According to Google, a staggering 93 million selfies are posted online every single day. And one of these pictures will appear on Instagram every single second. But don’t expect to find a selfie of Jim Carrey posing with a fan. Or, for that matter, selfies-with-fans starring the likes of Chris Pratt, Emily Blunt or Amy Schumer. That’s because all of these famous faces – and more besides – have made it clear that they’d prefer not to take selfies with their supporters. Why? Well, we’re about to tell you…
20. Emma Watson
For Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, selfies became a no-no when they started interfering with her ability to lead a normal life. She explained to Vanity Fair, “If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within two seconds they’ve created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters. They can see what I’m wearing and who I’m with. I just can’t give that tracking data.”
Watson doesn’t say no to all fan interactions, though. Instead, she promised her fans she’d chat with them if they met face-to-face. She told the magazine that she says, “I will sit here and answer every single Harry Potter fandom question you have, but I just can’t do a picture.”
19. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has made a name for herself for her bold personality and performances. But in 2013 she admitted to Barbara Walters on her 10 Most Fascinating People TV special that selfies make her feel awkward. The singer-actress explained, “I get embarrassed to take pictures.”
Cyrus reiterated that selfies make her feel shy. She said, “That’s actually the truth. I’m so embarrassed because people are taking pictures of me, and I just don’t know how to – I don’t know how to smile, and just be awkward, so I stick my tongue out because I don’t know what else to do.”
18. Maisie Williams
Maisie Williams subscribes to a similar policy as fellow actress Emma Watson: she prefers to spend time with fans of TV drama epic Game of Thrones rather than take pictures with them. She put it simply to Nylon magazine, saying, “I still don’t feel like I owe anyone anything. If I don’t want a picture one day, I don’t have a problem saying no…”
And for those who might see Williams as unkind for her selfie point-of-view? The actress brushed it off, saying, “I know some people get really weird about that, like, ‘You’re so mean.’ But if I was really in love with someone, I wouldn’t just want a picture. I would want to hang out with them.”
17. Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran explained his aversion to fan photos in a June 2019 interview. According to The Sun newspaper, the singer said he has social anxiety, which makes him uncomfortable in front of cameras. He said, “I have no problem with talking to people. But it’s when people film me and stare at me. It makes me feel weird.”
So Sheeran said his mindset tends to shift should they ask for a selfie. He explained, “What instantly cuts me off is that you’re having a moment with them which is so genuine and so nice and then at the end they ask for a picture. It puts you down to earth and you’re just 15 likes on Instagram. That’s all you are.”
16. Tommy Lee
As many of us have been known to do, Tommy Lee took to Facebook to air his frustrations with the world. But the Mötley Crüe drummer had a very A-list complaint to share. He wrote, “[Fans will] probably tell ya that [I’m] a down-to-earth, grateful, life-lovin’ dude and a nice guy, too. What I have a problem with is… taking pictures!”
Lee went on to explain his point of view, writing, “You don’t admire something so that it can give back… You just cherish it! I’m not here to take pictures with you, I’m here to entertain you!” To hammer his point home, the drummer signed off on his Facebook post as “The Picture-Taker Hater, Tommy Lee.”
15. Zoe Saldana
Avatar actress Zoe Saldana has had her mind changed about fan photos – and that shift came down to her family life. She and her husband, Marco Perego-Saldana, share three boys, and she grew to dislike fans approaching her when she was out with her brood. She explained to People in April 2019, “They’re still at that tender age where they don’t understand why a stranger is coming over and touching their mother.”
Saldana did say that she used to agree to take photos with fans so long as they asked at the appropriate time and place. Even then, though, the actress had her preferences for fan pictures. The Guardians of the Galaxy movie star explained, “What I don’t like is when they do it on Instagram Live or Snapchat. If it’s a picture for yourself, then you decide whatever you want to do, it’s okay.”
14. Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe won’t take pictures with fans, but he has a good reason for denying selfie requests. The actor married his long-time girlfriend Danielle Spencer in 2003, and the couple welcomed their first son, Charles, that year. Three years later came a second boy named Tennyson.
