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Gwyneth Paltrow Actress

Gwyneth Paltrow

As the child of actress Blythe Danner and producer Bruce Paltrow, Gwyneth grew up around Hollywood her whole life. Getting her first role from family friend Steven Spielberg in Hook, Gwyneth made her first real impact in Se7en and then became a household name after a critically acclaimed turn in Emma. With an aristocratic beauty, the captivating regal air of Hollywood nobility Gwyneth has become one of the most watched and read about celebrities. Her succession of fantastic performances only fueled this fire, making not only a fascinating public figure but also one of the best actresses in Hollywood. Although she initially gained fame for her real-life role as Brad Pitt's girlfriend, Gwyneth Paltrow went on to build a solid reputation as one of the leading actresses of her generation. Repeatedly summoning comparisons to such classic presences as Grace Kelly, the blonde, blue-eyed Paltrow has won acclaim for her parts in a number of films, most notably Shakespeare in Love, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar in 1999.

Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, California on September 28, 1972. When she was 11, her family moved to Massachusetts so that her father could direct summer stock productions -- it was there that the actress began to receive theatrical training under her parents' tutelage. Schooled at Manhattan's exclusive Spence School, Paltrow went on to study anthropology at the University of California before deciding to drop out to pursue her acting career. She got her first screen role in the 1991 movie Shout and in the same year she played the young Wendy in Steven Spielberg's Hook.

Two years later, Paltrow made her first significant impression with a chilling turn as a young con artist in Flesh and Bone. She went on to minor but memorable roles in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994) and Jefferson in Paris (1995) before earning her first true taste of fame with her part as Brad Pitt's wife in Seven (1995). Unfortunately, she got more attention for her status as the actor's girlfriend than for her work in the film, becoming one of the world's most photographed arm ornaments.

However, the actress was able to come into her own the following year with the title role in Douglas McGrath's adaptation of Emma. She won acclaim for her work and her flawless British accent, and the same year she could be seen in two more films: The Pallbearer, with David Schwimmer, and Paul Thomas Anderson's Hard Eight. However, it was not until 1998 -- having broken off her engagement with Pitt the previous year -- that Paltrow became better-known for her acting than for her ability to look good in designer evening gowns. That year, she had starring roles in no less than five films. Although both Hush and A Perfect Murder proved disappointments, and Great Expectations received mixed reviews, Paltrow's two English excursions, the comedy Sliding Doors and John Madden's Shakespeare in Love, netted positive receptions. The latter film drew particular acclaim, eventually winning seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Paltrow.

The following year, she had the lead in another high-profile project, Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley. Starring opposite Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Cate Blanchett, Paltrow took part in a film that boasted one of the most photogenic collections of young stars that audiences had seen that year and it further enhanced her reputation as one of the most celebrated members of her generation to step in front of a camera. As photogenic as she may be, however, Paltrow's healthy sense of humor would give the delicate actress the gusto she needed to take on the role of a 300-pound object of funnyman Jack Black's affection in the Farrelly brothers' cheerfully offensive Shallow Hal in 2001. With roles in The Anniversary Party, Possession, and Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums that same year, Paltrow's versatility and popularity showed no signs of waning - even if the subsequent flight attendant comedy View From the Top didn't even climb high enough at the box office to take a nosedive.

Of course the failure of View From the Top could not be placed squarely on the shoulders of Paltrow, and given the film's troubled production history it's a small wonder that the film was released at all. If that film had simply been a glazed-over comedy that gave its starlet little chance to shine, Paltrow would close out the year with a commendable and notably heavier performance in Sylvia. A film based on the life of literary legend Sylvia Plath, Sylvia couldn't have been more different than A View From the Top and provided Paltrow with a role she could truly sink her teeth into. Both her performance as well as the film itself fared fairly well through the duration of its limited art-house run, despite the fact that Plath's real life daughter Frieda Hughes publicly denounced the endeavor. The film also provided Paltrow with the opportunity to appear onscreen opposite her real-life mother Danner, who also played her ill-fated character's mother in the film.

