Adam Driver and I have something in common

Besides our facility with the Force, that is. He doesn’t like to listen to or watch himself, and walked out of an interview when they threatened to play a clip. He has a history of doing that.

…in a New Yorker profile in October 2019, interlocutor Michael Schulman described Driver’s reluctance to watch himself as a “phobia.” The actor himself recalled feeling nauseous during a première of Star Wars: The Force Awakens; and hiding out in a greenroom during a screening of BlacKkKlansmen.

There are videos others have made of me floating around on the internet. I never watch them. Never. I feel a cringe crawling right up my guts when I encounter them. It’s peculiar because I don’t mind public speaking at all, it’s just seeing it again that makes me want to cry. When I started making youtube videos of my own, the hardest part was editing — I have to pretend that’s some dull old stranger in the recording so I can chop out the really bad bits, and then I don’t watch them ever again once they’re online.

It’s nice to see that even famous movie stars share this problem. See? I’m normal! Are you normal?


  1. John Small Berries says

    I’ve made a few music videos as a hobby, and while I don’t have an aversion to watching them (it helps that I do them as a specific, invented character, and not as myself), listening to my own voice is difficult. Not only because my voice doesn’t sound “right” to me, due to the lack of the bone-conducted sound component, but because I’m hyperaware of everything that isn’t quite perfect.

    But over the process of mixing, mastering, and video editing, it becomes bearable, due both to the desensitization that comes from repetitive listening, and the fact that my attention is focused more on the technical aspects of the process. (On the other hand, I’ve also done a few live shows, and I don’t think I’ve ever managed to listen to a recording of any of them all the way through.)

  2. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I was the singer in a band about 20 years ago. We made a CD. I haven’t listened to it once since then. In fact, not long after we made it, I quit music altogether because I hated the sound of my voice that much.

  3. cartomancer says

    I’m the same. Well, in some ways I’m worse. I avoid looking at myself in mirrors and shiny surfaces too.

    On the other hand, I often re-read things I’ve written many times, and quite enjoy it. Sometimes even down to old emails discussing the time of day a few years back.

  4. Scott Petrovits says

    Videos of you floating around? Was it actual levitation, or yogic flying (i.e., hopping around on your butt)?

  5. robert79 says

    Have you never had to videotape, watch and analyse one of your own lectures? That kind of self-mutilation is a standard part of getting one’s teaching credentials around here.

  6. freemage says

    This incident only further emphasized for me how badly overrated of an interviewer Terry Gross is. She and her staff knew about this particular foible, and did it anyway. There was no need for it, nothing other than pure callousness to her subject.

  7. garysturgess says

    I’m evidently narcissitic. :) I have been known to play in a 3 hour Ultra Hard Core Minecraft game, and then immediately watch a stream someone else did of said game purely to, essentially, watch myself. :)

  8. rydan says

    I always avoid looking at photos or videos of myself. But I definitely would still do that if I were Adam Driver. Can’t blame him at all.

  9. jasonfailes says

    Evidently, William Shatner has the same phobia, which became more of a problem when he decided to direct one of the Trek films and.. couldn’t watch himself in the dailies. Yes, let’s just make this movie blind.

  10. rpjohnston says

    I haven’t changed my facebook profile pic is over 10 years because I hate any image of myself. There are hardly any pictures in that time that would even be usable.