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Actors Who Never Saw Their Own Movies

Updated November 16, 2020 572 votes 104 voters 17.1k views12 items

List RulesVote up the actors you're surprised haven't seen one of their most prominent projects.

Much like politicians, it probably takes a certain amount of hubris to make a living as a Hollywood star - which is why it's sometimes surprising when an actor or actress admits they can't watch their own movies. Whether it's because they're a little embarrassed about taking the role in the first place - hello, Michael Caine - or because they just can't take the sound of their own voice, sometimes even the stars get a little insecure looking at themselves onscreen. 

Below are some of Hollywood's biggest names who are just like us when we open up our phone with a front-facing camera. Once in a while, you just have to look away and move on with your life. 

  • Photo: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl / Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    Johnny Depp has his fair share of quirks, and one of them is that he's not a fan of sitting around and watching his own movies. He told Ellen DeGeneres that he literally ran out of the theater at the premiere for the first Pirates of the Caribbean. "I saw part of maybe, maybe the first one. I ran out anyway, it doesn't matter. Ran out like a scared rat," he said. Jack Sparrow would be so disappointed.

    He did, however, decide to see one of the movies in the franchise - the fifth and final one - because it felt right. Depp explained in the same interview, "I thought, if this is the [last one], I want to make sure we're delivering what we need to deliver to the people, because the people, you guys are the ones who went and saw the thing three, four, five times. You deserve to not be spoon-fed formula. I tried to up the stakes a little with some of the jokes."

  • Joaquin Pheonix has only managed to stomach just two of his own movies. In a 2015 interview, he said he hadn't seen any of his filmography aside from Her and The Master. It's mostly because he admits to being a little hard on himself and not able to take criticism all that easily. Even from himself. "I thought I might be mature enough to watch and learn. To think: These are the mistakes that were made. But it's still something I struggle with," he told Time Out London

    He added, "Paul Thomas Anderson [the director] got me to watch The Master and I saw Her. Those are the only two I've seen."

    In 2019, he surprised the crowd at a screening of Joker in Los Angeles, and thanked them all for coming to see the movie. Though we'll never know for sure if he was sitting in the theater the whole time...

  • Julianne Moore has been nominated for and won multiple awards for many of her films, but that doesn't mean she wants to see them. Even something like Still Alice, which was critically acclaimed, she probably never even saw. She said in an interview with Britain's Daily Express, "I haven't seen any of my own movies. 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."

    Given all of the prep work and time on set that making a movie takes, it makes sense that she'd just want to get onto the next project.

  • Although Jesse Eisenberg told the Washington City Paper that he doesn't go to movies in general, he really doesn't like to have to watch anything he's in, either. Especially if it's getting rave reviews. Eisenberg said, "I don’t like to celebrate myself and revel in my good achievements. If there is something funny that made it in the movie, I’m glad I guess... I don’t even know why I’m glad. I don’t care. I’m trying to do my job and set. If I have to see a movie I’m in, which I’ve had to in the past, it’s a mortifying experience." 

    The one movie he had to see? A public screening of The Social Network at Lincoln Center in New York City.