20 Celebrity Interview Fails That Will Live On Forever

A promo tour can go horribly wrong in an instant.

Originally Published: 
Lady Gaga and Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.
YouTube/NBC/Tonight Show

Interviews are part of a celebrity’s job, whether they be TV actors, movie stars, recording artists, or even just an influencer in the entertainment industry. If they’re promoting a new project, chances are they’ll be asked to appear on late-night talk shows, sit in on radio chats, or speak to magazines and newspapers to get the word out.

These can be excellent opportunities to introduce their new projects to the masses, but they can also go horribly wrong in an instant. Yup, celebrity interview fails are an inevitable part of the Hollywood circle of life.

Countless examples of interviews going awry exist, but these 20 clips highlight how celebs — and sometimes the interviewer — can fail miserably while on the record.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry and Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.YouTube / TheEllenShow

Katy Perry’s 2017 interview with Ellen DeGeneres is a disaster from start to finish, and they’re both partially to blame, though for very different reasons. For her part, the daytime TV talk show host forgets that Perry was married, and during the game, the singer comes off as annoyed — many times. It’s a mess, but a funny mess, and not the best showing for either seasoned star.


Rihanna attends the FENTY x PUMA Creeper Phatty Earth Tone Launch Party on April 17, 2024 in London, England.Neil Mockford/WireImage/Getty Images

This is certainly not a fail on Rihanna’s part, but it’s an interview fail nonetheless. While at a junket promoting the film Battleship in 2012, she was asked about relationship rumors involving Ashton Kutcher. The interviewer was clearly trying to suss out some tabloid fodder, and RiRi wasn’t having it, responding, “Wow. How disappointing was that question?”

Jimmy Fallon & Lady Gaga

Jimmy Fallon and Lady Gaga on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. YouTube/NBC/Tonight Show

Jimmy Fallon was clearly excited to have Lady Gaga on The Tonight Show (via FaceTime) in 2020, as she was slated to make an announcement that the host hyped up more than he probably should have. When it came time for the singer to make her reveal, she had to admit that she wasn’t able to, and hopefully, he could call back in a few days. This took all the wind out of Fallon’s sails, and it’s clear that Gaga wasn’t thrilled either. A Fallon fail, indeed.

Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte during the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' 2014 Governors Awards on November 8, 2014 in Hollywood, California.Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

OK, this one’s just funny. Legendary EGOT winner Harry Belafonte appeared on KBAK’s Eyewitness News to promote a documentary made about himself named Sing Your Song, but what viewers got out of the “interview” was a laugh. The star was fast asleep when the anchor tried to speak with him, and after a few attempts to rouse him, they simply made light of the situation and moved on. In Belafonte’s defense, it was probably pretty early.

The Bee Gees

Maurice, Barry, and Robin Gibb, of the group the Bee Gees, sing at a benefit concert for UNICEF at the UN HQ, New York, New York, January 9, 1979.Allan Tannenbaum/Archive Photos/Getty Images

When ’70s hitmakers The Bee Gees appeared on Clive Anderson’s All Talk in 1997, the entire staging was slightly awkward, but it went OK until the host made a joke regarding one of their songs, saying that he forgot it (ironically, the tune was titled “Don't Forget to Remember”). They didn’t take the joke well. One member got up and left, and even more awkwardly, the other two quickly followed.

Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson and Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen DeGenereres Show.YouTube / TheEllenShow

Dakota Johnson’s 2019 interview with DeGeneres is one of the most memed interview fails of all time. The host said that Johnson hadn’t invited her to her 30th birthday party. “Actually, no, that’s not the truth, Ellen,” she replied, explaining that she did invite her to this soiree after not doing so the year prior, which was confirmed by one of DeGeneres’ producers.

“Why didn’t I go?” she asked, before joking that Malibu was “too far” for her. They brushed it off with laughs, but the rest of their interview was still filled with awkward tension, especially when Johnson called Tig Notaro her “favorite comedian” right to DeGeneres’ face.

Jacob Elordi & Simone Ashley

Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer, Patrick Dempsey, Simone Ashley and Jacob Elordi at F1 Grand Prix of Monaco on May 29, 2022 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

While attending the F1 Grand Prix in Monaco in May 2022, commentator Martin Brundle attempted to speak with Jacob Elordi and Simone Ashley on the track. However, Elordi simply stepped off to the side before Brundle was told “no TV” by one of Ashley’s team members. He awkwardly still tried to start a conversation before eventually giving up, making for one hilarious watch.

Dua Lipa & Gwen Stefani

Dua Lipa and Gwen Stefani on Jimmy Kimmel Live.YouTube / Jimmy Kimmel Live

When Dua Lipa guest-hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live and interviewed Gwen Stefani in August 2020, she referred to Blake Shelton as her “husband.” However, they weren’t married yet at the time. The No Doubt singer played it off by replying, “He's not my husband, but that sounded cool when you said that.” Luckily, she did marry Shelton a year later, so Lipa wasn’t totally incorrect.

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell attends the press launch for the V&A's upcoming "Naomi: In Fashion" exhibition, at The Dorchester on March 13, 2024 in London, England.Dave Benett/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

ABC offended supermodel Naomi Campbell backstage at a charity fashion show. When asked about claims that she had accepted a blood diamond from a politician, she insisted she wasn’t going to speak about them. Not long after her dismissal, Campbell not only stood up and left, but knocked over the camera, leading the news anchor to joke, “Oopsy.”

Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel speaks at the 37th Annual American Cinematheque Awards on February 15, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

While promoting his film XXX: Return of Xander Cage in an interview with Brazilian YouTuber Carol Moreira, Vin Diesel had a difficult time answering questions, as he was distracted by her beauty. He continually avoided saying anything of substance, instead commenting on her physical appearance over and over, and even asking her out at one point. Eventually, the interviewer ended the event politely and left.

Tony Danza

Tony Danza attends "Power Book III: Raising Kanan" Season 3 Premiere on November 30, 2023 in New York City.Arturo Holmes/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

While appearing on a local news program in 1998, Tony Danza didn’t realize he was live as he tore into the program, making fun of local news shows and repeatedly exclaiming that he didn’t want to do the interview. The anchors smiled through the ordeal and tried to get his attention to no avail. Always assume that if you’re sitting for an interview with a microphone, it’s on and someone’s listening.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey attends Harper's BAZAAR Celebration of 'ICONS By Carine Roitfeld' on September 8, 2017 in New York City.AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images

Jim Carrey showed up to Harper’s Bazaar’s Icons event in September 2017, only to completely criticize the soiree on the red carpet. “There's no meaning to any of this, so I wanted to find the most meaningless thing that I could come to,” he told E! “Do you believe in icons? I don't believe in personalities, I don't believe that you exist, but there is a wonderful fragrance in the air.” Fair warning: Don’t call Carrey an icon.

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne at The Olivier Awards in central London on April 14, 2024. HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP/Getty Images

Cara Delevingne’s 2015 interview with Good Morning Sacramento started off badly when one of the reporters first called her “Carla.” Their questions didn’t help, centering on how exhausted she must be with her busy schedule. Delevingne insisted she wasn’t tired or less excited to promote her film Paper Towns, but that didn’t stop the hosts from thinking she was irritated, telling her, “We'll let you go take a little nap and maybe get a Red Bull.” If anything irritated Delevingne, it was them.

Mila Kunis & Justin Timberlake

Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake attend a Friends With Benefits photocall in the Ritz-Carlton on July 27, 2011 in Moscow, Russia.Epsilon/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

While promoting his 2011 film Friends With Benefits in Russia, a reporter asked Justin Timberlake why he wanted to go from making music to movies. But before the question could be translated for him, his co-star Mila Kunis stepped in to defend him in Russian. “What kind of question is that? Why are you here?” she asked, leading Timberlake to joke that Kunis was his “bodyguard.”

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson at the 30th Anniversary Screening of Pulp Fiction during the 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival on April 18, 2024 in Hollywood, California.Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Speaking to KTLA Los Angeles anchor Sam Rubin in 2014, Samuel L. Jackson was asked about his recent Super Bowl commercial with Kia. The only problem was that Lawrence Fishburne starred in the ad, not Jackson, who called out the anchor for his confusion. “I’m not Lawrence Fishburne,” he exclaimed. “We may be Black and famous, but we don’t all look alike. You’re an entertainment reporter?” The anchor admitted to his mistake, but the awkward tension lingered.

Kourtney Kardashian

Kourtney Kardashian attends the 2018 LACMA Art + Film Gala on November 03, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

While chatting with Australia’s Today show in 2018, Kourtney Kardashian was asked how her sister Kim was doing after her Paris robbery. The reality star started answering before being interrupted. When asked if someone was talking to her, she answered, “Yes, sorry,” and then went back to the conversation, before appearing to freeze up and stop answering. One of the anchors was visibly annoyed, accusing her of “blanking” them, while the other host attempted to explain the tension away.

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez attends the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 24, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Selena Gomez has no time for questions about her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. While speaking with WGN Chicago to promote her 2013 album Stars Dance, the singer was asked about Bieber, “What don’t we get about him?” Gomez looked visibly stunned and turned her head off-camera as the host asked, and before she even got a chance to respond, the camera feed was cut off.

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino attends the 31st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 02, 2020 in Palm Springs, California.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

While speaking about his 2013 film Django Unchained on the UK’s Channel 4, Quentin Tarantino was asked about the violence in his films and if it may possibly inspire real-life violence. The director refused to even entertain the notion, repeatedly stating that he doesn’t want or have to talk about it. When the reporter kept pressing, he then proclaimed, “I’m shutting your butt down.”

Kanye West

Kanye West performs onstage at Rolling Loud 2024 on March 14, 2024 in Inglewood, California.Scott Dudelson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

One of Kanye West’s most infamous interview fails took place during a 2018 chat at TMZ headquarters, and it didn’t have to happen at all.

During the lengthy conversation, West made plenty of blunders, but the worst was when he insinuated that hundreds of years of slavery in America felt like a “choice.” The inflammatory statement immediately offended a TMZ staffer, and West apologized to him at the time.

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson arrives at the UK premiere of Marlowe on March 16, 2023 in London, England.Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

In 2019, Liam Neeson jeopardized his career when he spoke to The Independent about how he created his character in the film Cold Pursuit. He recalled an incident decades prior when a female friend of his was sexually assaulted.

At the time, Neeson found out the assailant was reportedly Black, so he went “up and down areas with a cosh, hoping some ‘Black bastard‘ would come out of a pub,” so he could “kill him.” The comments were rightfully called out as horrific and disgustingly racist.

This article was originally published on