Unfortunately for celebrities, there is very little they can get up to that isn’t documented at great length by the paparazzi that stalk the streets of Hollywood. Even something as simple as their car breaking down becomes top gossip magazine fodder for the press photographers who spend their lives just waiting to catch a famous face getting up to no good.
All drivers have had their cars conk out on them at one point or another in their lives. From flat tires to failed batteries, it’s never fun to find that you have to put your journey on hold to call out a mechanic – and it’s even worse for movie stars, singers and actors who just know that there is a paparazzi lurking behind a nearby bush, just hoping to catch a celeb caught in an embarrassing situation.
Not that there is anything embarrassing about a car breaking down. It’s hardly as awkward as paparazzi shots of celebrities getting caught by the cops for speeding, or getting in a fender bender when they were driving under the influence. And yet, paparazzi shots of unfortunate stars waiting around while a mechanic fixes their car - or even sometimes getting their hands dirty themselves – seems to make for great gossip.
Check out the images below of Hollywood celebrities who have been snapped stuck on the side of the road, waiting to get their journey back underway.
Younger TV viewers will know Alyson Hannigan as Lily from sitcom How I Met Your Mother, but if you were around in the 1990s, then the actress will only ever be Willow, the witch and best friend of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It’s a shame that Hannigan didn’t have any of those magic powers handy when her car got a flat tire when she was on a shopping trip to The Beverly Glen mall in Los Angeles. Instead, she called on the altogether more human skills of a local mechanic to come along and change the tire for her – much better than getting your hands dirty!
No celebrity is safe when the paparazzi photographers are lurking around Hollywood – especially when you have the misfortune to have car trouble outside The Grove, one of the most exclusive shopping, dining and drinking spots in the whole of Los Angeles.
Luckily, The Grove’s attentive staff were on hand to help the Pop Idol host to fix his flat tire and get his stylish Bentley Continental back on the road. This was one car mishap that Seacrest was never going to be allowed to forget, thanks to the army of paparazzi who are often parked outside such fashionable Los Angeles hotspots.
Fixing a flat tire is an annoying job, but most motorists can usually manage to do it themselves – even if celebrities prefer to get a mechanic to do their dirty work for them. However, when Dawson’s Creek star Joshua Jackson had car trouble back in 2012, the problem seemed a little more serious than a flat tire.
Jackson was driving his then-girlfriend Diane Kruger to the airport when his vintage Karmann Ghia convertible conked out by the side of the road, forcing the Hollywood star to push it out of the way of other traffic – before summoning a cab to make sure his girlfriend could catch her plane.
Scott Disick is really only famous because of the people he has dated – not that this has stopped the paparazzi from stalking his every move! He first came to public attention in the popular reality TV series, Keeping Up with The Kardashians, as was Kourtney Kardashian’s boyfriend for years, also fathering her three children, Mason, Dash, and Penelope.
When they split up, Disick stayed in the headlines thanks to his relationship with teenager Sofia Richie, who is fifteen years his junior. Press snappers caught Disick on the phone with a mechanic after his all-electric BMW i8 suffered a breakdown – or maybe he just forgot to plug it in and make sure it was fully charged.
Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway was feeling miserable for real when her BMW SUV got a flat tire back in 2013. She and her husband, fellow actor Adam Shulman, had been enjoying a relaxing and leisurely lunch together at Los Angeles vegan restaurant, Crossroads when the Devil Wears Prada actress spotted that their usually stylish and sophisticated car was looking a little deflated.
Shulman did the sort-of manly thing, and called a tow truck to get their vehicle back to the repair shop, while Hathaway decided to walk home – probably in a bid to avoid the paparazzi who had already gathered!
When Catherine Middleton married Prince William in April 2011, all eyes should have been on the blushing bride. But unfortunately for Kate, she was rather upstaged by her own sister, Pippa, who became the center of paparazzi attention, thanks to the rather fitted and figure-hugging bridesmaid dress that she was wearing!
Since then, Pippa Middleton has continued to be a big hit with the British gossip magazines, and so it was no surprise that their press photographers spotted her in 2015 when her car got a flat tire in central London, and she called younger brother James to help her out.
Mischa Barton was once one of the biggest TV stars, thanks to her role on The O.C. – though, in recent years, her career has taken something of a downward turn. Not that this has stopped the paparazzi from capturing her every move; in fact, thanks to her well-publicized personal problems, the press seems more interested in Barton than ever!
It doesn’t help that the actress drives a classic car that always seems to be breaking down on her. Barton’s vintage Cadillac convertible has been spotted broken down all over Hollywood, and even had to be towed once when the damage to was too significant to fix.
Movie star Vanessa Hudgens has grown up in the glare of press attention, ever since starring in the High School Musical films as a teenager. She probably was less than delighted to see the paparazzi in attendance following a shopping trip at a Beverly Hills mall with her sister, Stella, when she came back to her car to find that it had a flat tire.