In the wake of her accolades from Sylvia, Paltrow closed out 2003 by wedding Coldplay singer Chris Martin. The new family would soon expand five months later with the birth of their first child, a girl they bestowed with the unique moniker Apple Martin. But family life didn't slow Paltrow's film career too much. By Autumn she could be seen opposite Jude Law in the sci-fi actioner Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and before the close of the year, audiences could catch her in director Guy Madden's Proof.

Gwyneth Paltrow on "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow"

Gwyneth Paltrow hasn’t been seen in a wide release since 2001’s “Shallow Hal.” Her smaller releases didn’t fare too well, both critically and financially, but Gwyneth didn’t fall too far off the spotlight. Her much publicized romance with Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin was a hot topic for tabloids. This past May, Gwyneth gave birth in England to Apple, her new baby girl.

Gwyneth once again steals the spotlight as she co-stars with Jude Law in “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” the action-adventure fantasy picture from first time writer/director Kerry Conran. Set in 1939 New York City, Gwyneth plays Polly Perkins, a reporter with a knack for getting too deep into the story. When several scientists mysteriously disappear and New York City is attacked by giant robots, the country calls on a brave war leader named Sky Captain (Law) who must stop a mad scientist from world domination. “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” co-stars Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, and Bai Ling.

The Academy Award-winner was in New York City to talk about her new project, as well as being a mother for the first time.

Q: So why did you decide to join a project like this?

GWYNETH: I had already basically agreed to do it when I read it. Kerry Conran made in his garage a six-minute short which is basically like the fake trailer for the movie. And Jude was already in it and producing it, and I met Jon Avnet and Jude and [producer] Sadie [Frost] at their offices in London. And they kind of described to me what the story was. Jon Avnet for a while had been trying to get me the script. He said: I've got to give you the script but I have to be in the room with you to show you this thing and explain it all, and I was kind of like, what is he talking about? And then when we finally did all get in the room and he showed me the short, it looked so incredible and stylish and unlike anything I had ever seen. I thought - if there's ever tiome to do an action adventure movie, it's in a situation like this where it's a new technology and it's with Jude. So I got really excited, and I said, "O.K., I'll do it." And they were like, "Wait! You gotta read the script." I already knew I was going to do it, and then when I read the script, I decided it was exactly what I expected, but more because because of the - I found it very stylish, I keep saying that word - the banter between them - I had a very strong kind of vision of what the hair and the costumes should look like and stuff like that - it was just exciting.

Q: Polly Perkins has a very unique look about her. Did you have any input into that?

GWYNETH: Yes. I always work with the same hair woman. I have for years. She's an Englishwoman named Kay and she does the most incredible hair and wigs and extensions and stuff like that, and I just knew I wanted to be super blonde and then she sort of designed the Veronica Lake hair style.

Q: You looked like a prototype girl from the 1930s...

GWYNETH: Right!

Q: Did you think of Lois Lane?

GWYNETH: Yeah. It's a funny classic archetype in a way: woman reporter who has lots of guts and wants to get her story. You can go back throughout cinema and find this type of character.

Q: A lot of this film is just you and Jude in front of a big blue screen. How important was it that you two had worked before?

GWYNETH: I think it was very important because we're very comfortable with each other. We are friends. There's an ease between us and I really feel like it was an advantage. We had a history and we knew each other and we could just kind of be free and - cause it's very bizarre working in just a sea of blue with no props. It's strange.

Q: But how do you get yourself in that mode of working with practically no props or sets?

GWYNETH: It's just a leap of faith and imagination, really. I kept watching the short film because it really kind of created the tone and style in my mind. You really have to hang onto the other actor in that scenario.

Q: Was this an easy shoot for you or difficult?

