At The Movies
Catching Up With Gwyneth Paltrow
Oscar-winning actress grieves for her dad while she copes with fame.
Special to the Jewish News
Pitt going off to marry golden girl
Jennifer Aniston of television's Friends.
Not long afterward, she fell into the
arms of her Shakespeare in Love co-star
Ben Affleck. Again, the attractive cou-
ple became a hot item, a magnet for
the tabloids. But the pair publicly split
as Affleck told the world on a TV talk
show that he and Paltrow were going
their separate ways.
She's also been linked to Jewish
record producer Guy Oseary and actor
Luke Wilson, among others.
These days the svelte, blonde
been comedies: the dark, eccentric The
Royal Tenenbaums, in which she played
the wacky daughter of Gene Hackman
and Anjelica Huston, and Shallow Hal,
with Jack Black.
Shallow Hal gave her the opportuni-
ty to toy with her ever-so-cool image.
Decked out in a huge fat suit, she
played the role of a roly-poly, grossly
overweight young woman who — in
the eyes of the man who falls madly in
love with her — is an elegant, gor-
geous, slender beauty.
"It was a pretty bizarre experience in
that fat suit," recalls Paltrow, who
says that just for fun, she donned
her padded suit off screen. Looking
totally unrecognizable, she hung
out in the hotel bar to see what
kind of reaction she received.
"It was awful," she says, "I was
totally ignored in the bar — it was
like I was invisible. I had to wait
and wait before they even came
over to me to take my drink order."
his has not been the easiest
of years for Gwyneth
Paltrow. Days after turning
30 at the end of September,
Paltrow's beloved father, Jewish produc-
er/director Bruce Paltrow, died while he
and his famous daughter were having a
dream family holiday in Venice, Italy.
Bruce Paltrow, who not long ago
directed his daughter in the movie Duets,
had been battling throat cancer. After
undergoing heavy doses of chemother-
apy, he seemed to be in remission. So
he and Gwyneth headed off on a long-
promised father-daughter holiday.
Together they toured the canals of
Venice, and then suddenly he died.
Gwyneth's holiday of a lifetime had
turned into a nightmare. Her 59-year-
old mother, actress Blythe Danner,
who is not Jewish, and her brother,
Jake, had to jump on a jet and race
some 6,000 miles from Hollywood to
comfort the distraught star.
Working In Britain
"I've never seen her so devastated,"
Paltrow can pull big bucks for
said a close family friend. She was so
movies which regularly put her in
attached to her dad, and she thought he
line for awards, but she is still not
had weathered the worst of it. Months
afraid to take risks — and goes back
later, she is still in deep mourning."
regularly to the stage. Last year she -
Bruce Paltrow was descended
appeared in London's West End in
from a long line of rabbis with the
the Tony Award-winning Proof and
family name "Paltrowich," and in
gained rave reviews at a time when
recent interviews, G_ wynweth has
the critics were tearing other Yanks
discussed her connection with
stage, like Madonna, to pieces.
Judaism. She has described her phi-
makes no bones about the
losophy as "universal" but her cul-
working in England.
tural background as "Jewish."
work there on
She also has said that she fasts on
the film Ted and Sylvia, about the
Gwyneth Paltrow stars as a fl ight attendant in
Yom Kippur and celebrates the High
A View from the Top," currently in area theaters. late English poet laureate Ted
Holidays and Passover. Her brother
Hughes and his troubled wife,
had a bar mitzvah, though she did not
poet Sylvia Plath, who com-
become bat mitzvah. She also has said
at the age of 30 in 1963.
her father probably would have preferred
ever really explored the
that she marry a Jewish guy.
incredible story of the relationship
Kelly "Hollywood Princess" mantle.
Much to her chagrin, she finds she gets between her and her husband,"
Paltrow says. "It's very powerful and
Gwyneth In Love
more ink for the men in her life than for
filled with a lot of pathos and incredi-
her brilliant career. And indeed it is bril-
While Paltrow is firmly entrenched in
ble passion. And, of course, they creat-
Hollywood's A-list league — she earns
these amazing works.
$12 million plus per movie and has
Despite her penchant for working in
Paltrow, who won her Best Actress
displayed a phenomenal acting range
England, and her uncanny ability to
Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, has
— on both the personal and romantic
master a British accent, Paltrow is
demonstrated her remarkable versatility
front, life keeps throwing the Oscar-
adamant that she doesn't plan to move
— and her ability to do all manner of
winning star a curve.
permanently to the United Kingdom,
accents — in movies from Emma to
There was, of course, her high-pro-
although she is currently dating 25-
file engagement to Hollywood golden
Chris Martin, the Devon-born
boy Brad Pitt. It ended abruptly with
lead singer of the pop quartet Coldplay.
She met Martin when she went
backstage after his concert at London's
Wembley Arena in November.
Martin seems genuinely bewildered
that he is going out with Paltrow: "I
got her phone number, called her and
we went out and had a good time. We
seem to get along really well and have
become good friends," he said.
For now, Paltrow says, she considers
Britain a "second home," though "I'm
not moving to London.
"I love the British approach to mak-
ing art, whether it's film or theater. In
Hollywood, people are just trying to
make a profitable product. It's all
about making money.
"But I don t live in Hollywood. I live
in New York. I have the advantage of
being an American who understands
British culture. I grew up around the-
ater people and there were always a lot
of Brits around. I have a good sense of
how the British think, how they behave
and their sense of humor," she says.
Maintaining Her Privacy
Paltrow seems less than serious about
her ticking biological clock, saying that
she'd like to start a family but insisting
that she feels no pressure to procreate.
"She'll marry when she's ready," says
her mother, Blythe Danner. "But she's
been under enormous pressure: the
relentless spotlight, the endless specula-
tion about every aspect of her life from
her men to her diet to her clothes."
Paltrow says her problem is that she
takes the question of love and mar-
riage very seriously.
"So many young people get married
and often those marriages end in
divorce," she says. "You learn to love
whether it's in a relationship or with
your own family.
"But I've found it's not always so easy.
As soon as you love somebody, you risk
being hurt. It's painful. But I guess that
seems to be what makes life interesting,
rich, textured and worth living."
And even though she continues to
complain about the incredible amount of
interest in her private life, she has now
learned, she says, not to reveal too much
about herself or about the men in her life.
"I suppose life can get complicated
if you fall in love with someone who is
famous. And you get your privacy invaded
whether he's famous or you are. So now I
don't talk about my private life anymore.
"I learned about that early on when
I was going with Brad [Pitt]. I don't
read any of the stuff that's printed
about me. I don't watch entertainment
TV shows, and so I'm able to keep