This week marked the launch of the new Goop podcast, yet another platform for everyone’s favourite actress turned wellness guru, Gwyneth Paltrow, to share her Goopiest musings while interviewing fellow “culture changers and industry disrupters.” For her first guest, GP milked her celebrity connections for all they’re worth. And apparently they’re worth a lot, because the Big G scored The Big O, as in Oprah WINfreeeeeeeeeeeeeey.
So what did these two titans of industry talk about? Here, a round up of the most interesting, illuminating and occasionally insufferable exchanges.
Oprah was never planning to run for president
That Golden Globes speech that we all went crazy over (and took as an unofficial announcement of political intentions)? O says it was never about running for office, but actually her attempt to put this moment of radical awakening into a larger context: “I wanted to be able to say to the #MeToo movement that I’m proud of where we are and what we’re doing, but you need to know that you didn’t get here alone.” She talks about people in the past who “didn’t speak because they couldn’t speak,” and about how everything from #TimesUp to the success of the Black Panther movie is the crystallization of something that has been coming for a long time.
Never mind the haters—Oprah was the original Goop
Today, conversations about meditation and mindfulness are the norm, but when Oprah first started talking souls and essences back in the early ’90s, even her devoted fans were like, whaaaaaaaa? She recalls how her audience “tuned out” during those early shows about finding your spirit, mostly because they had no idea what she was talking about. Per Oprah: “When you are pioneering anything or introducing new ideas to a culture, you get criticized,” she says, and of course Paltrow—proponent of conscious uncoupling and vaginal steaming—responds with a knowing chuckle. Later Paltrow talks about running into Oprah at a party at a time when she was getting beat up by the media (and the medical community) for her unorthodox “health” advice. Oprah’s told Goop “stay the course” and ignore the haters, which is perfectly good advice if we weren’t also talking about ignoring scientific evidence.
Spirituality is a muscle (and bathing is a hobby)
Becoming an in-tune being, says O, is not something one does overnight. “Being connected to the essence of yourself is like developing a spiritual muscle,” she explains. So just we bathe to stay clean, and exercise to stay healthy, we must she work out our spiritual “muscles” on a regular basis. Speaking of baths, O refers to bathing as her hobby. She does so to make a point about why it’s important to live in the moment and appreciate things, but it’s also a kind of a delightfully 0.1 percent sort of thing to say. Especially when she notes that her tub just “happens to sit in place where I can look out and see the ocean,” as if a seaside view is something we all could just “happen” into.
Oprah talks to dead people
Or at least to one dead person. As Oprah fans are well aware, Winfrey considers the poet Maya Angelou to be a second mother to her, as well as the mentor who taught her how to survive the “fame thing.” Now that Angelou (who died in 2014) isn’t around anymore, Oprah maintains the connection by talking to her on a regular basis. Props to Gwyneth for asking if she means “out loud.” And props to Oprah for admitting that she does: “When I woke up this morning I said: ‘Maya, I’m going to be doing this interview with Paltrow—show up.’” (No word on if Angelou made a spiritual appearance though. Jeez, Gwyneth, it’s called a follow-up question).
Oprah and Gwyneth are both insufferable art snobs
One of the worst (slash best) parts of the podcast comes when Oprah shares a story about those days before she was one of the richest women on the planet, and couldn’t afford original art. Instead she would go to art galleries and buy postcards and frame them. She and Paltrow enjoy a good giggle over this tale of humble beginnings, also known as how most of us decorate out homes. Paltrow is well known for her tendency to make accidentally obnoxious proclamations. Apparently it’s contagious.