Spencer and Crowe’s marriage didn’t last, but the actor continues to put his family first – and that’s precisely why he says no to selfies. He told interviewer Larry King in 2015 that he wouldn’t take pictures when he was with his sons. The Gladiator movie star said, “I don’t want to steal time from my children.”
13. Shailene Woodley
Divergent actress Shailene Woodley has no problem hugging her fans, but selfies? Those are out of the question. And it’s the narrative behind the photo that has changed the star’s tune. She told Glamour magazine in 2015, “It’s easy to lie and represent our experiences in a two-dimensional way that says, ‘I met Shailene Woodley,’ when in all reality, you didn’t meet me.”
The Fault in Our Stars actress explained, “You actually didn’t even ask if it was me. I could just be someone who looks like me and took a photo, and now all of the sudden I’m on your Instagram story that you’re telling the world, ‘I met Shailene Woodley.’”
12. Chris Pratt
Actor Chris Pratt earned his leading man status in Hollywood in 2014 after starring in a pair of successful flicks: The Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy. His rise to the A-list came at a minor cost, though, in the form of fans who want selfies. But Pratt refuses these requests.
Pratt explained his stance to Cigar Aficionado magazine, saying, “If I go out and want to do normal things, I have to be comfortable disappointing people. So I just don’t take pictures with people. Because that’s not about enjoying the moment; it’s about stealing the moment to brag about later.”
11. Daisy Ridley
It’s common knowledge that Daisy Ridley left social media behind years ago in the interests of preserving her mental wellbeing. Soon enough, the Star Wars actress started saying no to selfies with fans, too. She explained to The Times newspaper in 2019, “I usually [tell fans]: ‘I’m really sorry – not today.’”
Ridley explained herself further, saying, “I’m not a big photo taker, and I don’t want everyone to immediately know where I am. I know people share [their selfies] immediately, so I’m very aware of privacy in that way.” However, the Star Wars star did make an exception for younger fans, she admitted. She said, “With kids, they’re not going to put it up somewhere straight away.”
10. Tobey Maguire
Aaron Sorkin wrote the 2017 movie Molly’s Game based on a true story about a woman who ran an underground poker ring frequented by a clientele that included celebrities. He claimed that the flick’s antagonist was a blend of several famous people. But viewers theorized that the bad guy was based chiefly on Tobey Maguire.
After all, the real-life Molly reported Maguire’s supposedly horrible antics in her memoir – and many of those lined up with the Molly’s Game antagonist. And all of this has to do with selfies because the actor has let this side of himself show in public. In fact, he once slapped the camera out of a fan’s hand as they went for a photo with him.
9. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t say no to all interactions with fans. The Hunger Games actress divulged to Vogue magazine that she’s always “happy to meet people, give autographs, shake hands and say, ‘Thank you.’” And that’s because she knows she “wouldn’t have a job if people weren’t going to see [her] movies.”
But Lawrence admitted she did draw the line at selfies – especially when requested at awkward times. She explained in the 2017 Vogue interview, “It’s just… if I’m on an airplane and I have no makeup on, I don’t want to take a selfie that’s going to end up on E!” So, if you see her on your next flight, don’t bother asking the Oscar-winner for a picture.
8. Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt and her husband, actor John Krasinski, started their family four years after their 2010 wedding in Como, Italy. They welcomed a daughter named Hazel first, and then came their second baby girl, Violet, in 2016. And with her two babies came a new rule for the actress: no selfies with fans.
Blunt won’t take selfies with fans when her daughters are around. And when she turns people down, she uses a line shared with her by fellow actress Frances McDormand, according to TV show ET Canada’s website. The Mary Poppins Returns star tells selfie hopefuls, “You know what? I’ve actually retired from that. But I would like to shake your hand and meet you.”
7. Justin Bieber
Singer Justin Bieber received some flack for not taking selfies with fans, so he took to his Instagram feed to explain himself. He said, “Years ago it was impossible to even take a picture at anytime [sic]; not everyone was accessible to [sic] a camera. Now everyone has a camera phone and now it’s just a different thing.”
