In recent years a handful of celebrities have taken strong stances against posing for selfies with fans on the street—and for good reason. Two of the most recent additions to this antiselfie squad are Game of Thrones stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, who almost certainly get stopped all the time when they’re out and about, considering they’ve both appeared in one of the biggest shows on TV and also recently announced their engagement.
In an interview published in The Guardian over the weekend, Harington opened up about how “bizarre and weird” it is to be hounded at all hours by overzealous fans. “Like, being in Spain and there being a crowd of 500, maybe 600 fans camped outside the hotel every day, and you have to get through them. It feels like being Bieber or something,” he said.
Of his being something of a Justin Bieber–level heartthrob, Harington said, “Yeah, I don’t particularly enjoy that,” before adding, “I don’t know. Do I? I’m glad I’ve experienced it, but that’s what I mean about it being eight years, then it’s done. You couldn’t go on for much longer. It’s a bit incessant.” This incessant fame, he said, “makes me snappy and it makes me uncomfortable, and I turn into a grumpy person.”
His biggest issue of all is “the photo thing,” he said, explaining that he sets aside entire days during which he’ll refuse to take photos with fans. Harington told the newspaper that although the spiel he gives fans on these no-selfie days can leave them frustrated and annoyed, “you just have to, otherwise you start feeling like a mannequin.” He continued, “Especially me and Rose, we never do a photo together. Because then it makes our relationship feel like…puppets. Like we’re a walking show.”
He went on to explain why he’s so protective of his relationship with Leslie. “I just don’t—and I won’t say much about it now—but I don’t believe in talking about one’s relationship in the press because it’s…I strongly believe it’s her relationship and mine, and anything I say here, she may not want me to say,” he said. “So I just don’t say it. I genuinely think it’s our private life.”
The couple, who met and fell in love while starring as an unlikely couple onscreen in GoT, is indeed notoriously private: Instead of revealing their engagement news in September through a tabloid or on social media, they published a small, classic announcement in The Times of London.
But they’re not the only celebrities who refuse to take photos with fans. Their Game of Thrones costar Maisie Williams told Nylon last year that “if I don’t want a picture one day, I don’t have a problem saying no. 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,” she said. And in the September 2017 issue of Vogue,], Jennifer Lawrence shared that although she’s “happy to meet people, give autographs, shake hands, and say ‘Thank you,'” she doesn’t feel bad declining selfie requests. “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!”