Gwyneth Paltrow Says Oscar Win Led to ‘Identity Crisis’: British Press Were ‘Horrible to Me’

"I remember the British press being so horrible to me because I cried," the "Shakespeare in Love" star said. "I could feel a real turn."
Gwyneth Paltrow accepting the Best Actress Oscar at the 1999 Academy Awards
Gwyneth Paltrow accepting the Best Actress Oscar at the 1999 Academy Awards

All is not fair in “Shakespeare in Love” and Oscars war.

Gwyneth Paltrow is looking back on her 1999 Best Actress win for “Shakespeare in Love” and the icy reception to her beating out fellow nominees like Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.

“Once I won the Oscar, it put me into a bit of an identity crisis because if you win the biggest prize, like, what are you supposed to do? And where are you supposed to go?” Paltrow said on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast. “It was hard the amount of attention that you receive on a night like that and the weeks following, it’s so disorienting. And frankly, really unhealthy. I was like, ‘This is crazy. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know which way is up.’ It was a lot. Not that I would give it back or anything, it was an amazing experience, but it kind of called a lot of things into question for me.”

Paltrow recalled being mocked for crying onstage while accepting the award. The “Iron Man” star revealed that emotions were high in part due to her father Bruce Paltrow being sick with cancer; he later died in 2002.

“I remember I was working in England, and I remember the British press being so horrible to me because I cried. And they didn’t necessarily know that my father was dying of cancer,” Paltrow said. “He was really debilitated. It was just this totally overwhelming moment. And, you know, I was 26. I cried and people were so mean about it and I just thought, ‘Wow there’s this big energy shift that’s happening. I think I’m going to have to learn to be less openhearted and much more protective of myself and filter people out better.'”

She added, “I felt a real pivot on that night because I felt like up until that moment everybody was kind of rooting for me in a way. And then when I won, it was like too much, and I could feel a real turn.”

Paltrow’s Academy Award win for the scandal-ridden film led her to step away from the spotlight as she “hid for three weeks” at her parents’ house. “It was so intense. Lonely is the right word, it was really strange,” the “Sliding Doors” star said on the “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” podcast in 2021. “It was the weirdest most surreal time. You’re also kind of embarrassed that you’re nominated for an Oscar and you have imposter syndrome and you think, ‘I can’t even believe this is happening. I’m not even that good. Does everybody hate me?'”

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