It’s no secret that Gwyneth Paltrow has put acting on the back burner for quite a while now. Her main focus has been her thriving Goop empire, her second marriage to producer Brad Falchuk, and raising her kids — daughter Apple, 16, and son Moses, 14 — from her first marriage to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. It’s never really been clear as to why she fell out of love with acting, though, until now.
Paltrow opened up to SiriusXM’s Bruce Bozzi, calling in to Quarantined with Bruce and sharing more details about why the silver screen lost some of its luster for her. She explained that after winning an Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love, at the age of 26, she discovered that “part of the shine of acting wore off,” and even though she wasn’t really aware of it at the time, a lot of it was the result of “being in such intense public scrutiny, being a kid who’s like living every breakup on every headline, like being criticized for everything you do, say, and wear.”
She also realized that she’s a homebody — and acting isn’t exactly a career that’s conducive to putting down roots. “Like I don’t want to be alone in a hotel room in Budapest for six weeks,” she told Bozzi. “Like, it’s just not who I am.”
Public scrutiny and punishing travel — those were the simpler reasons for backing away from a full-time acting career, but if you peel back the layers of the onion, the story gets a little darker. At the height of Paltrow’s career, she was working under one of the most now-notorious bosses in the entertainment industry: Harvey Weinstein, and she alluded to that as she continued the conversation: “So if you compound those things with the fact that like, you know, to be totally candid, I had a really rough boss for most of my movie career at Miramax. Like, so you take all those things” — and here, Bozzi interjects, “Yeah. A really rough boss.” — and Paltrow continues, “Yeah. So you’re like, ‘I don’t know if this is really my calling,’ so I’m still trying to parse out what came from what, and you know, where, how my life changed course. But I think that stew is a big piece of it.”
It’s a hard situation to be in, for sure, and Paltrow’s success came at a heavy price. At 22, she was on the receiving end of unwanted sexual advances from the disgraced mogul. “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she told The New York Times in 2017. That situation stuck with her for a long time because she thought “he was going to fire me” and her career was on the line.
Those early-career situations clearly left an imprint on Paltrow, who realized that she didn’t “love acting that much, as it turns out.” She told Bozzi that she questioned her career choices and came to the understanding that she didn’t think acting was “really [her] calling.”
Luckily, Paltrow has found a new path to happiness through family, friends, and her talent for growing a business. And while she hasn’t put acting to bed completely, she is rewriting that entertainment career on her own terms.
Before you go, click here to see which daughters who look just like their famous moms.