GWYNETH: In a way it was, because I knew how I wanted to do it, but in a way it was scary because I didn't know if the way I wanted to play it in the context of the filom was going to work. Because I didn't know how it was going to look and I thought I understood the tone and how to play it, which was very straight. You had to play it very straight and that sort of gives it the slight irony - winking at all the movies of its kind and all of that. So it did require a kind of like: O.K., let's just do it and cross our fingers and hope that it all comes together.

Q: Did you find it ironic that you use the latest technology to do a retro adventure movie?

GWYNETH: Well, that's what was so amazing about it. That because it took place in 1939 and because it was a retro idea of what the future would be, I thought that was very appealing and that it would have a very interesting look and Kerry would show us drawings of robots and it was so imaginative because he really captured that retro futuristic look.

Q: Paramount has set this up to be the first of three movies potentially. Would you come back for the sequel?

GWYNETH: I think I would. If it was something new again. If the story was good, I think we would do another one. It was really so much fun. And it was perhaps 6 weeks of work. Normally if it's a movie like this, it's a hundred shooting days, which is insane, but it was really easy and fun.

Q: Have you seen the movie yet?

GWYNETH: I have, I have.

Q: Is it what you imagined?

GWYNETH: It looks like I imagined but better. You know, I just loved the little touches. "The Wizard of Oz" playing behind us and how Radio City looks. I think it has a great look.

Q: Was this the weirdest acting you've ever done?

GWYNETH: It was weird but I really just embraced it and thought it was so much fun. I really had a good time doing it. This is like another skill, and I thought, well, this could be the way that movies go. It's not necessarily always watch out for the robot, but it might be easier in five years and less expensive to go into a blue room and shoot a scene instead of flying everyone to Paris and doing a scene in front of the Eiffel Tower. They could just "make" it, so there is a sense that this could be happening, and it is happening in film, and I thinkl it's an important skill to learn - to learn how to conjure what you need to conjure without actually having it there. It's just kind of an extension of what we do anyway.

Q: What is your most embarassing moment ever?

GWYNETH: I've told this story before but it is actually my most embarrassing moment: I was at a premiere and I was wearing a pair of pink suede trousers and when I got up, I thought something was a bit wrong, and actually my trousers had split. The whole crotch had split all the way up at the back. This was like not at a friend's house; there was press everywhere. So I just grabbed [something] and wrapped it around myself.

Q: What's your next role?

GWYNETH: Nothing. Breast-feeding is my current role.

Q: How is motherhood?

GWYNETH: Phenomenal. It's beyond...it's just the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Q: How much will you work now?

GWYNETH: I definitely won't do multiple films a year. No way. And I won't work soon. I'm thinking of doing a couple of tiny parts, like a cameo in one thing and maybe a little tiny part in something else - just to see if I can do it. but I think it will be a while before I do something that's like a big proper role.

Q: Is this the first movie starring Mommy that you will show Apple?

GWYNETH: Well, "Emma" is rated PG too so it will be either this or "Emma."

Gwyneth Paltrow: Sylvia

“ I made a pact with myself that I'd rather have less money than be embarrassed ”

Since winning the Best Actress Oscar for Shakespeare In Love in 1999, Gwyneth Paltrow has made a series of dubious career choices. Duets, Bounce, Shallow Hal, and View From The Top, were all pilloried by the press and public alike. Luckily, Sylvia Plath biopic Sylvia - which also stars Daniel Craig as Ted Hughes - sees her return to form and, finally, a decent movie.

Sylvia Plath's daughter didn't want the movie to be made. Did this increase your responsibility, bearing in mind Plath's many devotees?

I had mixed feelings about it. As a person who's in the public eye and who's very protective of my own privacy, and as a daughter, I completely understood where she was coming from. But on the other hand, as an artist, I thought: here's this incredible woman, who you'd be surprised by how many people have no idea who she was, and have never read the poems. So I thought, if there's a way to get her out into the world more then it's doing a great service to her. So I was torn about it.

Your father died two weeks before you began shooting. Did that help you get into the character's emotional space?

