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Gwyneth Paltrow on keeping yourself grounded, and other advice for new careers

  • Academy Award-winner Gwyneth Paltrow learned the importance of staying down-to-earth from a young age — taking note from her father
  • "I think a lot of people are drawn to this (entertainment) industry as they're looking to find wholeness through fame. And I would say, if that's why you're here, then don't," Paltrow said

It's hard for anyone not to be caught up and mesmerized by the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.

For Academy Award-winner Gwyneth Paltrow however, she learned the importance of staying down-to-earth from a young age — taking note from someone who'd had his own success in the entertainment industry: her father.

"My father was really the rudder to the ship of my life," Paltrow told CNBC during an episode of "Trailblazers" when discussing her relationship with her late father, U.S. television and film director and producer Bruce Paltrow.

"He was very pragmatic, very funny. Scrappy, really hardworking guy. He did not grow up with money and so he was very insistent on kind of instilling us with values and work ethic and having us understand how lucky we were, and that it wasn't by accident. That you have to work really, really hard in life."

As Paltrow grew older, she began to garner a greater understanding about being independent and working hard for what she truly wanted. Back before starring in such blockbuster hits as "Iron Man" and "Shakespeare in Love," the actress however was working everyday jobs to make ends meet.

Fast Company With Gwyneth Paltrow And Goop At FC/LA: A Meeting Of The Most Creative Minds
Vivien Killilea | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Fast Company With Gwyneth Paltrow And Goop At FC/LA: A Meeting Of The Most Creative Minds

"It was so important the day that I understood that I had no entitlement to (my father's) lifestyle. I was responsible for my life and for my rent," Paltrow recalled.

"I remember when I got this apartment with a roommate and I was a hostess in a restaurant and I was auditioning. It was right when Starbucks came out, and I was obsessed with Starbucks, and I remember one morning looking under the sofa for quarters to buy a Starbucks."

Consequently, the hard work eventually paid off for Paltrow, who went on to receive global recognition and win several awards, for her work in movies such as "Sliding Doors".

Kicking off a career in Hollywood

Reaching the stature that Paltrow has attained in Hollywood takes time and effort. If an actor wants to secure their place in the industry, it should mainly be because of their passion to "channel creativity" and act, she explained to CNBC.

"I think a lot of people are drawn to this industry as they're looking to find wholeness through fame. And I would say, if that's why you're here, then don't," Paltrow said.

"The only reason to do this is if you have an incredible burning desire to channel creativity and to really be an artist, first and foremost."

"I think the culture that we're living in now is rewarding cheap fame and I think that a lot of people think the industry is the way to do that."

Like many industries, Hollywood and the arts are always under constant change, whether that be in terms of updates in technology, changes in its social structure or consumer trends.

In recent weeks, the entertainment industry has been rocked by a series of sexual misconduct scandals, prompting both Hollywood and industries outside of the media space to contemplate how companies and governments should go about tackling issues of inequality and misuse of authority.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives to the 'Iron Man' premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on April 30, 2008 in Hollywood, California.
John Shearer | WireImage | Getty Images
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives to the 'Iron Man' premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on April 30, 2008 in Hollywood, California.

When asked about the treatment of women in Hollywood and elsewhere, Paltrow told CNBC that as women come forward to give their own accounts, she hopes it will mark the start of a change for future generations.

"There's been this incredible confluence of events that's really led to women coming together — and feeling safe in numbers, to come forward and talk about their experiences across all different industries," said Paltrow.

"It's my hope that this is the beginning of something important and different, and that my daughter, when she goes into the workplace, won't experience what you, presumably you (her interviewer, CNBC's Tania Bryer), and I and millions of other women have had to endure."

"So it feels important and I'm happy that I have played a small part in it," she added.