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Joaquin Phoenix Refuses to Watch His Films, and 10 Other Actors Who Can’t Either

Creative people can be an odd lot, and actors certainly can, as well. We all work in different ways, and superstitions can also come into play. When it comes to watching or playing or reading the fruits of our labor once it’s too late to make any changes, well…everyone has different opinions.

Some people don’t mind it, or enjoy getting real-time responses from an audience.

Others will only see all of the things they would have done differently, or would still change if they could, and viewing what’s gone from their power is too hard.

These 11 actors and actresses fall into the latter category, choosing to remain secure in the knowledge they’ve done their part to make the movie great without viewing the final product.

11. Andrew Garfield

Image Credit: Disney

For Garfield, he tries not to over-analyze.

He told The Hollywood Reporter, “I don’t want to be aware of what I’m doing. As soon as I am, I’m less open…I just want to be fully open to the story and what that subjective moment is.”

10. Meryl Streep

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

We might be able to watch her work over and over again, but Meryl once said that she’s never seen any of her films more than once, because “I just look ahead.”

9. Joaquin Phoenix

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

This quirky actor claims he’s only watched two of his finished films – The Master and Her. 

He says he hates seeing himself on screen, telling Hollywood Outbreak that “I don’t ever really want to see myself as the camera sees me…I don’t want to watch myself. Of course, there’s part of you that’s curious for a second, and I have to constantly tell myself, ‘No.’ Because I know it’s not going to be of any value to me, and in fact it stands a greater chance of having a negative effect on future work.”

8. Javier Bardem

Image Credit: Miramax

He told GQ “The fact that I like to make characters doesn’t mean I like to watch my characters being made, my performance. I can’t even watch that f*cking nose, that f*cking 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.”

7. Megan Fox

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Megan Fox believes that “most actors are pretty insecure,” and for her, watching herself on screen is “slightly uncomfortable.

She told a local television network “I never look at myself, even in still photographs. I don’t look at anything. I panic if there is a monitor in the room. I immediately go into, like, an anxiety attack.”

6. Jared Leto

Image Credit: Focus Features

Leto joins others in believing the experience of making the film is preferable to viewing it.

He admitted that he’s never seen Dallas Buyer’s Club, even, which netted him an Oscar.

“I can’t hear that voice! I’ve never really heard very much of it and I’ve never watched the film. I will at some point, I’m sure. But too soon! It can never live up to the expectations I would have of it now because it was such a beautiful experience and the response that it got was really wonderful.”

5. Zac Efron

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

With some distance, Efron admits he can revisit earlier work, but says “I tend to, especially the first time around, pick out every single flaw, or things I could have and should have done better. I don’t know why, but I tend to dwell on those things.”

4. Reese Witherspoon

Reese says that watching her own work causes her to “spiral into self-hate.”

Not to be dramatic.

“It’s torture,” she said on Chelsea Lately. “Why would you want to watch yourself being stupid and pretending to be somebody else?

3. Matthew Fox

Image Credit: ABC/Disney

Don’t ask him to explain the ending of Lost – he’s never seen it, either.

“I don’t ever really want to watch myself,” he said in 2010. “I never watched an episode of Lost.”

2. Adam Driver

Image Credit: Disney

Adam Driver joins the ranks of actors who only see what’s gone wrong, according to an interview with Howard Stern.

“I saw all the mistakes. The things that I wished I could change, but couldn’t because it’s permanent. Plus, I came from a theater background where you don’t get to see it…I’d want to make it better looking or perfect, and that’s a trap.”

1. Julianne Moore

Image Credit: MGM

“I haven’t seen any of my movies,” she admitted to a reporter. “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.”

I’m not vehemently opposed to reading my own novels, and sometimes have to in order to verify details from earlier books, but I don’t do it for fun, either.

If you create physical things, do you go back and view them after they’re finished? Tell us why or why not in the comments!