It was very, very hard for me to get through the day. I was under a cloud most of the time. But it was an amazing experience, because I think I was so torn up with grief. In a way I felt this bravery and this lust to do the role as honestly as I could, and be as raw and open as possible. To let go of any image I had of myself playing the role, and be as true to it as I could.

After your Oscar win, you'd expect to get better roles, But it's taken you some time to get to Sylvia...

I think what happened to me was I was 26 and I won the Oscar, and I just thought, I'll do whatever - I'll try this, I'll try that. I just took all the pressure off myself. I didn't think, OK, now I have to maintain a standard of a certain kind of film. So I made some decisions that were just bad. Then I got to a point where I stopped for a year, and then I did a play in London [Proof], which revitalised the way that I approached my work. So I made a pact with myself that I'd rather have less money than be embarrassed.

You protect you privacy. Do you think it's less interesting to watch actresses that are so overexposed by the media?

Yes, I think when people talk too much about who they are, and give the world access to every single thing - what kind of face cream they use, what they cook for dinner, and what nicknames they have for their significant others - that's all you can think about when you see them. There's no mystery. I think it's a shame, because it's great when you see somebody with mystery act, because you think they're capable of anything.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Bounce

The role of Abby Janelo could quite easily have come off as the saintly widow. How did you avoid that?

It was important for me to approach the role from the standpoint of someone who was not perfect, and who is really angry that her husband is taken away. She was having a hard time, and wasn't always perfect or a martyr. There are a couple of scenes that didn't make it into the final edit when you saw her being not so saintly. I set out to play her as human as possible.

Is "Bounce" more to do with fate and things beyond our control?

Yes, I think it is very much to do with fate. What I like about the film is that it shows you have to relent. Whatever life throws at you, you just have to surrender to it because fighting just doesn't get you anywhere. Sometimes these are painful and difficult lessons.

How would you describe your characters' rapport in the movie?

I think they have a chemical attraction to each other that's why my character Abby falls for Buddy. He's really not her type of guy. He really falls short in a few areas. But it's about overcoming your prejudices and not being judgemental. It's about forgiveness.

How does this role differ from what you've done before?

I'm always sort of wrapped in a little precious package. It's nice to play someone who is so human, who gets her hands dirty, and who wears her emotions on the surface. And for Ben Affleck as well - he really had to dig deep for this part, which he hasn't had to do before in his films.

Paltrow Eyes Suburbia

Gwyneth Paltrow apparently doesn't want her little Apple growing up in the Big Apple. The New York Post reports the Oscar winner has put her swanky Manhattan townhouse on the market.

The pad's price? A cool $7.85 million.

Gwyn, who reportedly paid a bargain-basement $1.6 million for the place in 1998, has decided to cash out of Manhattan's white-hot housing market in order to find some green space in the suburbs.

"She is looking outside of the city for a house with a yard," her publicist tells the paper, adding that it is "really difficult" for her to live in the upscale neighborhood due to the constantly hovering paparazzi.

Paltrow has been snapped several times giving the intrusive photographers the stink-eye, and she occasionally covers 9-month-old Apple's head with a blanket to prevent the adorable tot from being captured on film.

The actress currently spends much of her time in London, where last July she and husband Chris Martin plunked down $4.5 million for Kate Winslet's five-bedroom home in the exclusive Belsize Park area.

For those interested in living like a celebrity, here's what nearly $8 million will buy you in the West Village: The four-story 19th century Greek Revival brick home has four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths, along with a gourmet kitchen, multiple fireplaces, a rooftop garden, and a high-tech security system, complete with night-vision surveillance cameras and batter-proof doors.

"It's in mint condition," a broker tells the paper. "She's kept a lot of the antique detail, while integrating modern conveniences."

And if you need to borrow a cup of sugar or want to trade parenting tips, Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler are less than a block away.

Gwyneth Paltrow denies rumours

Sour-faced beauty Gwyneth Paltrow has put gossip-mongers in their place after recent reports suggested that her marriage to Chris Martin had hit a rocky patch.

