Whether you’re a seasoned performer like Lady Gaga or an actor trying to sing a tune like Bradley Cooper, one thing is for certain: performing in front of millions of people can be scary. And Gwyneth Paltrow recently revealed just how horrifying it was for her to sing at the 2011 Academy Awards.
“Oh my God, it was the most terrifying moment of my life,” the 46-year-old tells Variety. “I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t feel my hands.” The actress is talking about the time she had to perform “Coming Home” from the film Country Strong in front of almost 40 million viewers — in the movie she played Kelly Canter, a Nashville singer dealing with the ups and downs of fame.
During that specific awards season, the Oscar-winner found herself singing at various shows like the Country Music Awards and even the Grammys, the latter which she calls “silly.” “I was with CeeLo and there were Muppets for some reason,” the Glee alum recalls. “It didn’t strike me until after it was done like what I was actually doing. I remember at the time, my baby daddy” — ex-husband, Chris Martin — “was like, ‘This is crazy, because most people have their first concert like at a pub with their uncle watching and a friend from college.’”
She continued, “He’s like, ‘Your first gig was playing at the Country Music Awards. This is insane.’ But the Oscars was way worse. I have never felt like that in my entire life. I was like, ‘I’m not going to be able to walk.’ I was hyperventilating and I thought I can’t walk to my mark. That’s how much my body was giving up.”
Gwyneth isn’t seen in many movies these days, but she is no stranger to the awards stage as she took home an Oscar in 1999 for her role in Shakespeare in Love, although she can’t exactly tell you much about that night. “I don’t remember a thing,” she says. “I don’t remember walking up the stairs. I don’t remember saying anything.”
The 91st Academy Awards will air Sunday, February 24.