Celebrities Who Admit That Fame Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Many of us have, at some point or another, imagined what it would be like to be rich and famous. Though there are obvious perks to being a star, like having a loaded bank account and being able to do what you love, there are also hefty drawbacks. Jennifer Lawrence has been outspoken about how unfair it is to lose all sense of privacy. Yoko Ono and Megan Fox point out the emotional toll fame takes. Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga call being famous, ironically, an isolating experience. Read on to see why all the money in the world can’t cover the costs of being famous.

Justin Bieber Struggled With Depression Due To Fame

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - October 20, 2015
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gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Justin Bieber became a teenage heartthrob, with “beliebers” all around the world flocking to see him. In a 2015 interview with NME, Justin said he only wanted to be a musician and wasn’t prepared for the fame that took over.

The star called being constantly surrounded by paparazzi and fans “intense.” He said, “When you can’t go anywhere or do anything alone you get depressed … I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone.” Considering Justin’s difficultly with fame, it’s no wonder he’s stuck to dating (and now marrying) famous women who understand what he goes through.

Selena Gomez Struggled With Fame-Related Mental Issues

Celebrity Sightings - Bauer-Griffin - 2013
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GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were two peas in a pod throughout their teen years, and for good reason. Both struggled with mental issues related to their fame. Like Justin, Selena experienced depression and feelings of isolation, along with anxiety. She opened up to Vogue about having panic attacks before and after performing onstage.

She said that her “self-esteem was shot” and that she felt lonely. The experience was so overwhelming that she ended her tour early and spent three months in a treatment facility. Selena added, “I just really can’t wait for people to forget about me.”

Brad Pitt Says Fame Is Like Constantly Getting Cat-Calls

'snatch' Premiere
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Dave Benett/Getty Images

In case you couldn’t tell, Brad Pitt is that tiny speck of blue in the sea of photographers and cameras packing the room. Just imagine if everywhere you went was this jam-packed with people trying to get your attention. That’s why the actor told E!, “Fame makes you feel permanently like a girl walking past construction workers.”

What Brad meant is that celebrities get unsolicited attention all of the time. They don’t just get to walk past a group of fans and then on to a safe haven. Even when they’re home, the internet is full of fans begging for their attention.

Jennifer Lawrence Points Out That She Doesn’t Get Equal Protection

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - April 27, 2019
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Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images/Getty Images

Jennifer Lawrence talked to Vogue in 2013 about her “meltdown” over fame. She said, “All of a sudden the entire world feels entitled to know everything about me.” At the time, the actress was still a relatively new celebrity, and she admitted that she wasn’t yet used to her “new normal.”

Jennifer pointed out the double standard celebrities experience saying, “If I were just your average 23-year-old girl, and I called the police to say that there were strange men sleeping on my lawn and following me to Starbucks, they would leap into action.” Instead, she has to deal with being followed 24/7.

Harrison Ford Says He’s “Never Enjoyed” Fame

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Fan Event
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Don Arnold/WireImage/Getty Images

Harrison Ford experienced adulthood and family life like an average person before Star Wars launched him into international fame. Having lived in both realities, Harrison is sure that being a celebrity is a pain. In an interview with WENN, the actor said, “There’s nothing good about being famous.”

He went on to say, “You never figure the cost of fame will be a total loss of privacy. That’s incalculable. What a burden that is for anybody. It was unanticipated and I’ve never enjoyed it.” Harrison loathes the attention, but admits he’s “in it for the money,” even if it isn’t a fair deal.

Lady Gaga Says There Nothing More Isolating Than Fame

Candids: January 20, 2010
Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images
Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images

Even though being famous means being constantly surrounded by screaming fans, many celebrities call it a lonely experience. Lady Gaga told Variety, “I don’t think I could think of a single thing that’s more isolating than being famous.” The singer went on to explain that it’s hard to find meaningful relationships.

She said, “It is very hard to not be able to engage with people in a real and honest way because they either want something from me or they see me as something that I simply am not.” Celebrities have to deal with strangers who think they know them personally.

