This Is the Moment Gwyneth Paltrow Knew She Didn't Love Acting
Various aspects of Paltrow's career made her swear off starring in anything again.
At the age of 26, Gwyneth Paltrow won her first Oscar for her role in Shakespeare in Love. It was an achievement that any young actor would be thrilled to check off. But while, for many performers, an award this early on in their career would feel like an auspicious beginning, the win made Paltrow realize she "doesn't love acting that much." During a recent interview on SiriusXM's Quarantined with Bruce, Paltrow discussed the various aspects of her career that made her question if acting was really her calling. Read on to see what led to Paltrow's discovery, and if you're looking for a holiday gift she approves, check out The Most Absurd Item on Gwyneth Paltrow's Gift List.
After winning the Oscar, Paltrow realized she didn't love acting.
The A-lister said that once she "hit the bullseye" by winning an Oscar at 26 years old, she had to recalibrate a bit. Paltrow admitted she realized she "frankly doesn't love acting that much as it turns out" and didn't know where to turn following such early success.
Since acting didn't fulfill Paltrow, she "sort of felt like, well, now who am I supposed to be?" and found herself wondering, "What am I driving towards?" And for more on the star's life now, Gwyneth Paltrow Posts Rare Photo of 16-Year-Old Lookalike Daughter, Apple.
Part of the reason Paltrow didn't love acting was due to the "public scrutiny" that came with it.
So many aspects of celebrities' lives are probed by the public and the media, which was something Paltrow couldn't stand. She confessed that "part of the shine of acting wore off being in such intense public scrutiny, being a kid who's living every breakup on every headline, being criticized for everything you do, say, and wear."
And she didn't like the "transitory" nature of acting.
We tend to think of celebrities as extroverts who like to travel and be out on the town, but Paltrow says her disposition doesn't entirely mesh with the lifestyle of famous actors. "I'm such a homebody," she revealed. "I like to be with my old friends and cook and squeeze my kids. Like, I don't want to be alone in a hotel room in Budapest for six weeks. It's just not who I am."
Paltrow found the demands of acting schedules to be in direct opposition to what she wanted for herself. "It's so transitory," she continued. "You're always all over. It's hard to plant roots." And for more celebrity content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
But a significant reason Paltrow didn't like acting was working for Harvey Weinstein.
"To be totally candid, I had a really rough boss for most of my movie career at Miramax," said Paltrow, referring to disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. As the BBC reports, Paltrow accused Weinstein of asking her for a massage after he cast her in the leading role of Emma when she was only 22. After refusing, Paltrow said Weinstein screamed at her "for a long time. It was brutal."
When Paltrow confided in her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, he allegedly threatened to kill Weinstein if he ever tried anything of that nature again. Paltrow continued to work with Miramax in the years following.
Ultimately, it was a combination of things that made the star question her career.
Compounding the traveling, the scrutiny, the horrible boss, and the fact that she didn't truly love acting, Paltrow finally decided to steer clear of starring roles in the latter half of her life.
"You take all those things [and] you're like, 'I don't know if this is really my calling,'" she recalled thinking to herself.
True to her word, Paltrow hasn't taken on a leading role in years.
In recent years, Paltrow has shied away from being the star of any project, instead taking on supporting roles in projects like the Marvel Universe films and the Netflix series The Politician. She is also a writer and the owner of the lifestyle brand Goop, which got a Netflix show of its own this year, The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow. And for more celebrities who don't love the spotlight, These Huge Stars Almost Quit Hollywood.
And she swears she'll never go back to full-time acting.
When asked in January if she thinks she'll ever catch the acting bug again, Paltrow told Harper's Bazaar, "Literally never." She added, "When I was acting, I really burned myself out. When the flywheel kicked in, I was doing three to five movies a year. I really got to the point where even the little things, like sitting in the van going to set, getting your makeup touch-ups, and everything—I really don't know that I can bear it."
Paltrow filmed the last movie she starred in while pregnant with her daughter, and the experience put her over the edge. "I was like, 'I've had it. I can't do this anymore.' I had morning sickness, and I was dying, and I had these five-page monologues," she recalled. "So when I had her, I knew I was going to take a big chunk of time off. And I've never starred in anything again." And for actors who left the industry completely, check out these Stars Who Quit Acting After Hitting It Big.