Interviews with the press are a huge part of being famous. Celebrities need to promote their projects, and keep their names in the media if they want to hold onto their fleeting success. The often have to answer the same questions over and over, which must get old after awhile. But they make millions of dollars, and most of them realize that the sometimes painful press circuit is part of the process.
Sometimes interviewers try to make the interview a little more unconventional in order to get attention. Sometimes it works (Ellen DeGeneres likes to play practical jokes with her celebrity guests), and sometimes it falls flat. The way a celebrity reacts to weird questions, or unusual requests often says something about them as a person.
A standard interview isn't exactly something that tends to go viral though. The interviews fans really want to see are the ones that reveal something they don't know about their favourite celebrity. That can come in the form of exclusive tell-all interviews (a la Barbara Walters), or when the celeb just lets loose and does or says something completely unexpected. Here are 10 of the weirdest celebrity interview moments in recent history.
10 Tom Cruise
Who could forget the time Tom Cruise got up and jumped on Oprah's couch? During a 2005 interview, Cruise came out on stage acting pretty hyper. It is unclear what the interview was meant to be promoting, but it ending up just being all about Tom's brand new relationship with Katie Holmes. He even goes backstage and drags her out so they can prove to the audience how in love they are. Later that year, Cruise went on The Today Show to speak to Matt Lauer and the conversation veers into controversial territory when they start discussing Ritalin. Cruise is a Scientologist who doesn't believe in prescription drugs and he accused Lauer of being "glib" and not knowing what he is talking about on the subject.
9 Billy Bob Thornton
8 Paula Deen
Celebrity chef, Paula Deen, went on The Today Show in 2014 to speak to Matt Lauer about the controversy surrounding a discrimination lawsuit filed by one of her former employees. The Food Network and numerous other businesses terminated their partnerships with her due to accusations that she used racial slurs. But in this interview Deen insists that she is not a racist, despite admitting that she did use the N word, and claimed to want to plan a "plantation wedding". After her interview, many people have wondered whether Paula Deen even knows what the word racist means.
7 Joaquin Pheonix
In 2009, Joaquin Pheonix appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman to discuss his "new career in hip-hop", and announce his retirement from acting. The interview quickly becomes awkward as Letterman attempts to engage him in conversation (and compliments him numerous times), but Pheonix seems to have no interest or knowledge of the movie he is there promoting. The whole interview turned out to be staged, but at the time, no one knew why Phoenix was acting so weird, including Letterman who said, "Joaquin, I'm sorry you couldn't be here tonight."
6 Quentin Tarantino
It is an interviewer's job to ask questions that will spark discussion that fans are interested in. But sometimes, journalists go a little too far in the name of entertainment. Award-winning director, Quentin Tarantino was not impressed by Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy's questions about why he likes making movies with violent scenes. At first Tarantino tries to explain the place violence has in his films, but the interviewer continues to ask whether enjoying movie violence is connected to enjoying real life violence, and Tarantino makes it clear he is not interested in that line of questioning, saying "it's none of your d*mn business what I think about that," and, "I'm shutting your butt down."
5 Michael Jackson
It was during a 2003 interview with Martin Bashir that Michael Jackson first talked about sleeping in the same bed as young boys, and referred to himself as "Peter Pan". He denied implications that sleeping in the same bed as the boys was a sexual thing, and called it "sweet" and "the most loving thing to do," but his comments still helped lead to the child molestation charges against him in 2005. The interview was a 2 hour documentary that revealed a lot more about Jackson than anyone knew, including the extent of his Neverland Ranch, and childlike demeanor.
4 Charlie Sheen
The king of all celebrity meltdowns in recent memory is none other than Charlie Sheen. After getting fired from Two and a Half Men over salary disputes, Sheen went on a media rampage doing strange interview after strange interview. He went on Good Morning America to talk about his past drug use, the idea that he might be bi-polar, and where he was in his life at that moment. He is all over the place, saying he's not bi-polar, he's "bi-winning", has "tiger blood" and he could not care less about what other people think of him.
3 Robert Blake
CNN's Piers Morgan interviewed Robert Blake under the impression they would be talking about Blake's new book "Tales of a Rascal: What I Did For Love". But almost immediately Blake starts accusing Morgan of trying to bring up things they had agreed beforehand not to talk about, specifically the death of his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley. Blake was arrested and charged with her murder in 2002, but was later acquitted of the crime. Blake goes on and on about how ridiculous it is that anyone would think he would kill his wife. The two argue back and forth for awhile until Morgan asks, "are you sane?"
2 Mel Gibson
This interview Mel Gibson does with WGN's Dean Richards to promote his new movie, Edge of Darkness seems to be going smoothly at first. Richards casually brings up Gibson's recent troubles with the law, and all the tabloids stories regarding his drinking and anti-Semitic rants, and asks whether he thinks fans will see him differently. Gibson seems to take it in stride and claims to have moved on from the mistakes he made. Richards ends the interview, and Gibson, not realizing he is still on the air, calls Richards an "as*hole."
1 Joe Namath
Former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath was attending a Jets vs. Colts game and agreed to do a sideline interview with reporter, Suzy Kolber. She asks him what he thinks of the comparisons between himself and the current Jets quarterback, and Namath slurs for a little while, clearly drunk, and not making much sense. When Kolber asks him his thoughts on the Jets struggling through the season, he ignores the question and just says, "I want to kiss you! I couldn't care less about the team struggling." He later apologized to Kolber, and admitted he had been drinking most of the day before the interview.