In the end, Bieber saw it as “setting boundaries” between himself and his fans and refused to apologize for his self-preservation. He went on, “I think it’s smart and will be the only way I last… I love the fact that I am able to make people happy, but c’mon, if you truly were in my position you would understand how tiring it is.”
6. Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke’s no-selfie policy stemmed from an unfortunate incident at the airport. In late 2019 she appeared on the podcast Table Manners and told host Jessie Ware what happened. She explained, “I suddenly started having what I can only believe to be a panic attack brought on by complete exhaustion. I was on my own. I was on the phone to my mom saying, ‘I feel like I can’t breathe. I don’t know what’s going on.’”
As Clarke broke down, a fan approached her to ask for a selfie. It was because of that moment and other similar ones that the TV star decided to only give fans autographs. She explained, “Then you have a chat and you’re actually having a truthful human-to-human thing, as opposed to it being this other thing that probably isn’t nice for them and isn’t nice to you.”
5. Christian Bale
There have been plenty of anecdotes describing actor Christian Bale’s supposedly bad temper. But his former publicist, Harrison Cheung, made some startling allegations after his one-year tenure working for the actor had ended. Apparently, fans who approached The Dark Knight star didn’t flatter him: they made him very angry.
The Huffington Post website detailed Cheung’s claims in a review of his co-written book, 2012’s Christian Bale. They wrote about how Bale would “lecture little girls about being rude and intrusive until tears streamed down their faces, and their parents tugged them away from our table.” So it’s easy to assume that the actor would not take selfies with his fans, either.
4. Kit Harington
In 2017 Kit Harington sat down for an interview with The Guardian newspaper, and he made one thing patently clear: he didn’t love being famous. He rejected anyone describing him as a celebrity, saying, “It makes me snappy and it makes me uncomfortable, and I turn into a grumpy person.”
The Game of Thrones star admitted that he didn’t like taking selfies with fans, either. He refused to pose for them, he said, because “you just have to, otherwise you start feeling like a mannequin.” And, when out with his GoT co-star and wife, Rose Leslie, the pair have the same policy “because then it makes [their] relationship feel like… puppets… like [they’re] a walking show,” he concluded.
3. Amy Schumer
Funny lady Amy Schumer had a strange run-in with a fan that made her realize selfies were no longer a laughing matter. The Inside Amy Schumer star asked the person to stop taking photos of her, and he fired back with, “No. It’s America, and we paid for you.”
Afterward, Schumer took to her Instagram to tell her fans that the experience had left a bad taste in her mouth – bad enough to stop her from taking fan selfies for good. She wrote, “Yes, legally you are allowed to take a picture of me. But I was asking you to stop and saying no. I will not take pictures with people anymore and it’s because of this dude in Greenville.”
2. Jim Carrey
There are plenty of fan anecdotes describing how kind Jim Carrey is. For example, one person claimed that the actor had once helped them get to a gas station when their vehicle broke down. The Ace Ventura movie star then bought their fuel and drove them back to their car.
But fans shouldn’t expect Carrey to extend that same willingness to fulfill a selfie request. The actor told The Hollywood Reporter newspaper in June 2019 that it wasn’t because he wasn’t kind. He just preferred to have a conversation because “selfies stop life” and end up on Instagram “to give people a false sense of relevance.”
1. Prince Harry
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, have made clear their disdain for the tabloid press. The pair have even left their posts within the royal family because of the constant media pressure, among other reasons. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he isn’t a huge fan of selfies, either.
While still a working member of the royal family, Prince Harry made his stance on selfies known during a tour of Australia. Teenagers came to see the English royal, and he shared with them how he felt about the photos. He said, “Seriously, you need to get out of it. I know you’re young, but selfies are bad.”
But one celebrity who is not afraid to interact with fans is Keanu Reeves. Just check out this story from 2019, which turned out to be a big year for the star. The actor appeared in Toy Story 4, Always Be My Maybe and the third installment of John Wick – to name just a few projects that kept him busy. But in July 2019 Reeves showed up in a totally unexpected place: a fan’s backyard. You see, a woman had left a sign out for the Speed star – and his startling reaction made news across the internet.
