One Game of Thrones star was too young to actually watch the show.
Bella Ramsey, who played the inimitable badass Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, wasn’t allowed to watch most of the famously graphic show when it aired, since she was only 15 at the time.
Whoopi Goldberg told Yahoo! Entertainment that she was a huge Star Trek fan before she played the bartender Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation. She recalled that she told creator Gene Roddenberry, “I really want to be on this show.”
When asked in a meeting with Roddenberry and an executive producer why she was interested in the show, Goldberg replied, “Do you not know that, prior to your show, there were no Black people in any sci-fi, anywhere?” She also said, “When I was a little girl, it was like, ‘Oh, we are in the future.’ Uhura did that for me. So I want to be on your show.”
During the 2010 Newsweek Emmy Roundtable, Matthew Fox admitted that he never watched Lost, despite starring as protagonist Jack Shephard for six seasons.
Fox said, “I don’t really ever watch myself, so I can’t be objective. … I never watched an episode of Lost.” This led Bryan Cranston to joke in response, “It’s a good show, you should see it sometime.”
Fox added that while he “loved the story,” he “got it all from the script.”
On Avatar: The Last Airbender, Williams voiced Ming, a Fire Nation prison guard who is sympathetic to Iroh during his captivity in Season 3. And in The Legend of Korra, Williams returned to voice a sage.
In 2012, Adam Driver told Vulture that he’d only watched the first episode of Girls. He didn’t try to watch more because of how easy he found it to critique his performance as Adam Sackler.
Driver said, “I haven’t watched the show. I saw the pilot, and I learned my lesson. I can’t help but see the mistakes.”
Emma Corrin told Backstage that during their first conversation with their agent, they were asked what their dream role was. Corrin responded, “A series like The Crown.” Corrin was later cast as Princess Diana in the fourth season of the show.
Corrin said, “I knew that I needed to have a very singular focus. I needed to have a drive in completely one direction. If I let myself contemplate doing anything else, I would maybe lose momentum.”
Jodie Sweetin, who played Stephanie Tanner in the beloved sitcom Full House, told an audience at the 2017 PaleyFest Fall TV Preview that she’s never actually watched the show. Her kids have, though.
Sweetin said, “I have to be honest. I don’t know that I’ve ever watched an entire episode of Full House. Not sat down for an entire episode.” She added, “Now, I don’t have a TV. I have, like, Netflix and HBO GO, but I don’t have regular TV, so it’s never on in my house. My kids watch it, like at their dad’s house, or on the iPads. But I don’t know that I’ve ever watched it. I watch clips.”
David Tennant was a true Doctor Who devotee growing up, long before he was cast as the 10th Doctor. He told Rolling Stone that the show was a “massive influence” on his career choice. He said, “I think it was for everyone in my generation; growing up, it was just part of the cultural furniture in Britain in the Seventies and Eighties.”
Tennant told the Big Issue, “I did like superheroes, too, but Doctor Who was my great passion when I was a kid. Maybe because I could identify with that character. I could never identify with the Incredible Hulk, though I loved the comics. But the Doctor felt like someone I could aspire to being like.”
In 2013, Maggie Smith told 60 Minutes that she’d never watched Downton Abbey, in which she starred as the dowager countess Violet Crawley.
Smith said, “I’ve never actually seen it. I don’t sit down and watch it. No, I’ve never watched it.” She added, “I will look at it when it’s all over, maybe, because it’s frustrating. I always see things that I would like to do differently, and think why in the name of God did I do that?”
When Brooklyn Nine-Nine was cancelled by Fox, Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted a plea for its renewal and wrote, “I only watch like 4 things. This is one of the things.”
The show was ultimately rescued by NBC, and Miranda appeared as Amy Santiago’s infuriatingly perfect brother, David, in the Season 6 episode, “The Golden Child.”
In 2014, Bob Odenkirk told the Hollywood Reporter that he hadn’t “seen a frame” of Better Call Saul, despite the fact that he plays its title character, the lawyer Saul Goodman. Odenkirk explained, “I really don’t want to know what’s coming later, and I don’t look back at what came before. I think it’s a perfectly good way to approach acting to not know what the fuck is going on.”
He didn’t really watch Breaking Bad, either. By Season 3, Odenkirk had only watched 10 minutes of the series. This resulted in an incident where Bryan Cranston had to correct his line reading, since Odenkirk was acting too friendly towards a character who was Saul’s enemy. Afterward, Cranston said, “You don’t watch the show, do you?”
Mark Hamill told Vulture that when he watched What We Do in the Shadows (the movie) with his son, he “became a huge fan,” and that he was “unprepared for how great” the follow-up series was. Hamill said, “I always get nervous about shows I like, because I find something I really love and it gets canceled. So I tweeted about it several times, trying to get my followers to give it a try. Apparently, that’s what put me on their radar, and the next thing I know they asked me to come on the show.”
Hamill played Jim the Vampire, an enemy of Laszlo Cravensworth’s, and he described the episode as “a joy” and called one of its jokes “just nutty.” Said Hamill, “I thought I’d be playing a meter reader, or a next door neighbor, or someone at the Department of Motor Vehicles. When I found out that they wanted me to play what was called in the script The Vampire, I just flipped out. I couldn’t wait.”
Taylor Schilling, who starred as Piper Chapman on Orange Is the New Black, told Entertainment Tonight Canada in 2015 that she hadn’t watched the first three seasons of the show yet.
Schilling said, “I actually have not watched the show yet. My plan going into shooting the next season is to make sure and watch 1, 2, and 3, so I have a lot of television watching to do.” At the time, Season 3 was a few months away from dropping on Netflix.
When his guest run on The Office as Deangelo Vickers was announced, Will Ferrell expressed his admiration for the show to Entertainment Weekly.
Ferrell said, “I’m friends with Steve [Carell] and a fan of the show, and I just selfishly wanted to do one episode with him, and they pitched multiple ones, and I said, ‘That’d be great.’”
In 2012, Adam Levine told MTV News that he was “still too scared” to watch American Horror Story, despite the fact that at that point he was set to star in Season 2 as the ill-fated present-day thrill seeker Leo.
Levine said, “But I’m gonna try and beat my fear of really creepy, scary things like that by doing it. I think that’s a good way to tackle that fear.”
And finally: Bob the Drag Queen, the winner of Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, told Vulture that he was such a big fan of the show that it pushed him to get into drag, long before he became one of its cast members and then champions.
Bob said, “The show inspired me to do drag. I didn’t do drag before RuPaul’s Drag Race. I moved to New York City to be a comedian and an actor, and one day I was flipping through TiVo and I saw RuPaul had a new show. I watched the first episode, and I started TiVoing every episode — this was back when TiVo was a thing. I became obsessed.”