15 TV Interviews That Went Downhill Fast

Let’s be honest; most celebrity interviews are full of hot air, false platitudes, and boring small talk. The worst ones are when the celebrity tells us about the things they love to do when they do not earn millions on a movie set. However, as many comedic instances demonstrate, we love it when interviews go downhill fast. The question is, which one did we enjoy most?

1. Tom Cruise

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In 2005, uber actor and producer Tom Cruise appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, following a string of brief romances after divorcing his wife of 11 years, Nicole Kidman.

Freshly engaged to his new flame, the 26-year-old Katie Holmes, Cruise struggled to contain his maniacal enthusiasm, leaping onto the sofa and declaring his love. Cruise would have no idea he would become a meme for this display.

2. O.J. Simpson

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Ruby Wax is an Anglo-American documentary maker, famous in the ’80s and ’90s — much like Louis Theroux today, making her name on British television for cutting-edge biographical long-form interviews. For the show Ruby Wax Meets, she would spend a few days in her subjects’ worlds, peeling back the layers for viewers to make up their own minds. Her most famous encounter was with O.J. Simpson, with whom she spent time in 1998, three years after his acquittal for murder.

In one awkward scene, Simpson knocked on Wax’s hotel room door and shocked her with a mock knife attack. One could almost see the terror in his interviewer’s eyes as his tone-deaf joke missed the mark.

3. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson
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“Iron” Mike Tyson laid out his first 45 rivals in an explosive heavyweight boxing career, and the Brooklyn-born pugilist is notorious for doing the same verbally with interviewers. In several interviews, Tyson lost his patience with reporters, most notably with Channel 9’s Russ Salzberg, following his ban for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear off in their 1997 rematch.

After Salzberg objected to Tyson’s etiquette in the ring, Tyson told him where to get off, explaining that this came with the territory. Salzburg didn’t help his case by taking the bait, replying with a pejorative, which Tyson dispatched with profane brutality, live on air.

4. Prince Andrew

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The Jeffrey Epstein chapter book is by no means closed, though one chapter that may have concluded is Prince Andrew’s. The British royal was the center of scrutiny for several years following accusations of indecent conduct with a minor; he settled an undisclosed sum out of court with his accuser.

However, before that, the prince damaged his reputation immeasurably with a BBC interview. The shamed prince gave an alibi that he wasn’t capable of sweating as a response to descriptions of his victim’s assailant.

5. Paula Abdul

Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Super Festivals from Ft. Lauderdale, USA – C02404, CC BY 2.0.

The pop star and former American Idol judge looked worse for wear in a 2007 Fox News promotional interview, gurning to the camera, slurring her words, and appearing intoxicated.

While the celebrity later claimed she wasn’t under the influence, anyone could see something wasn’t right. Asked what she was expecting on the upcoming new American Idol season, she said, “How about a lot of you coming in? It’s a wild party where you are.” Maybe she was talking to herself?

6. Mel Gibson

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WGN News made the mistake of waking Hollywood lightning rod Mel Gibson early for an interview about his new movie, Edge of Darkness. Host Dean Richards picked at Gibson’s decision to take so much time off acting and directing following “a lot of ups and downs” in his offstage career.

Once Richards strayed into Gibson’s alleged antisemitic drunken misdemeanor, the star had lost his rag, though concealed his disdain until the final moment, thanking Richards then calling him an expletive.

7. Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg
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Mark Wahlberg once showed British television producers the danger of putting alcohol in a studio’s green room. Joining The Graham Norton Show in 2013, a rogue Wahlberg took over the live set with drunken antics after a few too many beforehand.

Norton did his best to calm his guest, who groped, interrupted, and slurred his way through the episode — at one point, he was sitting in Norton’s lap; at another, he was lusting over co-guest Sarah Silverman.

8. Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz
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Graham Norton is renowned for his laid-back interviewing style, though some guests take this too far, including Cameron Diaz. The actress has long been prime interview material since her rise to the top of Hollywood’s tree.

However, her appearance on British TV brought accusations of being somewhat tipsy. Among other charges, Diaz really let herself down when touching Richard Ayoade’s afro while making a point about pubic hair.

9. R. Kelly

R. Kelly
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In 2019, four years before his 20-year prison sentence for illegal behavior with minors and an obscene photograph collection, R&B singer R. Kelly appeared with CBSN’s Gayle King to give his account of things.

During the interview, things went south for Kelly when he lost control of his emotions, started beating his chest, and proclaimed his innocence. “Stop it. Y’all quit playing. I didn’t do this stuff. It’s not me,” he said, incurring no sympathy whatsoever.

10. Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen
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It is hard not to find a Charlie Sheen interview that isn’t awkward, though his most famous was his 2011 Good Morning America interview. The former movie A-lister and Two And A Half Men actor said he wasn’t “bipolar” as reports suggested, but he was “bi-winning.” Moreover, he made it clear he had no psychological issues.

This line would have been fine had he not appeared so psychologically unstable when he said it.

11. Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers
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When Joan Rivers would agree to an interview, hosts had to watch themselves lest they set her off, which happened on numerous occasions. However, one CNN interviewer didn’t get the memo, and towards the end of Joan Rivers’s chat, she veered into criticism of Rivers’ comedy style, calling it “mean.”

Rivers responded with typical spikiness and doubled down on her jokes. Then, after the interviewer antagonized Rivers’ fur coat on the book cover she promoted, Rivers lost her temper and stormed off set.

12. Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Extra TV channel scored an interview with Avengers stars Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson in 2012, though the interviewer took a fateful wrong turn with the latter. He asked her whether her Black Widow costume allowed space for underwear, which went down badly with the actress.

“You’re like the fifth person who’s asked me that today,” sighed a perturbed Johansson. “What kind of interview is this?” she later asked.

13. Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Vin DieselUploaded by Dudek1337, CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Fast & Furious actor Vin Diesel is not praised for his acting; however, his movies have grossed so much money that he’s a movie world stalwart. A weird moment in Diesel’s offstage career was a creepy interview promoting XXX: Reactivated on Brazilian TV.

An aviator-shade-toting Diesel suddenly interjects an answer and says, “God, you’re so beautiful,” to his blushing interviewer. “How am I supposed to do this interview,” he asks those behind the camera. “Look at this woman.” Jeez, Vin — just too much.

14. Cara Delevigne

Cara Delevigne
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Young British actress Cara Delevigne made an early-morning appearance on CBS News Sacramento in 2015 to discuss her movie Paper Towns. Answering questions in typical reserved British fashion appeared to rile her Californian hosts; when a third studio member asked why she wasn’t giving good energy, Delevigne was taken aback.

The mood soon switched after one host suggested she nap and have “a Red Bull.” The actress shut down, said no more, and was promptly cut off. Well, that escalated quickly.

15. Stephen McDaniel

Stephen McDaniel
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After his neighbor and old college mate Lauren Giddings went missing in 2011, Georgia resident Stephen McDaniel famously appeared on local TV news. “We’re just trying to find out where she is at this point,” said a well-rehearsed McDaniel, standing in front of his residence. “I mean, no one has seen her since Saturday.” What viewers didn’t know was that the woman’s killer was on camera.

McDaniel’s relaxed demeanor soon changed when the news reporter mentioned that a body was found. “Body?” asked a spooked McDaniel. It was at that moment you could see the confidence drain from the murderer’s face — he knew he was going down, live on air.

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