Actors Talk About Their Most Humbling Moments When They Didn’t Feel Famous

List Rules
Vote up the moments that sound very humbling.

No matter how successful an actor may become, it is likely they've had a few embarrassing or humbling moments in their lives where they don't feel famous. Maybe a family member keeps them in check by interrupting their work to talk to them about something that's gone wrong at home or gleefully reminds them of all the unsuccessful projects they've been in. Maybe someone sees the celebrity on the street and thinks they're someone else. Or maybe they get all flustered around one of their own favorite celebrities.

Below are some of these types of moments. Which do you think are the most humbling?

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  • When Daniel Radcliffe Was Trying To Keep His Dog Warm On The Street In NYC And Someone Gave Him Money
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Daniel Radcliffe is no longer a teenager. So although the Harry Potter films have grossed nearly eight billion dollars worldwide, not everyone will recognize the actor who portrayed the title character if they see him on the street - which Radcliffe discovered waiting outside a New York City store for his girlfriend.

    As the actor explained during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show in early 2020, it was a very cold day in New York, so he was dressed in a hoodie and heavy coat. He had crouched down by his dog and was rubbing it, trying to keep it warm, when he looked up and saw someone approaching them.

    "I saw this guy look at me and smile," Radcliffe recounted. "Then he walked past me, got about five steps away, reappeared with a five-dollar bill over my shoulder, and went, 'Get yourself a coffee, mate.'"

    He told Norton that the encounter had been a bit of a "wake-up call," as he thought he had been dressed in nice clothes that day. He joked, "Apparently, I have to shave more often."

    438 votes
  • 2
    391 VOTES

    When Matt Damon’s Daughter Reminds Him Of Terrible Movies He’s Been In

    When Matt Damon’s Daughter Reminds Him Of Terrible Movies He’s Been In
    Photo: Good Will Hunting / Miramax Films

    Matt Damon has had a very successful career; he's earned three Academy Award nominations as an actor and one as a producer while winning an Oscar as a screenwriter, and he's one of the highest-grossing actors of all time in terms of the worldwide box office. But not every film he's appeared in has been as commercially or critically successful as, say, Good Will Hunting or The Bourne Identity  - a fact which his teenage daughter Isabella takes great joy in pointing out to her famous dad.

    Damon told CBS News that Isabella had never seen Good Will Hunting or any of his other better films.

    "She just likes to give me s***. My daughter said, 'Hey, remember that movie you did, The Wall?' I said, 'It was called The Great Wall.' She goes, 'Dad, there was nothing great about that movie.'" 

    "If the reviews come out and they’re terrible, then she’ll watch it,” Damon told E! News. “If they come out and they’re good, she’s going to pass... She’s looking for ammunition all the time."

    "She keeps my feet firmly on the ground," he laughingly admitted in the CBS News piece.

    391 votes
  • 3
    395 VOTES

    When Robert Downey Jr. Realized His ‘Street Cred’ On Skid Row Was High Because The People There Identified With Him From His Darker Days

    When Robert Downey Jr. Realized His ‘Street Cred’ On Skid Row Was High Because The People There Identified With Him From His Darker Days
    Photo: Iron Man / Paramount Pictures

    To say that Robert Downey Jr. has had an up-and-down career is putting it lightly. The son of a film director, he made his acting debut at age 5, and in the 1980s, he was a member of a group of up-and-coming young actors dubbed the "Brat Pack." In 1992, he was nominated for an Academy Award for playing Charlie Chaplin, but in the early 2000s, he was fired from the television series Ally McBeal, and shortly thereafter started a court-ordered substance abuse program. In 2008, he portrayed Tony Stark/Iron Man in Iron Man - the first of 10 films in which he portrayed the iconic Marvel Comics superhero.

    Downey Jr. has stated he has been clean and sober since 2003. In the 2009 film The Soloist, he portrayed a reporter writing about an unhoused musician who had been a child prodigy but had dropped out of Juilliard when he developed schizophrenia. During filming, the actor spent months working with the LAMP Community - a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that is dedicated to trying to end homelessness for people living with mental illness -  and discovered that his "street cred" was pretty high on Skid Row because of his own struggle with addiction.

