We’ve always been fascinated with celebrities, and 2016 has been no different.
These charismatic figures give us the arts that we spend so much of our time on—our film, music, and—if you want to call it an art—intriguing personal dramas that rival Greek tragedy. They are, for better and for worse, the set of luminous faces that we look to for inspiration and entertainment in the otherwise unexciting day-to-day grind of everyday life.
Like us, though, celebrities are affected by what’s going on in the world, and because of their enormous platforms, those reactions reach millions, making us laugh, tear up, scratch our heads, and sometimes all three at once. And with 2016 being such a tumultuous year, there’s been no shortage of celebrity thoughts and opinions to go around.
So, in celebration of this, let’s relive some of those moments with a look at what celebrities had to say in 2016 that captured the spirit of the year!
Whether she’s portraying a shape-shifting mutant, leading a rebellion in Panem, or talking about how much work it is to have to put on pants in the morning, Jennifer Lawrence is adored by her multitude of fans. Where most celebrities carefully curate their public personas, Lawrence is known for her honesty and candor—she says what comes to her mind, and this habit has endeared her to the public. On the evening of the 2016 Golden Globes, she directed that candor at a reporter.
When faced with the questioning reporter, who held up his phone in front of his face in order to film Lawrence at the 2016 Golden Globes, her smile vanished, and she dryly—and infamously—replied with this.
“You can’t live your whole life behind your phone, bro. You gotta live your life.”
While Jennifer caught some flak for being a bit aggressive with the poor, stuttering reporter that evening, her frustration highlighted an important truth. More than ever, we’re looking at the world through a lens, taking videos and photos where we should be experiencing life. Technology can sometimes act as a barrier between us and our lives if we let it—a lesson we shouldn’t soon forget.
That poor reporter certainly won’t.
Her influence going far beyond her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, Emma Watson has long been a champion of equality, focusing most of her efforts on the societal status of women, even going on to be appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014.
If nothing else, 2016 has been the year of activism when it comes to gender issues, and Watson, as the most recognizable—and intelligent—faces in quest for egalitarianism, has had some very insightful things to say to the public.
Watson took the podium at the launch celebration of HeForShe Arts Week, channeling Maya Angelou as she spoke about gender equality.
“We have to do more than help people see the logic with their minds,” she said. “It’s also about making them feel it in their bones. Viscerally. Emotionally. This is what changes us; this is what makes us act.”
Watson doesn’t go in for the confrontational brand of feminism, but advocates, rather, for cooperation amongst the sexes—a collaboration that is mutually beneficial. And what’s more, she recognizes the need to generate empathy—to make people feel for one another.
Professor Lupin was right; Watson really is one of the cleverest of her age.
If ever there existed an eternal font of bizarre quotes, it’s Kanye West. Whether you regard him as a creative genius or an egotistical mess, the entertainer enthralls millions with his sound and words.
Love him or hate him, though, no one denies that West says some downright ridiculous things. Things such as this gem, which erupted during a rant following a dispute on the set of Saturday Night Live.
“Whoa by 50 percent[I am more influential than], Stanley Kubrick, Picasso, Apostle Paul, **** Picasso and Escobar . By 50 percent, more influential than any other human being. Don’t **** with me. Don’t ****with me. Don’t ****with me. By 50 percent dead or alive, by 50 percent for the next 1,000 years. Stanley Kubrick, Ye.”
From the oddly specific numerical figures, to the declaration of superiority over the Apostle Paul, to the profound conclusion, “Ye,” West’s rant is destined to become a classic.
There really isn’t much more to say. Ye.
Justin Bieber may make more sense than Kanye, but that doesn’t exactly mean he’s down-to-earth.
In a 2016 interview with GQ, the pop star talked about the 2013 confiscation of his pet monkey, OG Mally, by German custom officials, dropping several memorable lines.