Paltrow turned up to the Oscars in a dress matching her skin colour, and got more tongues wagging by not having the Coldplay singer on her arm.

Or she on his arm. Whatever, they’re a young modern couple.

But the blonde waif hit back by saying Chris was only absent because they like to keep their lives private.

"You see people sort of get together and break up and it always seems like the ones who are the most public with it sort of suffer the most publicly if it doesn't work out.

“It just seems like it invites the whole world in and I just prefer to not do it that way," Paltrow blabbed to IMDb.com.

But she wouldn’t be pushed on the matter any further, other than insisting that: "We're a happy household."

Expect the media to dissect Coldplay’s forthcoming album looking for clues.

Gwyneth Lands Weighty Role

Gwyneth Paltrow/Shallow Hal, Royal Tenenbaums Interview

She's an Oscar winner and an American icon, and based on her latest film, will do anything for her art. In the Farrelly Brothers' sweet comedy Shallow Hal, Gwyneth Paltrow plays an obese woman - at least to everyone except a hypnotized Jack Black, and had to spend some time in heavy make up and a fat suit. Not the Gwyneth we may know and love, but as she reveals to Paul Fischer, shooting this film was a learning experience in itself.

Gwyneth Paltrow admits to having a sense of humour. Not only about herself, but life in general. Still a fetching 29, despite an apparent longevity, the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love star, rediscovered her own irreverence after having agreed to star as an obese young woman in the new Farrelly Brothers comedy Shallow Hal. "I laugh really hard at jokes," Paltrow smilingly explains. "[The Farrelly Brothers] say and do incredibly irreverent things. I mean, they just really are funny - I mean REALLY funny. Out there, but funny."

What is particularly unique about Paltrow's latest role in Shallow Hal, is that she takes a step outside of an image that has been perpetuated by herself and the media, since launching into movie stardom in the mid-nineties. She plays an obese young woman whose inner beauty is what the central character of 'shallow' Hal sees. What others see is Paltrow in a fat suit. To prepare for that physically challenging facet of her character, Paltrow recalls watching people who were overweight and practising. "My stand-in Ivy was also great because she let me ask her questions and I watched how she moved, as well as studied her kind of attitude." But more importantly, dressing up in the all-too-realistic fat suit, only made the actress aware of how perceptions towards her changed, as she transformed herself into her overweight counterpart. "It was very different. You know, when I was on set, I felt no kind of sexual energy from men, you know. Because normally, I would still have all of these tiny little clothes on the whole time, and then to come on set the other way with the suit on and felt almost lonely." Paltrow recalls practising walking around with the suit on "just so that I would have a sense of it and what it felt like". Looking at herself in the mirror as the obese Rosemary filled her with varied emotions, she adds. "It was very strange the first time I put it on; I laughed, I cried and it was very intense." Paltrow recalls "going down in the lobby of the hotel where I tried it on, and people wouldn't even look at me; they wouldn't even make eye contact with me at all. It was really awful."

The reality of that character merely enhanced the actress's own insecurities. After all, she is constantly facing real-life media criticism of her own physicality. There ARE things that I feel insecure about, and people pick me about, and say 'Oh, she's gaining weight', and this and that, and press, or whatever. Now apparently I'm fat according to the New York Post.," so Paltrow understands what it feels like not to like aspects of yourself, she insists. "There have been times that I have felt really good about the way I look, and times where I feel really terrible about the way I look. So, I have the seed of that feeling."

Paltrow is unconcerned that certain sectors of society will be offended by Shallow Hal, insisting that it is not pro-thin. "I can understand sort of taking offence at a concept or in fear that maybe it will be offensive. But I don't think it's offensive at all. I think the message is very pro-overweight people, and very pro-inner beauty."

