Actors Talk About The Unexpected Ways They Struggled With Becoming Famous

There are many drawbacks to fame. The obvious ones are being watched and bothered, but others are much more complicated. There's bullying, racism, stalkers, nepotism, background checks, and even loved ones perusing your nude photos against your will. The following actors experienced these tribulations and many others.

Read their own stories about the unexpected ways they struggled with becoming famous.

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  • Daniel Radcliffe Said The Quickest Way To Forget That Everyone Is Watching You Is To Get Blackout Drunk - Which Became A Problem

    Daniel Radcliffe Said The Quickest Way To Forget That Everyone Is Watching You Is To Get Blackout Drunk - Which Became A Problem
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / Warner Bros. Pictures

    As Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe reached a level of fame normally reserved for dictators and deities. He dealt with this by getting blackout drunk. As he told Sam Jones:

    The quickest way to forget about the fact that you were being watched was to get very drunk... Then as you get very drunk, you become aware, "Oh, people are watching more now because now I’m getting very drunk, so I should probably drink more to ignore that more."

    Additionally, Radcliffe drank to avoid being a buzzkill. He related, “You have a great job, you’re wealthy, you don’t have a right to not be excited about the thing all the time... I think that’s a pressure as well. You suddenly start to feel, ‘Man, if I am just feeling some human emotion of sadness, does that mean I’m doing this wrong? Am I not good at being famous?’”

    In 2012, Radcliffe got sober, thereby conquering fame on his own terms.

  • Margot Robbie Said She Wasn’t Prepared For The Death Threats And Stalker Background Checks That Being Next-Level Famous Entails

    Margot Robbie Said She Wasn’t Prepared For The Death Threats And Stalker Background Checks That Being Next-Level Famous Entails
    Photo: Suicide Squad / Warner Bros. Pictures

    While already a star, Margot Robbie became next-level famous when she joined the DC Extended Universe as Harley Quinn. This came with a heavy price, which she wished was communicated to her beforehand. She had to navigate the obsessive DC movie fan base on her own:

    There’s just all this stuff you learn along the way, like, when you get those death threats, it’s [smart] to have a security team do a background check on whoever sent them to see if there is any past history of violence because you’ll need to know whether you need security to go to certain events.

    According to Robbie, each background check costs $2,000.

  • Tom Holland Said He Came Off ‘Like A D*ck’ To Fans Because He Was Always Naturally Suspicious When Strangers Approached Him

    Tom Holland Said He Came Off ‘Like A D*ck’ To Fans Because He Was Always Naturally Suspicious When Strangers Approached Him
    Photo: Spider-Man: Homecoming / Sony Pictures Releasing

    Tom Holland was a mostly unknown teen when he was cast as the MCU's Spider-Man, which meant he didn't have adequate time to develop public diplomacy:

    I used to come across sometimes as a bit of a d*ck to fans, mainly as I was always so surprised that they’d want a picture with me or signature or whatever. I’d have the typical Londoner reaction, one of instant suspicion: "Why are you talking to me?"

    It was his Spider-Man co-star Zendaya who taught him the proper etiquette. He recalled, "Zendaya spotted this and quickly told me that this sort of reaction was going to be more aggro than just smiling and taking the picture. She totally changed the way I am able to be more comfortable in public."

  • Chris Evans Said You’re ‘Worried You’re Going To Be Recognized Or Thankful You’re Not’ - But It’s In Your Head Either Way

    Chris Evans Said You’re ‘Worried You’re Going To Be Recognized Or Thankful You’re Not’ - But It’s In Your Head Either Way
    Photo: Captain America: The First Avenger / Paramount Pictures

    Although most of us dream of being recognized by strangers on the street, it became an annoying reality for Chris Evans. Just a few years after debuting as Captain America, Evans expressed his love for doing "normal" things and lamented his inability to do so without worrying about fans:

    I like going to fairs, I like going to ball games, I like going to Disney World, or a big field on the Fourth of July and having picnics with friends. The problem is, you’re either worried you’re going to be recognized or you’re thankful you’re not. It’s always there. I miss that not being in my head. 

    Keep in mind, Evans had only two Captain America/Avengers movies under his belt at the time of this comment. The stress of being recognized has to be much worse today.

  • Emma Watson Hated That The Intimate Details Of Anyone She Dated Suddenly Became Of Public Interest

    Emma Watson Hated That The Intimate Details Of Anyone She Dated Suddenly Became Of Public Interest
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Emma Watson has never been a fan of the spotlight, especially its focus on her romantic life. In 2014, she told Elle Australia, "I don't date people who are famous, and I don't think it's fair that, all of a sudden, intimate details of their personal life are public as a direct result of me... I wish I could protect them."

    She has stuck to her principles regarding dating non-celebrities and attempting to withhold their intimate details.

  • Keira Knightley Had A Mental Breakdown After The 'Pirates' Franchise Shot Her To Stardom As A Teenager

    Keira Knightley Had A Mental Breakdown After The 'Pirates' Franchise Shot Her To Stardom As A Teenager
    Photo: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl / Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    Keira Knightley was only 18 when the first Pirates of the Caribbean came out. By the time she was 22, she had starred in three Pirates movies and earned an Academy Award nomination for Pride & Prejudice. All that fame and glory was too much for young Keira to handle:

    I did have a mental breakdown at 22, so I did take a year off there and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of all of that stuff. I went deep into therapy...

    The therapist had one particularly profound insight, telling Knightley, "It’s amazing - I normally come in here and have people that think people are talking about them and they think that they’re being followed, but actually they’re not. You’re the first person that actually is happening to!"