Feminist quotes, Emma Watson

16 celebrity quotes on suffering with impostor syndrome

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • Thank god we're not the only ones...

    Words by Martha Edwards

    It would be easy to assume that celebrities ooze confidence 24/7, but even the beautiful and the powerful can feel those unwelcome pangs of insecurity and self-doubt at times.

    Ever felt like a fraud at work? You’re not alone.

    Here are 16 successful celebrities who are living proof that impostor syndrome can affect everyone…

    1) Tina Fey
    ‘The beauty of the impostor syndrome is you vacillate between extreme egomania and a complete feeling of: “I’m a fraud! Oh God, they’re on to me! I’m a fraud!” So you just try to ride the egomania when it comes and enjoy it, and then slide through the idea of fraud.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock (5899267sq) Tina Fey 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 18 Sep 2016 WEARING OSCAR DE LA RENTA2) Meryl Streep
    ‘You think, “Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”‘

    'Florence Foster Jenkins' film press conference, Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan - 24 Oct 20163) Emma Watson
    ‘When I was younger, I just did it. I just acted. It was just there. So now when I receive recognition for my acting, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I tend to turn in on myself. I feel like an impostor. It was just something I did.’

    Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards, London, UK - 31 Oct 20164) Robert Pattinson
    ‘In a lot of ways, I’m quite proud that I’m still getting jobs. Because of falling into a job, you always feel like you’re a fraud, that you’re going to be thrown out at any second.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock (6323947b) Robert Pattinson e'The Lost City of Z' premiere, New York Film Festival, USA - 15 Oct 20165) Kate Winslet
    ‘Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this. I’m a fraud.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gregory Pace/BEI/Shutterstock (5898809aq) Kate Winslet 'The Dressmaker' premiere, New York, USA - 16 Sep 2016 WEARING VICTORIA BECKHAM DRESS6) Jennifer Lopez
    ‘Even though I had sold 70 million albums, there I was feeling like “I’m no good at this.”‘

    'Ice Age: Collision Course' film premiere, Los Angeles, USA - 16 Jul 20167) Natalie Portman
    ‘When I got to Harvard just after the release of Star Wars: Episode 1, I feared people would assume I had gotten in just for being famous, and not worthy of the intellectual rigor here.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nancy Rivera/ACE Pictures/REX/Shutterstock (6309000c) Natalie Portman 'Jackie' film premiere, New York Film Festival, USA - 13 Oct 20168) Sheryl Sandberg
    ‘There are still days when I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock (3034657r) Sheryl Sandberg 2013 Clinton Global Initiative, New York, America - 24 Sep 2013
    9) Daniel Radcliffe
    ‘I think the most creative people veer between ambition and anxiety, self-doubt and confidence. I definitely can relate to that. We all go through that: “Am I doing the right thing?” “Is this what I’m meant to be doing?”‘

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by People Picture/Jens Hartmann/REX/Shutterstock (6053085q) Daniel Radcliffe Tommy Hilfiger Dinner in celebration of 12th Zurich Film Festival, Switzerland - 30 Sep 201610) Amy Adams
    ‘After filming Catch Me If You Can, I choked. I felt this pressure to suddenly be this level of actress that I wasn’t confident enough to be. I did a series of really bad auditions, I let the nerves get the best of me. And the couple of years after that it was, “I can’t do this. I’m not strong enough to continue with this level of rejection”. It was, “What am I going to do with my life?”‘

    ELLE Women in Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA - 24 Oct 2016
    11) Chris Martin
    ‘It’s helpful to have some arrogance with paranoia. If we were all paranoia, we’d never leave the house. If we were all arrogance, no one would want us to leave the house.’

    2016 Global Citizen's Festival to End Global Poverty, New York, USA - 24 Sep 201612) Jodie Foster
    ‘When I won the Oscar, I thought it was a fluke. I thought everybody would find out, and they’d take it back. They’d come to my house, knocking on the door, “Excuse me, we meant to give that to someone else. That was going to Meryl Streep.”‘

    BAFTA Britannia Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 28 Oct 201613) Renée Zellweger
    ‘Sometimes I wake up at night and go, “Oh, damn! Here we go again! What were they thinking? They gave me this role; don’t they know I’m faking it?”‘

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gregory Pace/BEI/Shutterstock (5896363ck) Renee Zellweger 'Bridget Jones's Baby' film premiere, New York, USA - 12 Sep 2016 WEARING SCHIAPARELLI SAME OUTFIT AS CATWALK MODEL 5745159p*14) Amy Poehler
    ‘You will never climb Career Mountain and get to the top and shout, “I made it!” You will rarely feel done or complete or even successful. Most people I know struggle with that complicated soup of feeling slighted on one hand and like a total fraud on the other.’

    68th Primetime Emmy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 18 Sep 201615) Lady Gaga
    ‘I still sometimes feel like a loser kid in high school and I just have to pick myself up and tell myself that I’m a superstar every morning so that I can get through this day and be for my fans what they need for me to be.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Patrick Lewis/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock (5821620ac) Lady Gaga Tony Bennett Celebrates his 90th Birthday, New York, USA - 03 Aug 201616) Michelle Williams
    ‘Every day feels like the first day and every day you think, “They’re going to fire me; I don’t know what I’m doing here; I don’t know how to do this; I don’t know why I’m here; Everybody’s going to find out.”‘

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Can Nguyen/REX/Shutterstock (6118505d) Michelle Williams 'Manchester By The Sea' premiere, 60th BFI London Film Festival, UK - 08 Oct 2016 WEARING LOUIS VUITTON SAME OUTFIT AS CATWALK MODEL 6082246k*

    Reading now

    Popular entertainment stories