Celebrities are just like us… they also work from home during a global pandemic.
For the past few months, actors, celebrities, and politicians have been calling into virtual interviews, going live on social media, and having Zoom calls galore to do press, speak on current events, and communicate with fans. And with each celebrity Zoom call, we received small glimpses into their home lives.
Some big names like the Obamas and Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared to video chat from their home offices. Others, like Martha Stewart, Jane Fonda, and Oprah called in from an impressive kitchen or living room. But unfortunately, not everyone seems to take their backdrops into consideration before hopping on a video call.
If you haven’t been meticulously keeping tabs on celebrity Zoom calls, have no fear. The Twitter account @ratemyskyperoom (aka Room Rater) is here to do all the work for you. Since April, the account has been screenshotting and rating noteworthy rooms from celebrities on video calls. Some of the most impressive receive a 10/10 rating, and some especially upsetting rooms receive scores in the negatives.
In an effort to celebrate Room Rater’s tireless efforts, we’ve compiled a list 10 of the worst celebrity Zoom backdrops, and 11 of the best. Please enjoy this carefully curated selection of the best and worst views of celebrity homes, as seen on Zoom, as seen on Twitter.
Best: Barack and Michelle Obama
Getting a peek inside the former president and first lady’s house was a real honor. Barack and Michelle have made several video addresses in front of these tasteful white shelves, where they have everything from books and flowers, to dog figurines and a football displayed. 10/10!
Worst: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Though AOC is one of the most influential politicians around, she didn’t choose the best video background. The curtain helped a bit but still too drab.
Best: Martha Stewart
It should surprise absolutely no one that Martha Stewart’s house is gorgeous and she found a delightful background for video chatting. The queen of the kitchen gives a nice look at her open shelves and even invited her two pups to get in frame. 10/10!
Worst: Tom Brady
Tom Brady’s early attempts at finding the perfect video chat backdrop were embarrassing. Some might say his efforts fell as flat as a deflated football. Brady tried to make a comeback, and he obviously did better, but we’re still not over how awful the first try was.
Best: Dr. Anthony Fauci
People on Twitter fell hard for Dr. Anthony Fauci’s home office. Complete with books, photos, plants, windows, medals, and more, Fauci’s workspace screams “chaotic good.” 10/10!
Worst: Jessica Chastain
Much like AOC, the plain white backdrop is not working here. Especially because a white sweater is also involved!
Best: Jane Fonda
As always, Jane Fonda came to slay. The actress and activist called into CNN wearing a black turtleneck and beret and behind her was a gorgeous fireplace and some truly cozy decor. 10/10!
Worst: Jack Dorsey
Hmm. Feels like the CEO of Twitter should be better at using technology.
Best: Bryan Stevenson
It is very possible that Bryan Stevenson — lawyer, author, social justice activist, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative — has one of the most impressive offices of all time. Awards galore? Books galore? Papers scattered in what I assume is perfectly organized mess? We love to see it. 10/10!
Worst: Cory Booker
Sorry Cory, but this background gives off real hostage video vibes. Try sitting truly anywhere else next time.
The caption says it all: “Lighting. Framing. Flowers. Toaster.” Did you really think even for a second that Oprah would disappoint? Nancy Meyers would love. 10/10!
Worst: Candace Bure
Listen, we’re not asking to see Candace’s full house, but there has to be a better spot to hop on a video call.
Best: Rep. John Lewis
An iconic backdrop for an iconic man. Great staircase, great art, great door. 10/10!
Worst: Carole Baskin
I mean, the plain backdrop might not be so bad if she were wearing a more neutral color. Sadly, I can’t look at this image without thinking of Barney the dinosaur.
Best: Pete Buttigieg (eventually)
Much like Tom Brady, Pete Buttigieg’s early video call framing was rough. It’s a new month, though, and Pete’s reorganized his book shelves, grown back some hair, and repositioned his camera. Proud of you, sir. 10/10!
Worst: Nikki Haley
I don’t think it’s cool to prop your own book up in the back of your shot like that — is it? Feels bad to me.
Best: Jimmy Fallon
Late night host Jimmy Fallon has experience working in front of a nice backdrop, and it clearly helped him scout out some great places to video chat in his own home. You can see another winning Fallon backdrop here. 10/10!
Worst: Jason Sudeikis
Jason, you know what? This backdrop might not be so terrible if you get some better lighting and raise the camera a bit. Still could use a little color, though.
Best: Taika Waititi
That mirror! That throne! That textured wall! And a real microphone in frame? This is a Zoom setting fit for royalty. 10/10!
Worst: Alex O’Brien
While not technically a house, Meteorologist Alex O’Brien’s an unfortunate green screen/antler incident deserves a shout out. This background is pretty bad… but like, GOOD bad.
Best: Matt James
On Friday, ABC announced that Matt James would become The Bachelor‘s first Black lede. James called into interviews all morning, and honestly? He had one of the greatest background we’ve ever seen. Love the sight of natural light bouncing off of a salmon-colored jacket.
So there you have it, everyone. Next time you’re about to call into an online meeting or Zoom with your friends, put just a tiny bit of effort into your background. You never know who might screenshot it.