15 Celebrity Atheists

I find it very interesting to investigate the individual belief systems of people, what those beliefs are and the evolutionary process of how they came to be.

Specifically of interest are the beliefs of individuals in regard to Deity.

I especially find it fascinating when individuals assert the non-existence of Deity.

The assertion of which must be taken in Faith.

You see, just as the Atheist proclaims ‘there is no God’ because it cannot be proven, in fact an honest person must admit the lack of God’s existence cannot be proven (in as much when speaking of Deity in a general sense. I admit when speaking of specific alleged potential Deity [spaghetti monster, anyone?] we can demonstrate non-existence).

A simple (and ridiculous) two way street.

Anyway, to assert the non-existence of God (to actually state, unequivocally, THERE IS NO GOD) tells me there exists underneath the pseudo-science vitriol a non-belief stemming from an idealized personal philosophy which was given rise from deep emotional roots. Something I honestly love discussing about (not yelling about).

So, here we have a short list of self-professed, celebrity anti-theists who I would love to have a conversation with…


Simon Pegg

from his 18 NOV 2010 twitter post:

As an atheist, I’d skip the prayer and go straight to the colonel, who is arguably the god of affordable, bucket housed fried chicken bits.”


Bill Gates

Gates was profiled in a January 13, 1996 TIME magazine cover story. Here are some excerpts compiled by the Drudge Report:

“Isn’t there something special, perhaps even divine, about the human soul?” interviewer Walter Isaacson asks Gates. “His face suddenly becomes expressionless,” writes Isaacson, “his squeaky voice turns toneless, and he folds his arms across his belly and vigorously rocks back and forth in a mannerism that has become so mimicked at MICROSOFT that a meeting there can resemble a round table of ecstatic rabbis.”

“I don’t have any evidence on that,” answers Gates. “I don’t have any evidence of that.” He later states, “Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”


Joaquin Phoenix

Nylon Guys magazine, Winter 2008:

“I don’t believe in god. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I don’t believe in soul. I don’t believe in anything. I think it’s totally right for people to have their own beliefs if it makes them happy, but to me it’s a pretty preposterous idea.”

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Hosts An Official Academy Members Screening Of

Emma Thompson

Jane Cornwell interviewing Thompson, ‘Acting on outspoken beliefs’, The Australian, 15 October 2008, Features, Pg. 19:

“Thompson is equally vociferous on matters of faith. […] “I’m an atheist; I suppose you can call me a sort of libertarian anarchist. I regard religion with fear and suspicion. It’s not enough to say that I don’t believe in God. I actually regard the system as distressing: I am offended by some of the things said in the Bible and the Koran, and I refute them.” She knows she’s being controversial, but she believes passionately in what she says, and passionately believes it needs saying. “I think that the Bible as a system of moral guidance in the 21st century is insufficient, to put it mildly,” she continues, frowning a little. “I feel quite strongly that we need a new moral lodestone if we can’t rely on what is inside our own selves. Which I think, actually, is pretty reliable.” “


Cillian Murphy

April 2007 interview in Total Film:

Interviewer: “You said that your experiences on Sunshine, and particularly the time you spent with the scientists turned you from an agnostic to an atheist – what changed your perception?”

Murphy: “I did a lot of reading, I spoke to those guys a lot, and I was always an agnostic, which I think is a very safe place to be in terms of your faith or lack of… It just seems to me to be irrational that there’s an omnipotent, omnipresent being who was there at the beginning, and will be there forever, it’s not logical, it doesn’t help me as a person…”

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

In the September 6, 2000 edition of The Onion A.V. Club titled “Is There A God?”, celebrities were asked the question. Jolie was among those asked.

The Onion: Is there a God?

Angelina Jolie: “Hmm… For some people. I hope so, for them. For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn’t need to be a God for me. There’s something in people that’s spiritual, that’s godlike. I don’t feel like doing things just because people say things, but I also don’t really know if it’s better to just not believe in anything, either.”


