Bill Hader Says He Stopped Signing Merchandise Over ‘F*cked Up’ Behavior from ‘Autograph People’

“Autograph people don’t like me," Hader said of his principled stance. "I won’t sign things.”
Bill Hader
Bill Hader
Getty Images

Star Wars” merchandise dealers shouldn’t expect to get any more autographs from Bill Hader.

In a new interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the “Barry” auteur explained that he swore off signing memorabilia after a negative experience with a collector shortly after the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015. Hader had a vocal cameo in the film as the spherical droid BB-8, and he recalled that he was approached by a child and asked to sign a toy under strange circumstances.

“Autograph people don’t like me. I won’t sign things,” Hader said. “I used to sign stuff, and then one time I saw somebody and they had their kid come up to me to sign a BB-8 thing and it was three in the morning. I was leaving the ‘Inside Out’ premiere and then we went to an after-party thing and it was super late and this guy kept his kid up all night. [He was like], ‘Go over there so he’ll sign it so I can sell it online.’”

Hader said that he felt the father’s behavior was exploitative, and opted to stop signing autographs altogether in an attempt to avoid encouraging that kind of behavior.

“I was like, ‘That’s fucked up,’” he said. “And so now, I just kind of blanket, like, I’m not signing any of this shit.”

If anything, the comedian and filmmaker thinks that “Star Wars” fans pursuing his autograph are wasting their time. Hader recently explained that his involvement in the “Star Wars” franchise is smaller than his credited role as “vocal consultant” might suggest. While Hader and Ben Schwartz both contributed to BB-8’s voice, he said that he thinks the job could have been done by virtually anyone that J.J. Abrams wanted to hang out with due to all of the technology that was involved.

“I mean, that’s the weird thing. It was just J.J. Abrams being a nice guy. It was like something you would do for someone who won a contest,” he said of the experience. “But it’s pretty cool seeing your name in blue at the end.”

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