Katy Perry Calls Fame A “Disgusting By-Product”

Katy Perry Arrives At Roissy Airport - February 29, 2011
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Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Singer Katy Perry got candid about her thoughts on fame in an interview with Teen Vogue. She said, “I’m tired of being famous already! But I’m not tired of creating. Fame is, I think, just a disgusting by-product of what I do.”

It must feel limiting to have to deal with paparazzi and incessant fans for the sake of doing what you love. Reaching the highest tier in the entertainment industry inevitably comes with the downside of fame. The only way to avoid the attention is to put a cap on your fanbase, and what artist wants to do that?

Kim Kardashian Says She Feels Like A “Zoo Animal”

Celebrity Sightings - Bauer-Griffin - 2012
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GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Kim Kardashian may be famous for being famous, but that doesn’t mean she loves every minute of it. The celebrity told Cosmopolitan, “Sometimes I feel like a zoo animal. I’ll be at a restaurant, and someone will put their phone in front of my face and take a picture without saying hi.”

We can’t imagine encountering such rude invasions of personal space at every turn. Though it drives the celebrity mad, Kim seemed less troubled in a 60 Minutes interview. She said, “There are pitfalls, lack of privacy, loss of privacy, and that’s not for everyone. For me, I can handle it.”

Kanye West Wants His Space To Be Respected

Kim Kardashian & Kany West Sighting : Day Three Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017
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Marc Piasecki/GC Images/Getty Images

Kim Kardashian’s famous husband, Kanye West, also doesn’t like being treated like a zoo exhibit. The rapper was honest with his fans during a London concert when he explained that being bombarded is a violation of his space.

He said, “So if I walk around and say, ‘Look sir, I’m not feeling so good today, I need some space’ […] I need cut-off space, not violation.” It’s ironic that fans claim to love celebrities, and yet they have a hard time treating them with basic respect.

Miley Cyrus Compares Paparazzi To Stalkers

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Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images

In this photo, Miley Cyrus looks like she’s literally tripping over herself as she heads into a building and away from the paparazzi. Like Jennifer Lawrence, the teen idol pointed out that average citizens are protected against such scrutiny.

In a video blog, Miley said “The paparazzi really frustrate me, and it makes me really upset that I’m being followed around by men that I don’t know, and for anyone else, it would be considered stalking.” The singer also said that she wishes she could take walks and enjoy her town, two things that incessant observers prevent her from doing.

J.K. Rowling Calls Her Rise To Fame “Disorienting”

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix - Arrivals
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Dave Hogan/Getty Images

In an interview with The Guardian, J.K. Rowling described how “incredibly disorienting” the first few years of her fame felt. The Harry Potter author said, “You don’t expect the problems it brings along with it.” She called the transition to stardom “rapid” and “strange.”

To top it off, J.K. didn’t know anyone who was famous, so she couldn’t rely on someone for advice or empathy. She says she’s grateful for her success but adds that it came with a “tsunami of demands” that made her afraid of messing up.

Alec Baldwin Says He “Loathes” The Media

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Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images

Alec Baldwin wrote an article for Vulture in which he expressed his deep distaste for his celebrity status. The actor admitted, “I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible.” We would imagine that every famous person shares these sentiments.

The actor continued, “Everything I hated about L.A., I’m beginning to crave. L.A. is a place where you live behind a gate, you get in a car, your interaction with the public is minimal.” Being so turned-off by public attention that you’d rather disappear behind a gate says something about fame.

Keira Knightley Feels She’s Lost A Bit Of Her Soul

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GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Though some girls dream of growing up and strutting down the red carpet, Keira Knightley warns that it’s more of a nightmare than it looks. The actress told Allure that she “hates” red carpet events because “You have this feeling that everyone wants a bit of you.”

She went on to put down acting altogether, saying, “It’s a pretty horrific profession really. Every photo takes away a bit of your soul. I wish I was just an insignificant speck.” There are plenty of actors who never become famous, and it seems Keira would rather be one of them.