Jack Nicholson

In an 1992 interview in Vanity Fair:

Nicholson said, “I don’t believe in God now,” but he added that “I can still work up an envy for someone who has a faith. I can see how that could be a deeply soothing experience.”


Paul Bettany

Bettany the Non-Believer, Movie & Entertainment News, WENN.com, May 10, 2006:

Paul Bettany: “I was brought up Catholic. I’m lapsed. From the age of three I was with the nuns. Now I’m an atheist. I think religion does a lot for us but I can’t quite believe it, alas… It’s just a personal choice. I love the idea of heaven though. Who doesn’t? It’s lovely.”


Javier Bardem

Hohenadel, Kristin (2001-03-04). “‘Don’t Call Me Actor,’ says a Nominee for Best, Um…”. The New York Times. pp. 2A.3:

Javier Bardem: “I don’t believe in God.”


John Malkovich

He was interviewed by Martha Lavey for a WTTW Chicago Public television program entitled “Artbeat Chicago” concerning his thoughts on Sigmund Freud:

John Malkovich: “I also particularly like him because he was an atheist, and I grew tired of religion some time not long after birth. I believe in people, I believe in humans, I believe in a car, but I don’t believe something I can’t have absolutely no evidence of for millenniums. And it’s funny — people think analysis or psychiatry is mad, and THEY go to CHURCH…”


Howard Stern

During his April 12, 1995 E! network show, Stern said:

“Here’s what happens when you die–you sit in a box and get eaten by worms. I guarantee you that when you die, nothing cool happens.”

Camille Paglia interviewed Stern in the “Advocate”:

QUESTION: “How do you feel about religion and politics?”

STERN: “I’m sickened by all religions. Religion has divided people. I don’t think there’s any difference between the pope wearing a large hat and parading around with a smoking purse and an African painting his face white and praying to a rock.”


Bruce Willis

Willis comments on religion in an interview in the July 1998 issue of George magazine:

“Organized religions in general, in my opinion, are dying forms,” he says. “They were all very important when we didn’t know why the sun moved, why weather changed, why hurricanes occurred, or volcanoes happened,” he continues. “Modern religion is the end trail of modern mythology. But there are people who interpret the Bible literally. Literally!” he says incredulously. “I choose not to believe that’s the way. And that’s what makes America cool, you know?”

Billy Joel Honored With Steinway Hall Portrait

Billy Joel

Here’s an excerpt from an interview/biography published in the 1982 book Rock Stars…

Q: You’re an atheist, I know. When did you settle on that philosophical position?

A: Well, I wasn’t raised Catholic, but I used to go to Mass with my friends, and I viewed the whole business as a lot of very enthralling hocus-pocus. There’s a guy hanging upon the wall in the church, nailed to a cross and dripping blood, and everybody’s blaming themselves for that man’s torment, but I said to myself, “Forget it. I had no hand in that evil. I have no original sin. There’s no blood of any sacred martyr an my hands. I pass on all of this.”


Sir Ian McKellen

From a January 19, 1996 profile by Tim Appelo found in Mr. Showbiz:

He doesn’t know God, but does love a good congregation. “I was brought up a Christian, low church, and I like the community of churchgoing.  That’s rather been replaced for me by the community of people I work with.  I like a sense of family, of people working together.  But I’m an atheist.  So God, if She exists, isn’t really a part of my life”.


Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster is on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, September 7, 2007. In both the written version (page 41) and the online version of EW, Jodie says the following:
“Are you religious?”

“No, I’m an atheist. But I absolutely love religions and the rituals. Even though I don’t believe in God. We celebrate pretty much every religion in our family with the kids. They love it, and when they say, Are we Jewish? or Are we Catholic? I say, Well, I’m not, but you can choose when you’re 18. But isn’t this fun that we do seders and the Advent calendar?”


| Rev. Daniel Gabriel |