After becoming one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood in the late 1990s, Gwyneth Paltrow admits that she let the seemingly never-ending praise from critics and fans go to her head. In a new interview with Canadian comedian and TV host Samantha Bee for Harper’s Bazaar, Paltrow reveals that sage words from her late father, producer and director Bruce Paltrow, helped bring her back down to earth. He told her she was being an a-hole.
Speaking with Bee about the early years of her career, which included starring roles in Seven, Emma, Sliding Doors, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and 1998’s Shakespeare In Love, which earned Paltrow an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, the GOOP founder says that she had started to believe her own hype. “I was sitting with my dad, feeling great about my life and everything that was happening, and he was like, ‘You know, you’re getting a little weird…You’re kind of an asshole.’”
Paltrow said the comments from her father were a shock, but eventually became a positive ‘game changer’ for the actor. “…I was like, ‘What the hell?’ I was totally devastated,’ said Paltrow. “But it turned out to be basically the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s the difference between someone who loves you more than anything in the world giving you criticism and getting it from some bitter stranger on the Internet. What my dad said to me was the kind of criticism where I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m on the wrong track.’ I’m so grateful to him for doing that. He was such a no-nonsense guy in that sense.”
The topic of Paltrow’s a-hole years was brought up in a second interview this month, this time with Marie Claire. Expanding on her own comments, Paltrow says that her dad’s words came at a time in her life when she was reaping the benefits of being Hollywood’s go-to leading lady.
“When you achieve the kind of fame that I did by the time I was 25 or 26, the world starts removing all your obstacles because you’re now a ‘special person,’ she continues, with a raised eyebrow. ‘You don’t have to wait in line at a restaurant, and if a car doesn’t show up, someone else gives you theirs,’ she says. ‘There is nothing worse for the growth of a human being than not having obstacles and disappointments, and things go wrong. All of my greatest achievements have come out of failure.’”
It’s always good to have someone in your corner delivering reality checks, but we can’t help but think that there’s still a liiiiittle bit of special-person-ness left over from Paltrow’s 20s. The actor-turned-lifestyle guru (Wikipedia’s title, not ours) has built an impressive business with her multi-million dollar GOOP brand, but sincerely using the term ‘conscious uncoupling,’ advising followers to steam their vaginas (please don’t), and selling a white t-shirt for $410 (that’s in American dollars!) feels as though there’s still some hype to squash.
We do give her props for selling a pack of vitamins called ‘Why Am I So Effing Tired?’ That’s relatable marketing.
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