The pair were forced to wait in the parking lot until a mechanic arrived to fix the problem, using the time to check out Snapchat; though perhaps it would have been a better idea to check out videos on how to change a flat tire…
When Hollywood star Ben Affleck played Batman, he didn’t have to put up with the Batmobile breaking down. Sadly for the Good Will Hunting actor, real life isn’t like the movies, and Affleck had to get help from a passing motorist when his car got a flat battery after he had attended a charity fundraising event in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.
After trying – and failing – to get his vintage Chevy Malibu to start, Affleck managed to get a jump start from another driver, and of course, the paparazzi just happened to be there to catch the moment!
The former Mrs. Tom Cruise has been a paparazzi favorite since her teenage years when she starred on Dawson’s Creek. Her high-profile marriage and subsequent divorce with one of Hollywood’s biggest stars have only increased her gossip magazine potential. She has been snapped everywhere, from taking the subway in New York to picking up groceries, and when she is on set filming new work.
The paparazzi were on hand to catch Katie waiting around on the set of one of her more recent movies, All We Had when her car broke down, and she was forced to wait around for someone to give her a ride.
Paris Hilton is infamous for her vehicular escapades – including a jail stint for breaking the conditions of her parole after a DUI conviction by being caught driving under the influence once again! The hotel heiress and reality TV star wasn’t always to blame when things went wrong with her cars, however.
In 2010, while she was filming reality TV series The World According to Paris with best friend Brooke Mueller, her car got a flat battery and needed a jump start from one of the crew. Not only were the TV cameras on hand to catch the episode but so were the paparazzi photographers.
Chris Hemsworth doesn’t just play a member of the royal family in Norse mythology in the Avengers movies, but he is also Hollywood royalty – which makes him fair game for the Los Angeles paparazzi. The Thor actor, who showed his humorous side in the Ghostbusters reboot, also seems to take the attention from the press photographers with a smile; even when they catch him trying to deal with car trouble.
And worst of all, his car decided to pack in on New Year’s Eve, leaving him desperately seeking jumper cables to get his vehicle restarted so he could get on his way and enjoy the festivities.
Another Hollywood Chris who was caught stranded by the paparazzi was Chris Pratt, Star-Lord himself from The Guardians of the Galaxy movies – or to fans of sitcom Parks and Recreation, just lovable Andy Dwyer!
Pratt, whose apparently perfect Hollywood marriage to Anna Faris ended in 2018 is now dating Katherine Schwarzenegger, eldest daughter of a movie icon, Arnold. He is also a dab hand when it comes to fixing a car, as the paparazzi found out when he was snapped by the press fixing up his truck before heading out to meet friends.
Professional dancer and actress first rose to prominence when she made her debut on Dancing with the Stars in Season Four of the reality TV show, which she went on to win with speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, winning again in Season Five with motorsport champion Helio Castroneves. She also starred in the 2011 remake of Footloose and the live production of Grease screened on Fox in 2016.
Hough has become a favorite with the paparazzi and was snapped by the press experiencing some serious car trouble in Los Feliz, California. Worst of all, her car managed to break down while California was experiencing a rare rain shower!
Like Paris Hilton, teen singing sensation Justin Bieber is more likely to be snapped by the paparazzi crashing one of his luxury supercars, or getting pulled over by the cops for speeding. Despite still being in his early-20s, Bieber already has a couple of DUIs to his name and has even lost his license when he was caught street racing.
Bieber has a difficult relationship with the paparazzi, who have hounded him throughout his career, and he even managed to accidentally knock over a photographer with his car when he was leaving a church service! The singer was also snapped experiencing car trouble when his Mercedes broke down in the middle of the road.
Fellow teen star Joe Jonas was also snapped by the paparazzi looking very down in the dumps when his car had a few mechanical issues. The singer, who rose to fame as part of the pop group The Jonas Brothers, with siblings Kevin and Nick, has also turned his hand to acting over the years, as well as presenting TV talent show The Voice.
Not everything has gone smoothly for Joe, however, who dated and broke up with Taylor Swift – and who was, therefore, likely to have been the subject of many of her songs – and who had to cool his heels in West Hollywood when his car got a flat tire.
As Penny in The Big Bang Theory, actress Kaley Cuoco is able to get Leonard and the guys to do her all kinds of favors just by using her looks; and it seems as though that might also be the case when it comes to real life, if this paparazzi photo of the millionaire TV star getting some assistance with the flat tire on her car is anything to go by!
Though the mechanic who is helping Kaley out was probably just as impressed by the actress’ stylish and sophisticated Mercedes-Benz SLS, worth at least $200,000, as he was by her celebrity status.
Sources: TMZ, Just Jared, Zimbio, US Magazine & E Online