For many the appeal of living a celebrity lifestyle is a no brainer — the money, the glitz, the glamour, the international acclaim, the being waited on hand and foot; it all seems fairly appealing, right? But fame is not for everyone, and of course global recognition comes with its downsides — like not being able to leave the house without being mobbed to death, Notting Hill style, for example.
Of course, nobody feels the negatives more than celebrities themselves. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter Podcast, David Schwimmer — whom you might know better as the worry-wort Ross from Friends — opened up about how shooting to fame in the mid '90s impacted his day-to-day for the worse.
“It was pretty jarring and it messed with my relationship to other people in a way that took years, I think, for me to kind of adjust to and become comfortable with. As an actor, the way I was trained, my job was to observe life and to observe other people, and so I used to walk around with my head up, and really engaged and watching people.”
He then added that despite instant worldwide adoration and finally reaching the heights he'd aimed for, Schwimmer would instead spend his days figuring out how to cope with this wildly altered reality.
"The effect of celebrity was the absolute opposite. It made me want to hide under a baseball cap, not be seen. And I realized after a while that I was no longer watching people; I was trying to hide. So I was trying to figure out: How do I be an actor in this new world, in this new situation? How do I do my job? So that was tricky.”
And he definitely isn't alone. Over the years plenty of celebrities have complained about the hardships life in the spotlight can bring. Though sometimes it's hard to bleed hearts for those weeping from golden Bentleys, I personally can think of nothing worse than having a camera thrusted in my face every time I go to the drug store without my face on.
2. Fame lacks Silver Linings for Jennifer Lawrence
Her kooky, bold mannerisms might be as equally endearing as the characters she's famed for, but Jennifer Lawrence would rather you concentrate on the movies she stars in rather than her bonkers outbursts, thank you very much.
“It took a few years to adjust. I didn’t really realize how angry and distorted I felt. I still felt entitled to a certain life that I just wasn’t allowed to have [anymore]. I felt like I had the right to say, ‘I don’t want to be photographed right now, I don’t want people outside my house right now.’ I think that we should be allowed time off. Three months. ‘Oh, it’s my three months off. You can’t photograph me.’ I would love to be able to control being photographed.”
“I’m not trying to be a GIF. I’m not trying to be a picked-up-on-Twitter quote. All I’m trying to do is act. And I have to promote these movies. And I am, at the end of the day, I guess, a f–king lunatic. So if you record what I’m saying, it’s gonna be goofy.”
But, before you get all "oh boo, hoo, isn't life hard," in her direction, she added:
“I hate the ‘movie star blues.’ We are so lucky, and I love my life. I wouldn’t take any of it back for anything.”
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3. What do you mean, Justin Bieber?
While Justin Bieber is famed for blurting out mads from time to time, this excerpt from an interview with NME magazine shows just how affected the young pop icon has been by interactions with the press.
"I just want people to know I’m human. I’m struggling just to get through the days. I think a lot of people are. You get lonely, you know, when you’re on the road. People see the glam and the amazing stuff, but they don’t know the other side. This life can rip you apart. I watched the Amy Winehouse documentary [Amy] on the plane and I had tears in my eyes because I could see what the media was doing to her, how they were treating her. People thought it was funny to poke her when she was at rock bottom, to keep pushing her down until she had no more of herself. And that’s what they were trying to do to me."
4. Kristen Stewart on being in the (Twi)Light
Everyone knows Kristen Stewart doesn't exactly hold back when it comes to speaking her mind, especially when it comes to being mobbed in public — hell, she's even created parodies dedicated to mocking the industry, and in parts, herself. Talking to Harpers Bazaar UK, she once described experiencing fame as being "disarming" and "pointless."
"Fame is the worst thing in the world. Especially if it’s pointless. When people say, 'I want to be famous' – why? You don’t do anything? Having that much human energy thrust at you and then being critically analyzed is obviously disarming."
5. Johnny Depp feels like a Lone Ranger
According to Johnny Depp, fame brings a shed load of hassle in terms of getting from A-B, for moving quietly requires a mammoth amount of pre-thought. In 2014, he told the Today program:
"It's a little bit like living like a fugitive. Everything has to be some sort of strategy. To get you into the hotel, to get you out of the hotel, to get you into the restaurant, to get you out of the restaurant."
He was, however, quick to tell Fox News in 2013 that despite the extra hassle, he's eternally grateful for the opportunities fame has brought him:
"I don't mean this in a way that is whiny or complaining or anything like that because I know how lucky I am to have been around this long and to maintain this career... you got to pay the piper, as well, in the sense of anonymity."
6. The Fault In Our Stars according to Shailene Woodley
For 24-year-old Shailene Woodley, it's the constant freebies that really get her goat, telling iVillage:
“As far as the perks [of fame] go, you know, it’s kind of one of the disgusting things about this industry. The more money you make, the more free stuff you get. I think that that’s weird, and I’m not a huge fan of it.”
Perhaps not the best way to garner sympathy, but I understand her point.
7. Megan Fox thinks fame is a lesson in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
From the outside, driving flash cars and residing in plush hillside mansions may seem like a pretty sweet deal, but Megan Fox says her found fame — and the trolls that came along with it — felt similar to being bullied in the school playground. She told Esquire in 2013:
"I don't think people understand. They all think we should shut the f*ck up and stop complaining because you live in a big house or you drive a Bentley. So your life must be so great. What people don’t realize is that fame, whatever your [sic] worst experience in high school, when you were being bullied by those 10 kids in high school, fame is that, but on a global scale, where you’re being bullied by millions of people constantly."
8. Out of Sight, but not out of mind for George Clooney
In 2014 George Clooney told Esquire UK that all he really wants to do is take a meander through Central Park but has been unable to for 15 years! One would assume that he does leave his house on occasion and that this is a slight exaggeration but still — that's just sad.
“I haven’t walked in Central Park for 15 years. I’d like to, you know?” he says. “The truth is you run as fast as you can toward it because it’s everything you want. Not just the fame but what it represents, meaning work, meaning opportunity. And then you get there, and it’s shocking how immediately you become enveloped in this world that is incredibly restricting. It’s the price you pay.”
Do you think celebrities have the right to complain about the downsides of fame?