Britney Spears Says The Paparazzi Stole Her “Cool”

Britney Spears And Paris Hilton At Hyde Lounge Los Angeles - November 27, 2006
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Getty Images

Britney Spears has had some very public struggles in her life that her fame served to exacerbate. In the MTV documentary For the Record, the singer lamented, “I used to be the cool chick. But I feel like the paparazzi has taken that away from me—like, the way I used to live my life.”

Though Britney achieved pop stardom, doing so made it so that everyone saw her fall from grace. Being famous put a weight on the pop star that completely changed the way she lives her life.

Madonna Sometimes Questions Her Decision To Become Famous

Celebrity Sightings In New York - September 14, 2009
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John Parra/WireImage/Getty Images

Madonna was determined to get famous in her early years as a pop star, but now she’s wondering if she made the right decision. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the singer said, “There are times when I’ve thought if I’d known [fame] was going to be like this, I wouldn’t have tried so hard.”

Though there’s no turning back now, Madonna did go on to say, “If it ever gets to be too much, or I feel like I’m being over scrutinized, then I won’t do it.” Though celebrities can always leave their industry, someone’s bound to recognize them for years to come.

Megan Fox Compares Fame To Bullying

Celebrity Sightings In New York - May 06, 2015
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Alessio Botticelli/GC Images/Getty Images

Megan Fox addressed anyone who thinks celebrities shouldn’t complain about being famous in an interview with Esquire. She said that people don’t understand that big houses and fancy cars don’t mean your life is great.

The actress explained that fame is “where you’re being bullied by millions of people constantly … Not everyone understands that that’s the deal.” If an actress as envied as Megan Fox has a hard time with the pressure of being in the limelight, then we can only imagine being in that position.

Yoko Ono Warns Fame Could “Break Your Heart”

Yoko Ono launches her new book
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WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

Yoko Ono knows a thing or two about grief. The multimedia artist and widow of John Lennon tweeted, “All fame is infamy, and all infamy is fame. Good luck to whoever is famous. It is not easy. It could break your heart.”

We’re not sure what compelled her to write such a warning to her followers, but the message resonates. Those who are famous are subject to the most critique on a widespread scale. That much pressure isn’t easy to take, even when you are living the lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Alanis Morissette Wants To Change Assumptions About Fame

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - May 12 2012
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JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images

Musician Alanis Morissette set to debunk some assumptions about fame in an interview with The Telegraph. She said, “I want to poke holes in the erroneous beliefs about what fame provides. It won’t raise your self-esteem, it won’t create profound connection, it’s not going to heal your childhood traumas, it’s only going to amplify them.”

She went on to warn that those who are famous also experience a ton of criticism. It would seem like being surrounded by fans would give celebrities more confidence, but for every fan, there’s someone who strongly dislikes a famous person, too.

Shailene Woodley Calls Fame A Four-Letter Word

Celebrity Sightings In Paris - March 1, 2019
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Edward Berthelot/GC Images/Getty Images

Shailene Woodley was very overt about her feelings towards being a celebrity in a 2012 interview with iVillage. The Divergent star said, “To me, the C-word is ‘celebrity,’ the F-word is ‘famous,’ and the S-word is ‘star.’ I despise those words.”

She went on to explain that she finds the irony of wealthy celebrities getting things for free to be “disgusting.” The actress clearly doesn’t like the culture surrounding fame and what it means to be successful in Hollywood. On the bright side, she’s used her limelight to bring attention to issues she’s passionate about.

Ricky Gervais Says Fame Is The Worst Part

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - January 11, 2016
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GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Comedian Ricky Gervais told The Telegraph, “The worst thing about this job for me is the fame.” You can tell in this photo that the celebrity is thoroughly annoyed at being followed. As if boarding a flight wasn’t a hassle enough, imagine doing it with a ton of paparazzi all around.

The actor and producer went on to say, “I’ve never understood why anyone wants people to know who they are. That’s the thing I wish I could turn off.” If only artists could offer the world their talent without having to be smothered because of it.