Adam Driver and Other Actors Who Refuse to Watch Their Own Movies

Recently, we covered how Adam Driver is one of those notable A-list stars who doesn’t enjoy watching himself on the big or small screen. He’s certainly not alone as we noted. Many legendary actors no longer with us were like that, and our current crop of iconic actors are much the same way.

You might even be shocked at some of the notable names who simply can’t watch any movie they’ve made. From the outset, you can see why. While there’s conversely another contingent who enjoy watching themselves too much (maybe hints of self-obsession), those who don’t are usually more humble.

Take a minute to see some of the other actors who have the same psychological considerations Driver has when it comes to being forced to sit through their own performances.

Meryl Streep, who has some similarities to Adam Driver

Adam Driver
Adam Driver | Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Ok, Meryl Streep and Adam Driver are obviously completely polar opposites in appearance, though let’s look at how similar they are in the arena of being trained stage actors. They both started on the stage, then found themselves becoming A-listers on the big screen.

Both have unique faces and approaches to their acting, making them stand out from the herd. Another similarity is that Streep, like Driver, hates watching her own work.

With Streep, her reasons are reportedly a little different from Driver’s. Latter says he’s too much of a perfectionist and sees things he wishes he could do differently in his movie roles. Streep says she just doesn’t like to dwell on her past performances and would rather look ahead.

Apparently she has seen her movie roles at least once, but doesn’t sit obsessively to observe what she’s doing. Her stance is arguably the best one so one progresses as an actor without obsessing over what might have been done right or wrong 40 years ago.

Tom Hanks considers watching himself madness

Yes, we did mention Tom Hanks in our Adam Driver piece. However, we didn’t delve deep into his personal reasons behind his avoidance of watching himself.

In an ABC interview from several years ago, he said when he watches his movies, he ultimately ends up learning what not to do about acting rather than learning anything positive. He does have a point about watching old movies and how they’ll be there for eternity.

We have a feeling most actors simply can’t look at their earlier work without realizing they’ve evolved infinitely since their earliest efforts.

Reese Witherspoon

When Reese Witherspoon explained why she doesn’t watch her films, she was a lot more blunt about her reasoning. In a talk show interview, she said watching herself just makes her devolve into a feeling of “self hate.”

From her perspective, she thought she was speaking for all her fellow actors in never wanting to watch themselves without feeling strange. Apparently she isn’t aware there are some actors in her league who love looking at themselves on film.

Samuel L. Jackson is one of them, even if he might say so with tongue firmly in cheek.

Johnny Depp

Some might think Johnny Depp is overly obsessed with his performances since he’s so much into the intricacies of character. It turns out he’s not into watching himself because he feels like it’s harmful for the psyche.

Is this the real reason he’s been so open in his oddball characterizations on-screen? Perhaps if he saw how interesting and strange his characters are, he’d feel a lot more self-conscious.

He’s said his kids have seen his films, though, so at least he can receive some critical feedback from close family members. Perhaps that’s the only way other actors who hate watching themselves receive useful reviews without reading opinionated movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.