Gwyneth Paltrow Thinks Being Famous Is a ‘Pretty Terrible’ Experience

Gwyneth Paltrow is a familiar face in Hollywood. She is an actor and businessperson who also has connections to many other popular celebrities. Paltrow is arguably quite famous, but she recently opened up about how fame has negatively affected her. In fact, she think being a celebrity is a “pretty terrible” experience. 

Gwyneth Paltrow looking on
Gwyneth Paltrow | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

When did Gwyneth Paltrow become famous?

Paltrow grew up in Los Angeles in a family well-connected to the film industry. Her father is film producer-director Bruce Paltrow, and her mother is award-winning actor Blythe Danner. Her godfather is director Steven Spielberg.

In the late 1980s, when Paltrow was a teenager, she made her acting debut in the movie High, which her father directed. In the 1990s, she became more recognized after appearing in movies with well-known actors, such as Shout (1991) with John Travolta, Hook (1991) with Robin Williams, and Se7en (1995) with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.

Throughout the 1990s, Paltrow’s profile continued to grow as she acted in more renowned works. 1998 was a particularly great year for Paltrow’s career. She starred in five popular films that year: Great ExpectationsSliding DoorsHushA Perfect Murder and Shakespeare in Love. Her role in Shakespeare in Love, in particular, earned her a Golden Globe Award, an Academy Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Paltrow has since slowed down her acting, though she continues to be in the public eye to promote her lifestyle company, Goop.

Why Gwyneth Paltrow thinks being famous is a ‘pretty terrible thing’

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Paltrow recently appeared on the podcast Anna Faris Is Unqualified, where she told Faris about her experience with fame.

“I’ve been in the public eye for so many years, the surreal part is having been famous, basically, my whole adult life, so I don’t know what it means to be a grown-up without all of the scrutiny and all of the wonderful things and terrible things that come with being a famous person,” Paltrow says, according to Yahoo.

She reflects on how being famous has affected her, saying, “I think our culture idealizes fame so much, and I actually think it’s [a] pretty terrible thing to be famous, if our purpose on the planet is for human development and to really become the truest, best version of ourselves. I think fame is a huge impediment to that, and I’ve had to work really hard to separate the fame from who I am.”

Paltrow also shares that, at some point, she stopped reading about herself in the media because it affected her mental health quite a bit.

“I said, ‘I have to stop this. This is not healthy. This has nothing to do with me. I’m getting, like, excited if somebody writes something good. I’m getting depressed if somebody writes something bad. This is none of my business,’” she says.

Gwyneth Paltrow says she had imposter syndrome when winning an Oscar

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Speaking to Faris, Paltrow also recalls what it was like to win an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love

“You know, you’re also kind of embarrassed that you’re nominated for an Oscar, and you have imposter syndrome and you think, like, ‘I can’t even believe this is happening. I’m not even that good.’ And, ‘Does everybody hate me?’” she says.

Additionally, Paltrow found it “really, really overwhelming” even after she won the award. She shares, “When you have that much attention on you and that much kind of energy, it was really, really overwhelming. I remember I was staying with my parents at their house in Santa Monica, and I just kinda, like, hid for three weeks afterwards. It was so intense, and I felt so … lonely’s the right word. It was really strange.”