This is understandable, of course, as Reeves certainly holds a special place in the hearts of many movie fans. And this is partly because he’s appeared in so many successful films, including Point Break, The Matrix franchise and the Bill & Ted series. But the Canadian actor’s popularity also boils down to the fact that he normally comes off as a damn nice guy.
Yes, the internet is abound with stories of Reeves crossing paths with everyday people and doing awesome things for them. So any news of Reeves interacting with the public is bound to turn a few heads. Take, for instance, in 2001 when the star visited a cinema in Sydney, Australia. Working there at the time was fan James Dator – and he was in for a huge surprise.
In May 2019 Dator actually shared his celebrity encounter in a series of tweets. He explained, “I’m working at the box office [and] bored as hell, and suddenly, this dude walks up in jeans, a leather jacket and a horse riding helmet… It takes me a solid 30 seconds to ignore the helmet and realize it’s Keanu Reeves.”
And just as many fans presumably would have, a starstruck Dator reportedly wanted Reeves’ signature. “I do what any sensible 16-year-old does and tell [Reeves] I’d like to give him my employee discount,” Dator explained. “This means he needs to sign my sheet, and therefore I have his autograph.” Unfortunately, though, the actor seemingly didn’t catch on, and, puzzled, he informed the teen that he wasn’t a member of staff.
Then, just when Dator thought that he’d blown his chance, something remarkable apparently happened. “Two minutes later, there’s a knock on the door behind me that leads into the box office,” Dator tweeted. “I assume it’s my manager; it’s Keanu… ‘I realized you probably wanted my autograph,’ he says.” And Reeves had reportedly then handed the teen a receipt that he’d signed.
But Dator’s story gets even more touching. He claimed, you see, that Reeves had thrown something in the trash on his way out of the office. And as a result, it had dawned on Dator that the star had gone out of his way to make a fan happy. “I realize later that [Reeves] bought an ice cream cone he didn’t want just to get receipt paper so he could scribble his autograph for a 16-year-old idiot,” Dator explained.
If you’re thinking that Reeves’ sweet gelato gesture was a one-off, however, think again. Because in a 2010 Reddit thread, internet users shared stories about their own experiences with the amicable actor. And as it turned out, a lot of people had nice things to say about the action hero.
For instance, a user called bo2dd2 wrote, “Back in the late ’90s and fresh out of college, I got my first job as an assistant prop designer on the set of Chain Reaction (Keanu was a supporting actor with Morgan Freeman). Every day for the last few weeks of filming, Keanu treated the stage hands and “grunt workers” (including myself) by taking us out for free breakfasts and lunches. He was genuinely a very nice guy to work with.”
Interestingly, Reeves helping out workers behind the scenes of his films seemed to be a theme in the thread. Another user, for example, wrote, “A family friend builds movie sets – doesn’t design – is one of the poor dudes that just builds. Anyways, he worked on the set for The Matrix, and Keanu heard about family trouble he was having and gave him a $20,000 Christmas bonus to help him out.”
The Redditor went on, “[Reeves] also was one of the only people on the set who genuinely wanted to know people’s names, would say hello and mean it and would talk to people as his peers and not below him just because they were practically making nothing to build a set.”
There were non-movie-related stories about Reeves on the thread, too. “A friend of mine told me that she was once stranded on the side of a highway outside L.A. when her jalopy broke down,” one Redditor wrote. “She had no cell phone (that was before most people had cell phones) and no way to call for help. Then, a nice black Porsche pulls over, and as you can guess, it was Keanu.”
Not only did Reeves apparently help the poor woman out, but he was also a true gentleman about it. “He tried to help her jump-start the car, and when it didn’t work, he called AAA for her,” the user continued. “When they towed her car, he offered to drive her home, which she accepted. He drove about 50 miles out of his destination just to drive her home. She told me she hoped he would hit on her, but he didn’t.”
Incidentally, this isn’t the only time that Reeves has garnered praise for being well-mannered around women. In June 2019 users of Twitter pointed out, for instance, that when Reeves poses with a female fan, he usually doesn’t touch her skin. “It’s not about not taking chances,” one person tweeted. “It’s about being considerate and respectful – qualities that Keanu carries in spades.”