Shallow Hal has been criticised for adopting the perennial thin-is-beautiful stance, but Paltrow was drawn to the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder or beauty is skin deep themes of the movie, and relates in some ways, to her character's almost tragic predicament in this film. "I really like that part in the movie where [real-life motivational speaker] Tony Robbins says that we're all hypnotized to see beauty in this one specific way, and it's true. I don't know who decided that skinny was more appealing than not skinny - it just seems arbitrary. If we were living in ancient Rome or Greece, I would be considered sickly and unattractive, and it's just like the times dictate that thin is better for some strange reason, which I think is foolish." Yet Paltrow also agrees that the industry in which she finds herself has probably reinforced some of those stereotypes. "Absolutely, and so what I love about this movie is that Jack [Black], isn't technically your basic leading man. I mean, he doesn't look like Tom Cruise, and yet he's the star of the movie."

As shallowness goes, Paltrow talks half-jokingly about the superficiality of the male species, something which she further identifies with. "To be honest, I think that most men are shallow, and most men tend to be, which I think it's a Darwinian thing, but we won't get all into that." But she DOES insist that "men assume and think that if they produce offspring from all of these attractive people, their offspring will be attractive therefore insuring the propagation of their DNA, and that's the whole point.."

Paltrow has been in the top of her career since scoring roles in 1995's Seven, Jefferson in Paris and Moonlight and Valentino. Her star continued to rise in the diverse likes of Emma, Great Expectations and her critically lauded work in Sliding Doors. She won an Oscar for 1998's Shakespeare in Love, and remains one of the most recognisable faces in Hollywood. But in the years that I've spoken to Gwyneth, one thing remains constant: Her refusal to play the part of celebrity. "I have a very highly developed sense of denial, and I'm very good at it. So I never recognize the fact that I'm famous or take it to account unless I have to. But I really don't believe it, I don't read anything about myself, and I try to keep it completely separate." Yet Paltrow, who after al was once the bride-to-be of one Brad Pitt, denies her own shallowness. "I wanted to fall in love with someone who wasn't attractive at all by other people's standards, so. I have dated some very attractive men, but they were really nice people, too. They were really good people."

Professionally, Paltrow thrives on challenging herself. Following the release of the comparatively mainstream Shallow Hal, the actress will be seen in the ensemble dark comedy/drama, The Royal Tenenbaums, co-starring the eclectic likes of Gene Hackman, Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller. "I play Margo Tenenbaum - she's the middle child, she's adopted, she's the only girl, she's a playwright, and she and her siblings all failed in life. They think it is because their father is kind of mean and not present and leaves. So when they grow up, they were kind of incapable of sustaining their lives or livelihoods for one reason or another, so they all end up moving back in with their mother, Angelica Houston, in order to try and heal. It's really good." Paltrow continues to challenge herself. "I get challenged by things, not knowing what they are going to be. I read something and think this will be interesting or challenging or something I haven't done, and it will be something I haven't thought of to do. I'm just very open to whatever comes, and in doing different types of projects. It's better to keep learning and working as I I feel like there's a lot I haven't done yet."

Gwyneth Paltrow: The 'It' Girl

Gwyneth Paltrow is long known as the 'It' girl, Queen of Glam, beautiful, talented and now an Oscar winner (for Shakespeare in Love). Paltrow now dresses down, teaming up with ex-boyfriend Ben Affleck in the romantic drama Bounce. In this exclusive interview, Paltrow talks at length about love, pain and fame.

Gwyneth Paltrow finds it hard to mask her ethereal beauty. Her hair is far more blonde than usual and she is wearing Calvin Klein boots and leather skirt, slit to the thighs, and a "Petite Bateau T-shirt", she explains. In New York's Park Avenue, this Hollywood glamour girl feels strangely out of place, she confesses. Dogged by the 'It' label, Paltrow insists that none of that has anything to do with her own reality. "I just ignore it. That stuff's not important to me. The thing about all this stuff that has happened to me, though, is that it doesn't mean very much. What's important is being the best version of yourself, always growing, learning, being passionate."

