Most of us will have memories from our teenage years of a time we got slightly too big for our boots and were swiftly cut back down to size. And often, the person delivering the stern reality check was our fathers.
Maybe you’d started hanging out with the popular-but-mean crowd, only for your dad to relentlessly take the piss out of them whenever they came round after school. Or maybe you were feeling pretty great about your new Uggs – only for him to ask, with a perfectly straight face, why you were wearing your slippers outside.
Now, in a new interview, Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed how her own father stepped in with some unorthodox advice to stop her becoming a diva in her twenties.
Apparently, Paltrow was at risk of becoming a bit of a nightmare after she won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Shakespeare in Love, aged 27 – and her dad, the late American film director Bruce Paltrow, wasn’t impressed.
“I think I was very much believing my own hype, which how could you not?” Paltrow told Harper’s Bazaar. “I was sitting with my dad, feeling great about my life and everything that was happening, and he was like, ‘You know, you’re getting a little weird…You’re kind of an asshole.’”
At first, Paltrow said, her father’s tough love left her “devastated”.
“But it turned out to be basically the best thing that ever happened to me,” she continued. “It’s the difference between someone who loves you more than anything in the world giving you criticism and getting it from some bitter stranger on the Internet.
“What my dad said to me was the kind of criticism where I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m on the wrong track.’ I'm so grateful to him for doing that.”
Paltrow also revealed what it’s like to be BFFs with Beyoncé. The two women have been friends since meeting at a benefit in New York in the mid-’00s, and have shared a lot together since: from weddings (Paltrow and then-husband Chris Martin were apparently front and centre at Beyoncé’s 2008 wedding to Jay-Z) to Beyoncé’s headline appearance at Glastonbury in 2011. Paltrow is even godmother to Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy.
“If you met her and you didn't know who she was or what she did, it would be inconceivable to you that she was Beyoncé,” Paltrow said.
She went on to explain that Queen B’s offstage persona is entirely different to the fiery attitude she projects on-stage – to the extent that she sometimes forgets about Beyoncé’s power as a performer.
“Some really famous people, even when they’re off-duty, have this energy that is sort of overpowering. She does not have that,” Paltrow said.
“She is so dialled down. She’s the sweetest mother. She’s very shy. You would not believe she is Beyoncé Knowles. You would be like, ‘No, that was not her.’ And that's why when I see her perform, I’m like, ‘Oh, shit, I forgot.’”
However, it seems that Beyoncé behind closed doors still carries the tiniest trace of diva tendencies: she emphatically does not make cheese on toast.
“She doesn't make grilled cheese,” says Paltrow, whose notorious lifestyle website, Goop, is renowned for its ostentatiously healthy recipes. “Definitely not. I make the grilled cheese.”