Another story on the Reddit thread also tells of Reeves giving away extravagant gifts on set. “I had a few friends working special effects jobs on The Matrix movies,” one user explained. “[Reeves] bought all of them f***ing Harleys for Christmas during the shoot for the second one.”
And Reeves himself backed up this heartwarming story. “We were all in this thing, and we were training together beforehand,” the star told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2003. Apparently, he’d gifted the motorbikes in order “to give a bigger thank you” to the people who’d helped him make the standout fight scenes in The Matrix Reloaded.
But if the star’s chivalry and offers of free motorbikes aren’t proof enough, there’s even more evidence of Reeves being an all-round wonderful person. For one thing, the actor does a bunch of charity work – and he’s very humble about it, too. “I have a private foundation that’s been running for five or six years, and it helps aid a couple of children’s hospitals and cancer research. I don’t like to attach my name to it,” Reeves told Ladies Home Journal in 2009.
Given Reeves’ nice-guy reputation, then, it’s unsurprising that fans have fallen in love with him – so much so that he’s been labeled “the internet’s boyfriend.” And when the one-time Mr. Anderson discovered this flattering title, his reaction was suitably adorable. “I didn’t know that… That’s wacky,” Reeves said in June 2019 at the premiere of Toy Story 4 after People informed him of the moniker. He added, “The positivity is great.”
Speaking of wackiness, it’s actually Reeves’ quirky side that some of his fans are most obsessed with. And this certainly came to the forefront in June 2019 while the actor was presenting a panel for the video game Cyberpunk 2077 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. In fact, Reeves’ interaction with one of the audience members was so amusing and sweet that it spawned a meme.
Talking about the experience of playing the game, Reeves explained, “The feeling of being there – of walking the streets of the future – is going to be breathtaking.” In response, audience member Peter Sark shouted out to the Canadian actor, “You’re breathtaking!” And Reeves quipped back, “You’re breathtaking! You’re all breathtaking!”
As a result of the cute interaction at the gaming conference, then, the word “breathtaking” has become associated with Reeves. Memes referencing the moment began springing up within hours of the show ending, in fact. And Sark used the experience as a way of spreading his own positivity. When the fan was offered a free copy of Cyperpunk 2077 by the developers, you see, he turned it down in favor of a charitable donation.
So, what better way to get Reeves’ attention than with a sign reading, “You’re Breathtaking”? Well, this was the bright idea that one superfan from Slidell, Louisiana, had in July 2019. Reeves, you see, was in town shooting Bill & Ted Face the Music, which is going to be released in 2020. And while the actor was en route to set one day with scriptwriter Ed Solomon, he spotted the notice out on a front lawn.
According to Solomon, Reeves hopped out of the car and immediately went over to the sign. The family who’d made it snapped some photos of the star scrawling his autograph below their message, and Solomon subsequently put the pics up on Twitter. “So, yesterday this sign was out on a lawn on the way to set,” he wrote. “Keanu jumped out of the car and did this.”
The fans behind the stunt, it transpires, are the Hunt family. Apparently, 16-year-old Ethan had been thrilled to learn that Reeves would be in his area to film Bill & Ted Face the Music. He’d then asked his mom, Stacey, if they could put out a message for the star – and she was delighted to.
And after placing the sign on the lawn, Stacey had observed many people stopping to take a look at it. But she was, of course, amazed when Reeves himself showed up. “Three people got out of the car and were walking into my yard, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s Keanu Reeves!’” she told Nola.com. “I probably said ‘no way’ about a dozen times.”
And not only did Reeves sign the placard, writing, “Stacey, you’re breathtaking,” but – being the true gentleman he is – he even asked permission first. “I could not believe that he was in my yard, and he was casual and like, ‘Can I sign your sign?’” Hunt told the website. “Ethan did the whole ‘You’re breathtaking’ bit – with the posture – and he did it back. It was just epic.”
Needless to say, Hunt was thrilled that Reeves had dropped by. “My heart has been racing for three days. Speed, The Lake House, Point Break – we’ve been watching Keanu Reeves movies for 20 years if not more,” the Louisiana resident said. “The fact that he was nice enough to take the time to talk to us and take pictures – everyone says he’s a nice guy, and it’s true.”
