Some of the most talented actors in the film industry, including Oscar winners, have a surprising habit: they never watch their own movies. This choice, stemming from various personal and artistic reasons, reveals a unique side of their approach to acting. Here are seven Oscar-winning actors who prefer to stay away from watching their own performances, despite the acclaim and accolades they have received.
1. Jared Leto
He’s been in films like “Requiem for a Dream,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” and “Blade Runner 2049,” recently appeared in “Morbius,” and “Haunted Mansion” which didn’t get great reviews. But Leto’s known for bouncing back. He’s got a unique habit though—he doesn’t watch his own movies. On The Jess Cagle Show, Leto said it’s easier not to see his own work so he doesn’t overthink it. In fact, he hasn’t watched any of his movies in 22 years. The last one he saw was “Requiem for a Dream,” and that was only because the director made him. Now, he’s teaming up with the same director for a new film called “Adrift.” Will he watch this one? Well, if his past is anything to go by, probably not. Leto cares more about acting than seeing himself on the big screen.
2. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, has a unique approach to his acting career: he never watches his own movies. He decided this long ago and has stuck to it. Even in interviews, when clips from his films are shown, he listens but avoids looking at the screen. Depp believes that watching his own performances would only hurt him. He prefers to remain unaware of the final result, feeling that once he’s done playing a character, it’s no longer his concern. This way, he can focus on the art of acting without getting caught up in the final product.
3. Denzel Washington
A true legend in the acting world, has given us decades of diverse and powerful performances. He’s still earning high praise from critics, like for his recent role in Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” However, Washington himself isn’t one to sit down and watch his own movies. His reason? It’s all about looking forward, not backward. In a red carpet interview with Extra for “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” he shared that he prefers to never look back at his past roles. Washington is more interested in what’s next rather than dwelling on what he’s already done. This forward-thinking approach is part of what keeps his performances fresh and compelling.
4. Joaquin Phoenix
According to a GQ profile, Phoenix doesn’t just avoid watching his own movies; he finds the experience of watching any movie somewhat agonizing. He compares it to a magician who knows all the tricks and can’t enjoy the magic show the way an ordinary audience member would. This perspective sheds light on why watching himself on screen doesn’t bring him joy. Phoenix’s decision to avoid watching films, including his own, highlights his dedication to his craft. For him, the magic lies in the process of creating a character and bringing a story to life, not in viewing the finished product.
5. Sir Michael Caine
Known for his roles in classics like “The Italian Job” and modern masterpieces in collaboration with Christopher Nolan. As he transitions from acting to writing, one might assume that Caine would enjoy revisiting his past cinematic achievements. However, it’s unclear whether he shares the same reluctance to watch his own films as some of his contemporaries. Caine’s perspective on watching his own performances hasn’t been widely discussed or documented in the same way as actors like Johnny Depp or Joaquin Phoenix. As he moves into this new phase of his career, focusing on writing, it remains to be seen how he reflects on his vast and varied filmography.
6. Tom Hanks
With his numerous Academy Awards and a long list of other honors, is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s most cherished actors. His roles in iconic films like “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away,” and the “Toy Story” series have won him both critical and audience acclaim. However, when it comes to watching his own movies, Hanks takes a different stance. In an interview with ABC News, he admitted that he doesn’t spend time watching his past performances. His reasoning? Hanks believes that rewatching his films wouldn’t offer him any valuable insights. He feels that it would only teach him what not to do, rather than contribute positively to his craft. This perspective reveals Hanks’ serious and thoughtful approach to acting. He focuses on the process and the future, rather than dwelling on what has already been done.
7. Adam Driver
Driver’s perspective on watching his own films is influenced by his background in theater. During an appearance on “Last Night With Seth Meyers,” he explained that in theater, once a performance is given, it’s gone forever – you don’t get to see it again. This experience has shaped his approach to his film work; he prefers to focus on the process of performing rather than revisiting the finished product. Driver’s commitment to the moment of creation, rather than the playback, highlights a deep dedication to his craft, where the art of acting is more about the experience and less about the outcome.