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Stars who refuse to watch their own movies

Actors are often accused of being vain and self-absorbed, but believe it or not, there are some in Hollywood who can't stand the thought of watching themselves on the big screen. Which world-famous actors would rather get a root canal than watch one of their own movies? The answers may surprise you.

Johnny Depp

Given that Johnny Depp is one of Hollywood's most mysterious and elusive actors, it should come as little surprise that the Oscar nominee has no interest in watching his own work. "I made a choice a long time ago that I was better off not watching my films, which is a drag because you miss out on a lot of your friends' incredible work," he told The Independent in 2013. "But I feel like it would just harm me. I would rather stay as ignorant as possible about the result of anything because once you're done playing that character, it's really not your business anymore."

However, Depp did admit to watching a reel of recent films he had done. "When I saw the characters line up in a row like that, I thought it was amazing that I was able to get away with it," he quipped. "Truly. I am just amazed that I still get jobs. I am shocked." Considering how some of his recent films have performed, he may have a point there.

Reese Witherspoon

Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon has been a staple on the big screen since the '90s; between Legally Blonde, Walk the Line and Wild, she's amassed the kind of résumé most actresses would kill to have.

And yet, given the chance to watch her own movies, Witherspoon admits she'd almost rather die. "I have absolute amnesia about every movie I have ever made," she told the Daily Express in 2010. "I won't watch them because if I did I would spiral into a state of self-hate, but I sometimes catch the odd clip of something. I look at it and think, 'I have absolutely no memory of that'. It's really weird."

Witherspoon elaborated on her hatred of watching herself on camera on Chelsea Lately, saying, "It's torture! Why would you want to watch yourself being stupid and pretending to be someone else?"

Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem is the kind of actor we could watch in any movie. Which is completely ironic, considering the Oscar-winning star of No Country for Old Men cringes at the thought of watching himself act.

"The fact that I like to make characters doesn't mean that I like to watch my characters being made, my performance," he told GQ magazine in 2012. "I can't even watch that f—ing nose, that f—ing voice, those ridiculous eyes. I can't handle that. But when I'm doing it, I don't see my nose or hear my voice; it's like there's something stronger, bigger than that. And I need to express it."

Tom Hanks

Despite starring in some of the greatest movies of all time, Tom Hanks finds the mere thought of watching himself absolutely absurd. "I don't watch any of my old movies," he told ShortList magazine. "The one that I might watch with great affection is a little movie I directed, That Thing You Do, which I'm not in that much. I loved doing it so much that when I watch it now it still brings a smile to my face."

He continued: "I don't watch my own performances—who does that? That would be madness. I've seen all the movies once, but I don't need to see them again, because they don't change." Fair enough. But come on, Tom. Big is still awesome.

Julianne Moore

Considering that her résumé includes classics like Boogie Nights and The Big Lebowski, it's downright shocking to think that co-star Julianne Moore hasn't seen any of her own work—but that's exactly what she said in a 2013 interview with Britain's Daily Express. "I haven't seen any of my own movies..." she said (via Contact Music). "I can't sit there for a premiere or anything. I like being in the movie more than I like watching them. That's my big thrill, rather than seeing the finished product."

Jesse Eisenberg

Given the generally nervous persona he emits in interviews, it's not altogether shocking that Jesse Eisenberg doesn't even bother trying to watch the movies in which he stars. "I don't like looking at myself," he told Moviepilot in 2013. "I like looking at the other actors, but I had opportunities to do that on the set. I think it's strange."

The Oscar-nominated actor reiterated his stance while promoting Batman v. Superman in 2016. "I don't watch the movies I've been in, so I don't like to see any of it because if I'm in it, I'm critical, just like how you'd be if you saw pictures of yourself," he told Made in Hollywood. "The first thing you'd think of is, 'I look like an idiot.' So, could you imagine if you saw that in a movie? They film this in IMAX, so it's more traumatic. I try to avoid it."

Nicole Kidman

In 2009, Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman admitted that, of all the movies she's filmed, she's only seen Moulin Rouge! and Australia. The reason: she did it as a favor to her director, Baz Lurhmann.

Kidman recounted the horrifying experience of sitting through the Sydney premiere of Australia to The Daily Mail, admitting she "squirmed" in her seat throughout the movie. "'I sat there and I looked at [my husband] Keith [Urban] and went 'Am I any good in this movie?' It's just impossible for me to connect to it emotionally at all."

In fact, the whole thing was so traumatic, Kidman and her family actually fled the country to avoid reading any press about the movie. Given that it received mostly mediocre reviews, she probably made the right decision.

Joaquin Phoenix

While promoting his Oscar-nominated performance in The Master in 2012, Phoenix spoke to Hollywood Outbreak about what he feels are the dangers of watching his own work.

"I don't ever really want to see myself as the camera sees me," he said. "I don't want to be objective; I don't think I'm capable of truly being able to ignore that. I think that it's just inevitable that you become self-aware [when watching your own performance]; there's just not a human being who wouldn't be affected by that. And I don't ever really want to think about that."

But that doesn't mean he hasn't been tempted to sneak a peek. "Of course, there's a part of [me] that's curious for a second ... and I have to consciously tell myself "no" because I know it's not going to be of any value to me," he said. "In fact, it stands a greater chance of having a negative effect on [my] future work, I think, than positive, even if the work is good."