Why Chris Pratt Refuses to Take Selfies With Fans (and Why He's Not Alone)

Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Poehler, Emma Watson and Maisie Williams also decline to take photos

By Zach Johnson Apr 25, 2017 1:25 PMTags

Good luck getting a selfie with Chris Pratt.

In Cigar Aficionado's June 2017 issue, the 37-year-old actor explains why he's not a fan of snapping photos with fans. "I've always been a pretty deferential, go-with-the-flow guy. But now I have to be economical with my time," the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 star tells the mag. "If I go out and want to do normal things, I have to be comfortable disappointing people."

To maintain a sense of normality, the actor explains, "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. So, I say, 'Would you settle for a handshake?' And then they take the picture anyway."

Adjusting to fame hasn't been easy for the movie star, who hails from Lake Stevens, Wa. "It's tough sometimes, the amount of management you need to do on things you used to do spontaneously. What I really miss is sitting down and talking to strangers who don't know me, so we can discover each other," he says. "I'd say the majority of people I meet have an idea about me before they meet me. There's something nice to being able to surprise somebody."

Cigar Aficionado

Pratt isn't alone in declining selfie requests. Earlier this year, Emma Watson told Vanity Fair she says no, too. "For me, it's the difference between being able to have a life and not. 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," Watson said. "They can see what I'm wearing and who I'm with."

In May 2016, Justin Bieber reached his limit and let his Instagram followers know exactly where he stood on the matter. "If you happen to see me out somewhere know that I'm not gonna take a picture. I'm done taking pictures. It has gotten to the point that people won't even say hi to me or recognize me as a human. I feel like a zoo animal, and I wanna be able to keep my sanity. I realize people will be disappointed, but I don't owe anybody a picture," Bieber wrote. "And people who say, 'But I bought your album,' know that you got my album and you got what you paid for…AN ALBUM! It doesn't say in fine print whenever you see me you also get a photo."

Jennifer Lawrence, who co-starred with Pratt in 2016's Passengers, is big on boundaries, too. "Sometimes I'm nice; sometimes I'm in a bad mood. Like, if I'm at dinner and I'm eating and somebody wants me to stand up and take a picture, knowing that I don't have to say 'yes' and I can say 'no,' that's actually helped with my anxiety," she told CNN in 2013. "It's hard because you don't want to be rude. At the same time, I have to defend my life and my mental wellness."

Celebs Taking Selfies

Saying "no" is easier for some stars than for others. Take Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams, for example. "If I don't want a picture one day, I don't have a problem saying no," she told NYLON in 2016. "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'd want to hang out with them."

Perhaps no one hates selfies more than Amy Poehler. "The amount of Instagram selfies seems crazy out-of-control. The idea of, 'This is my face and everyone needs to see it all the time,' is so far from the privacy that people used to seek," Pratt's Parks and Recreation co-star told Paper magazine in 2013. "If I'm hanging out with a friend and they take a picture of me, it's like, 'Ugh.' I mean, I hate looking at pictures of myself. It immediately takes me out of the experience."