With Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent cameo role in Netflix’s The Politician, questions arose about whether the GOOP founder was diving back into acting. But in a new Harper’s Bazaar interview, Paltrow makes it clear: Her acting days are effectively over. And what’s more, she shared the approximate moment she realized that line of work was no longer fulfilling her in the way it once did. That’s not to say you’ll never see her on-screen again, but it likely will be far and few between — and it sounds like her kids have a lot to do with that.
It wasn’t too long ago that Paltrow was still a regular screen presence. After all, it was just this past April that she reprised her role as Pepper Potts in Avengers: Endgame. But when asked by Harper’s Bazaar for this month’s cover feature whether she ever sees herself returning to acting fulltime, Paltrow left little doubt. “Literally never — nev-er,” she vowed. She elaborated, “When I was acting, I really burned myself out. When the flywheel kicked in, I was doing three to five movies a year.”
Her last starring role, she says, was in 2005’s Proof. At the time, she was pregnant with her daughter Apple, and it dawned on her that she just couldn’t do it anymore. “I had morning sickness and I was dying, and I had these five-page monologues. So when I had her, I knew I was going to take a big chunk of time off,” Paltrow said. “And I’ve never starred in anything again.”
That doesn’t include, obviously, the occasional supporting role — husband Brad Falchuk, who created the series, convinced her to appear in The Politician. Still, she swears she is essentially uninterested in pursuing more roles. Of watching herself in films, she said, “I vom. I gag. I hate it.”
And while she doesn’t say it outright, the way Paltrow’s kids feel about fame may also be a contributing factor in her more laidback approach to acting. “I think they understand fame very well,” Paltrow said, recounting, “My son said to me the other day [after] he was out with his best friend and his family, ‘Mom, people are so different when you’re not there.’ He was like, ‘Fame is a really strange thing.’”
Paltrow’s reason for leaving the film biz isn’t the only thing realization she shared with Harper’s Bazaar. She touched on ex-husband Chris Martin’s girlfriend Dakota Johnson (“I love her”) as well as her iconic ex-flame Brad Pitt (they’re “friendly”). And speaking about Falchuk, Paltrow has jokes about the fact that they didn’t move in together for almost a year after marriage.
“So our sex life is over,” she deadpanned before continuing, “I thought it was really interesting how resonant that was for people. One of my best friends was like, ‘That is my dream. Don’t ever move in.’ I think it certainly helps with preserving mystery and also preserving the idea that this person has their own life. So this is something I’m trying to remain aware of now as we merge together.”