For most celebrities, being famous person on the planet is a goal. Before social media, skills and looks were the most-reliable route there. Now that digital platforms can show a granola bowl, a Gucci shopping trip, and a grueling workout in the click of a button, living the famous life has taken on a whole new meaning. Kim Kardashian can take as many closet selfies as she chooses – her entire family is making millions from doing just that. Jay Z and Beyonce might be spending a lot of time on private jets at the moment, but their On The Run tour is making them more famous than ever. Whether it’s Justin Bieber buying his new fiancée a Canadian mansion or Ariana Grande stepping out in another over-the-knee boot look, some celebs just soak up the limelight.
Not all famous faces enjoy the spotlight, though. For every paparazzi-loving star, there’s a hideaway face ducking behind cars. Fame is something this lot are actively trying to avoid. Fans are always surprised to learn that Lady Gaga or Chris Evans are actually shy. Some celebs, like Jennifer Lawrence, have even publicly said that famous people should have “time off.” There’s a problem, though. Fame doesn’t come with a vacation (even when it’s vacation time). We’ll be looking at the celebs who adore the fame, and those who don’t care for it. Here are 13 of each, plus great examples showing which side they’re on.
Some might say that you can’t have your cake and eat it. Emma Watson has netted $60 million from the Harry Potter franchise, according to Hollywood Reporter. That’s without her other screen work and high-profile Chanel and Burberry contracts. Alongside saying in 2013 that she would “never date someone famous,” Emma has revealed to Cosmopolitan that fame is something that she finds very difficult. “I never realized I was famous until I went to America,” Emma said in 2013. “I deal with fame horribly,” Emma Watson once said.
Even Captain America himself dislike being famous the hero, it would seem. Chris Evans has shot to fame as the all-American poster boy in the Avengers franchise, but this is one actor who prefers to hide behind the cape. Back in 2009, Chris was telling The Boston Globe how “avoiding becoming Brad Pitt” was on his agenda. Now that Chris is arguably more famous than Brad, he is stepping back. Captain America “took too much out of him,” so expect more of Chris taking up director jobs.
For every grateful celebrity, there’s a celebrity complainer. Despite being one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, Jennifer Lawrence feels that “time off” should be part of the fame deal. Speaking to Glamour, J-Law said: “I would love to be able to control being photographed.” Three months is what Jen feels that she should get as “time off.” Jen doesn’t want to be judged for “wearing the same jeans three days in a row.”
From the man who brought us Captain Jack Sparrow, you might expect Johnny Depp to have confidence as his middle name. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor may be rich beyond belief, but he is also incredibly shy. In a 2014 Today interview, Johnny compared dodging the paparazzi to living “the life of a fugitive.” This is a guy who dislikes living in the public eye, to where getting “into the hotel, out of the hotel” or “some restaurant” is very intimidating.
There are two sides to Kendall Jenner. One side is super-confident, super-outgoing, and perfectly happy wearing very little clothing. The other side is the real Kendall. In a 2018 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Kendall opened up about the anxiety issues that being famous has left her with. With four famous sisters and her face all over the media, Kendall actually wishes that her life was more low-key.
Scarlett Johansson is a force of nature. The Avengers star has already signed a $25 million deal for her own Black Widow movie, but you won’t see Scarlett emptying Versace. In fact, it’s pretty hard to find a street photo of Scarlett that doesn’t have her looking remarkably ordinary. You’ll see plenty of on-screen confidence with Scarlett, but the real-life story is more about dodging cameras than ushering in the attention. The twice-divorced mom is also fiercely private about her personal life.
It’s no secret that Kristen Stewart has been trying to crawl her way out of Hollywood. The Twilight actress has had to face both regular fame and some personal struggles that haven’t exactly played into her favor. In a 2015 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Kristen said that red carpet appearances and interviews mean too much “human energy thrust at you.” Kristen ended the interview with some strong words. She said, “Fame is the worst thing in the world. Especially if it’s pointless.”
With those statement costumes and iconic stage performances, you could be forgiven for thinking that Lady Gaga is an outgoing extrovert – in fact, she is the exact opposite. Speaking to Hollywood Scoop about her shyness, the Joannesinger said: “I always feel shy in the Hollywood scene.” Gaga added that she finds the celebrity scene “a bit like high school,” where she recalls not fitting in. Then again, this star is loved for being “Born This Way.” Gaga is shy underneath the loud flourishes, though.
Some celebs love stepping out of their homes to a swarm of flashing paparazzi. Others don’t like it. Jessica Alba may have featured in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video, but hanging with famous squads is not how this mom likes to roll. “I don’t like being the center of attention,” Jessica told Elle. Yes, she is an internationally recognized actress. Yes, she has a skincare line. 13.6 million people subscribe to Jess’ Instagram account, but the actress herself prefers to keep things simple and low-key.
On first impressions, Cardi B is a fame-loving machine with a mouth that says it how it is. The rapper has shot to A-lister in relatively little time, but that’s what being unique will get you. In 2018, Cardi spoke to Refinery 29, saying that “the dark and unexpected” side of fame gave this industry a negative side. Despite a love of designer clothes and diamond-encrusted watches in her lyrics, Cardi’s true feelings tell a different story.
There’s a risk when you audition with Simon Cowell. Most people welcome it – the chance to become part of the biggest pop group on the planet. Zayn Malik joined One Direction as a teenager, and it wasn’t long before his face was everywhere. In 2015, Zayn left 1D with the following statement: “I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.” Zayn is one of Hollywood’s biggest introverts.
Most people would jump at the chance to become 007 James Bond. With his steel-blue eyes, blonde features, and chiseled physique, Daniel Craig was a no-brainer for the spy movie franchise. Casino Royale in 2006 marked Daniel’s first 007 appearance, but this actor hasn’t found fame easy. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Daniel said: “I’ve been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it. But they won’t let me go.” He concluded that “business is business.”
When you’re the best selling artist of the 2000s, fame will follow you wherever you go. Eminem is arguably the world’s most-skilled rapper, but you only have to listen to his lyrics to hear his thoughts on fame. In the MMLP2 album, Em raps about not being able to use a restroom without being bothered by fans. The biggest sign that Em doesn’t want the Hollywood lifestyle? Owning a home in Detroit and insisting on living there. Em wanted one thing from his success – to give his daughter, Hailey, the “life he never had.” He got way more, though.