At the moment she remains passionate about her latest movie, Bounce, in which Paltrow plays Abby Janello, the young widow of a plane crash victim. Living a lonely life outside L.A., Abby is swept off her feet when she meets Buddy Amaral (Affleck), a successful advertising executive. However, when Buddy reveals that he once gave up his seat on a plane that later crashed, the two realize that they have a deeper connection. This is one of the few occasions that the pretty Ms Paltrow had to look considerably less glamorous. "She's not a glamour girl, you know? She's got two kids, a job, she lost her husband in a plane crash and is trying to make it work." While wearing a distinctly unflattering wardrobe might have presented a challenge to the actress, it was all part of the work, she insists. "I think it was very good for the character. Don was very against me looking like the two-dimensional Gwyneth Paltrow - the one in all the magazines - he was very against that. He wanted Abby to be the kind of girls who reads glossy magazines rather than appears in the glossy magazines. It was his idea to get rid of the blonde hair because he felt it was too identifiable with the crass Gwyneth Paltrow person."

Paltrow loved working on a film which she defines as being emotionally truthful, and it was easy to relate to the material. "Any time you have to trust or put yourself on the line, it's scary in a way." What might have also been scary was working with an actor with whom she has had a romantic involvement, yet it is an issue that avoids discussing in a direct way. "I think any time you do a film with someone that you know, that you're friends with in real life, it makes all aspects of filming easier. I just did a little piece in a film, directed by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cummings, who are friends of mine, and a whole bunch of my friends were in it, and it just makes it fun. It just makes it easier, and more relaxed when you have a personal relationship with somebody." In a recent issue of Talk Magazine, her ex-boyfriend and co-star Affleck commented that Paltrow wanted him for the film for 'educational reasons'. Paltrow is dismissive of the notion. "He's allowed to speculate on that if he wants to. I just thought that he's a very good actor, and that when he does something that requires something of him, like when he has to connect with his emotional fabric and kind of dig a little bit, he's really wonderful. I also thought that this would be the kind of role that he would get to expand on film, and work hard to do, and so I thought he would be good in it. Yes, as a friend, I considered that it would be an interesting role for him, and that he would learn a lot by doing it."

Whether Paltrow and Affleck are still together, romantically, it has become the fodder for tabloids. Paltrow insists, however, that "Ben is not my boyfriend." As far as the tabloids go, "I have learned that kind of stuff is just for me, you know. If doesn't serve anyone any purpose by talking about it." Paltrow refuses to read about herself, anywhere. "I don't read ANYTHING. I don't read any gossip, articles, reviews; nothing about me, so it's like it doesn't exist for me. It's been really good actually. I stopped reading everything about me about a year and a half ago, so I'm totally detached from that whole side of my life, which has been very liberating."

She is one of the most written about and photographed women in the world, so what keeps her grounded? " My family and friends. I've had the same friends since I was a baby, and they're very honest with me." Honesty is the best policy, and her father, director Bruce Paltrow, is nothing but honest within his daughter. "I was in Spain with my dad and we got into a bit of an altercation about something. So he said to me: 'You know, you really have to work on this. You're so young, and people are always removing your obstacles for you, and that's not how life is. And it's true. I so value that and my friends are really honest with me." Paltrow recently worked with her father in the unfortunate Duets, which not only bombed at the box office, but received the most savage reviews in the actor's career. "It was devastating. There seemed to be a very nasty reaction to the movie, which really had nothing to do with the movie, but about me and him."

Paltrow just returned from England where she is playing yet another British character in Possession. "This one's very different from my other three characters, in that she's very guarded and an academic. She's not open emotionally at all which I think is more characteristic of English people." Despite having been British on screen a lot, the actress insists that she is "an old fashioned American girl." Perennially busy, no wonder the beautiful actress has little time to find love, or does she? "It's whatever God brings me first, is what it is. You can't make plans like that. You can't say, 'I want to do this and I want to do that'. You just have to take what's in front of you, and just do it one day at a time."


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