On Saturday, June 9, actress Meg Ryan reunited with her 1993 Flesh and Bone co-star Gwyneth Paltrow for a panel discussion in LA. During the sit-down for Gwyn’s “In Goop Health” event, the two stars talked candidly about working in Hollywood and Meg’s decision to quit acting a few years ago.

“I didn’t really aim to be an actor,” Meg told Gwyneth, according to E! News. “I was a journalism major at school, and a curious person, and I wanted to go back out into the world and figure out who I was — am — in relationship to other things and other people and other environments.” She further explained that she was being, “very reactive instead of proactive” before she decided to take a step back from showbiz.

At the height of Meg’s Hollywood fame — around the time she starred with Tom Hanks in 1998’s You’ve Got Mail — Meg was labeled “America’s Sweetheart” by late filmmaker Nora Ephron, whom Meg worked with in Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. “I remember thinking, ‘Is that good?'” Meg recalled of her nickname. “It doesn’t necessarily imply that you’re smart, or sexual, or complicated, or anything, it’s a label. And what can a label do but guess at you?”

Since then, Meg has majorly stepped out of the spotlight and rarely appears at public events. “The whole idea of being a famous person… I felt like a witness to. I didn’t feel exactly in it, and I think that was a really good thing. I felt like a student of it in a way, or that I was watching it in an anthropological way,” she explained.

meg ryan john mellencamp splash

Meg and her boyfriend, John Mellencamp.

“When you’re a famous person, there’s a certain degree of blankness that needs to happen so that people can project on you. Despite what you may think, people don’t really want to know all that much about you,” she said. “For the most part, I had a lot of fun.”