, he got on the wrong side of film director Quentin Tarantino during this interview about the film Django Unchained.
When the journalist suggested to a link between film violence and real-life violence, Tarantino insisted: “I refuse your question. I’m not my slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune... I’m saying I refuse.”
Tarantino then suggested the interview is nothing more than a “commercial for his film”, stating: “It’s none of your damn business what I think about that.”
S Club on Liquid News
“Let’s talk cash...”
This is what happened when S Club were asked about their finances by a pre-Strictly – and, perhaps even more strangely, pre-fringe – Claudia Winkleman.
Spoiler alert: It does not go well.
Meg Ryan on Parkinson
Potentially the OG of awkward interviews, Michael Parkinson and Meg Ryan did not even try to hide their disdain during this interview, with the You’ve Got Mail star later claiming that the host had acted “disapprovingly” towards her.
“I don’t even know the man,” she told Marie Claire. “That guy was like some disapproving father! It’s crazy.
“I don’t know what he is to you guys, but he’s a nut. I felt like he was berating me for being naked in the movie.
“He said something like: ‘You should go back to doing what you were doing’. And I thought, are you like a disapproving dad right now? I’m not even related to you. Back off, buddy. I was so offended by him.”