Finding your true calling isn’t always linear — sometimes it takes a little zigging and zagging to discover your purpose in life. Just ask Gwyneth Paltrow, who has found her calling in Goop. In a New York Times profile piece published today, Paltrow says she considers herself to be “an actor who developed a career as a lifestyle entrepreneur, or a lifestyle entrepreneur who happened to have a career as an actor.” Her career onscreen may have been pretty impressive (she did win an Oscar, after all), but Paltrow insists she was essentially biding her time.
“I was masquerading as an actor,” she told the Times. While this news might shock longtime fans of Paltrow’s, at least one person will likely rejoice: Paltrow’s mom, actor Blythe Danner.
“She always said, ‘Oh, please don’t be an actress,’” Paltrow explained of her mother’s reticence over her career choice. “She was pleading with me to leverage my intellectual self more than my artistic self, and I think she was just trying to protect me from a lot of rejection. It can be a heartbreaking career.”
You could easily say, though, that Paltrow was following in the family business. In addition to Danner’s acting career, Paltrow’s late father, Bruce Paltrow, was a producer. Her family pedigree, Paltrow told the Times, can make people incredulous over the idea she has given it all up to become a full-blown businesswoman.
“Who’s the silent male person who’s helping her?” Paltrow said, recounting a question she sometimes hears. But Paltrow remains “unbowed.” Goop’s revenue is on the rise — it’s reportedly worth $250 million — and the company has arguably become a household name, thanks largely to Paltrow’s entrepreneurial spirit. Which, she admits, she honed through acting.
“Acting is a very entrepreneurial career,” she said. “You have to sort of connect to that level of self-belief that entrepreneurs have to have. This abject, sometimes naïve, occasionally stupid amount of self-belief.”
But while Paltrow seems grateful for the things being an actor taught her, don’t expect her to change her mind about her current calling in life. In a recent interview with Variety, she doubled down on the idea that her time as an actor has, for all intents and purposes, come to a close. This summer, she plans to retire from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which she exists as Iron Man’s girlfriend, Pepper Potts. And she doesn’t see herself taking any new roles.
“I think the movies and the business around them have changed so much in the last 20 years,” she told Variety, noting that the kind of films she made and loved aren’t being made anymore. “I don’t think any of the movies that I’m known for would be made today. Would they make The Royal Tenenbaums? Would they make The Talented Mr. Ripley? Would they make Shakespeare in Love?”
Point made. And even if they were still being made, we’re not convinced Paltrow would have time. By her own admission, she’s building an empire over at Goop. So, for the foreseeable future, fans will simply have to tune into Goop instead of blockbusters if they want to see what Paltrow has been up to lately.