    "It never occurred to me that people would be like 'Dude, I was in county jail with you,' and I was like, 'F***, dude, I remember you!'" the actor told Collider in a 2009 interview.

    395 votes
  • 4
    221 VOTES

    When Michael J. Fox Felt Like ‘Luggage’ While Relying On Other People To Help Him Get Around After Surgery

    When Michael J. Fox Felt Like ‘Luggage’ While Relying On Other People To Help Him Get Around After Surgery
    Photo: Back to the Future / Universal Pictures

    Michael J. Fox became a huge star in the 1980s due to his success in the sitcom Family Ties and the blockbuster Back to the Future film series. But in 1991 at age 29, the actor was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's disease. Although he continued to act and founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (which has raised approximately $1 billion to try and find a cure for the disease) in 2000, the eternal optimist has sometimes been unable to keep up that attitude as his health has declined.

    One of these times was in 2018 after he underwent dangerous surgery to remove a benign tumor that had attached itself to his spinal cord. After the surgery, it took Fox some time to learn how to walk again. Once he finally did, he convinced his family that he was independent enough to be left alone. However, the first time he was alone in his home, he fell and ended up with a badly broken arm. 

    That latest in a string of setbacks caused Fox to lose his normal optimism - at least briefly. It also gave him a new appreciation for the ability to be able to walk without any help, something that he had previously taken for granted. As a person who had always been active, even doing many of his own stunts, he struggled with being confined to a wheelchair and having to depend on other people to get around.

    "When you're in a chair, you're just a piece of luggage. And if the guy pushing you, if you're in an airport or hotel or something, he's just getting you from point A to point B and hoping to get five bucks for it," Fox wrote in his memoir, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality. "Wheelchairs, being as open as they are, they might as well have bubbles over them, smoke glass bubbles because people can be quite anonymous in them."

    221 votes
  • 5
    278 VOTES

    When Mark Hamill Saw The Reaction Of Kids Who’d Seen 'Star Wars' For The First Time And Were Shocked At How Old He Looked In Real Life

    When Mark Hamill Saw The Reaction Of Kids Who’d Seen 'Star Wars' For The First Time And Were Shocked At How Old He Looked In Real Life
    Photo: Star Wars: A New Hope / 20th Century Fox

    As hard as it may be to believe, the original Star Wars movie was released in 1977. Mark Hamill was just 25 when that movie turned him into an overnight movie star.

    In 2017, the actor best known for portraying Luke Skywalker recounted how he constantly met young fans of Star Wars who were surprised by how old Hamill appeared because they had no concept of how many years it had been since the film's release.

    "Their parents, who were young children when the movies came out, would get very excited and push them toward me … 'Look who it is! It’s Luke Skywalker!' And you look at these 5 and 6-year-old kids, just horror-stricken. 'Oh, my God! What happened to this guy? He really let himself go,'" Hamill explained while being part of a panel celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Wars' release. "To have us come back [for the panel], show that the aging process is natural, makes me less self-conscious."

    278 votes
  • 6
    298 VOTES

    When Hugh Jackman Got Advice That No Matter How Successful He Got, He Always Needed To Check With His Wife To Make Sure She Was Okay

    When Hugh Jackman Got Advice That No Matter How Successful He Got, He Always Needed To Check With His Wife To Make Sure She Was Okay
    Photo: Les Miserables / Universal Pictures

    Hugh Jackman's first major role as a professional actor was on the 10-part Australian drama series Correlli. That is how he met fellow actor Deborra-Lee Furness; the couple has been married since 1996.

    His breakthrough film role in terms of introducing him to an audience outside of Australia came when he was cast as Wolverine in X-Men (2000), a role he would portray in eight other films between 2003 and 2017. The actor has had significant success over the past 20 years; in addition to his Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance in Les Misérables, he has won a Tony, an Emmy, and a Grammy Award.

    Despite all his success, the actor has kept his family as his first priority. In 2020, he did an interview on the Tim Ferriss Show and related the advice his father had given him years earlier: "When I got famous and things were going really well for me, he turned me aside and he said, 'Don’t forget to always check that everything’s okay with Deb at every point.' And I was like, 'Oh, okay. That’s great advice.'"

    298 votes