Solomon made a similar observation on Twitter after Reeves’ sweet act went viral too. “This thing, strangely, has gotten a lot of press. [I’m] not sure why,” he wrote a few days after the event. “It’s a good guy doing a kind thing. But I can’t help but think that maybe it shouldn’t be so odd.”
That said, the Hunt family were nevertheless extremely grateful for their brush with celebrity. And on July 26 Stacey posted a message on Twitter from her husband. “It’s been very surreal for sure. Keanu could have done the easy thing and passed the sign up, but he stopped and brought a lot of joy to my wife and kids. For that I am very thankful,” the post read.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, Reeves’ touching gesture attracted a lot of praise. One internet user going by the handle keanu_is_my_muse wrote, for instance, “I have been a huge fan [of Reeves] for 33 years (since I was eight), and seeing things like this just solidifies it. [He’s] truly the kindest person I have ever met. A few minutes out of his day gave these people an experience they will remember for life.”
Yes, there’s no doubt that Reeves comes across as a legitimately nice guy. But his kindness to strangers is all the more remarkable when you know what a difficult life he’s led. In fact, the star’s troubles started when he was just a child. His father, Samuel, abandoned the family when Reeves was just three and later did time in prison for drug possession.
And Reeves had trouble at school, too. He was a self-confessed difficult child – even getting expelled from one institution. “I was just a little too rambunctious and shot my mouth off once too often. I was not generally the most well-oiled machine,” Reeves told Kevin J. Koffler in 1988. In fact, the star discovered later in life that he has dyslexia.
In 1993 Reeves also experienced heartbreak when he lost a good friend of his: actor River Phoenix. Phoenix was only 23 when he died as the result of a drug overdose. “I enjoyed his company very much and enjoyed his mind and his spirit and his soul,” Reeves told Rolling Stone in 2000 of his late pal. “We brought good out in each other. He was a real original thinker.”
But unfortunately, there were more tragedies to come. In 1999 Reeves was expecting a baby with his girlfriend Jennifer Syme. The child – a girl whom the couple had named Ava – was stillborn at eight months, and it naturally devastated the couple. Reeves and Syme ended up going their separate ways shortly afterwards, in fact.
Then, 18 months later, Reeves faced more unthinkable news. Syme, with whom the actor had apparently remained friends despite their split, crashed her car on L.A.’s Cahuenga Boulevard and died as a result of the accident. Later reports claimed that she had been inebriated behind the wheel. Syme was subsequently buried next to Ava, and Reeves was once again left bereft.
Inevitably, Reeves has carried around his heartbreak all his life. In 2006 the actor told Parade magazine, “Grief changes shape, but it never ends. People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, ‘It’s gone, and I’m better.’ They’re wrong. When the people you love are gone, you’re alone.”
What’s more, Reeves has continued to think about the family that was taken away from him. “I miss being a part of their lives and them being a part of mine,” he told the magazine. Plus, he mused, “I wonder what the present would be like if they were here – what we might have done together. I miss all the great things that will never be.”
But Reeves being Reeves, he has thrown himself into helping the people in his life who are still here. In 1991, for instance, his sister Kim was diagnosed with leukemia. And the actor not only helped her through it, but he continued raising money for cancer charities even after she had gone into remission. In 2008, in fact, he answered phones during a Stand Up to Cancer telethon.
Yes, Reeves’ constant kindness despite the challenges that he’s faced is truly incredible. On Stacey Hunt’s Twitter thread, one internet user wrote, “[Reeves] has gone through so much [in] his life and always stays grounded and appreciative for the life he is blessed to live. We can all learn from his actions.”
And such is the power of Keanu Reeves that his kind actions have actually inspired other people to do the same. In June 2019, for instance, YouTube sensation PewDiePie announced that he would donate money to a leukemia charity for the sake of the “Keanu effect.” Internet users continue to spread the actor’s “life lessons” as well. It’s safe to say, then, that Reeves’ impact on others has been breathtaking.