V Collector's Club: Gwyneth Paltrow V53
From Goop to The Politian, GP is taking over.
From Goop to The Politian, GP is taking over.
Gweneth Paltrow strikes back into the limelight with Netflix's Season 2 of The Politician. With Paltrow's earthy vibes, still playing a role in her character, she follows in her son's political footsteps switching from caregiver and socialite to running for governor. We couldn't expect anything less of the actress, as she takes over the holistic wellness game with Goop empire. Revist GP's cover V53 available for purchase on our Collector's Club now.
Even though Gwyneth Paltrow hasn't appeared in a blockbuster film for a few years, it doesn't take much detective work to discover what she's been busy doing. America's glamour sweetheart has made the swift transition into cool, earthy wife and mother (with her daughter Apple, now 4, and son Moses, 2). If, to most of the world, Paltrow has the closest thing to a perfect life, it has come to the 35-year-old actress more by sticking to her own sense of self than by fulfilling a fantasy. When she arrives for this interview at her local North London Starbucks, cooing over the children wandering around in there, she is makeup-free and her hair, newly shoulder length, is tied back. Nevertheless, she's wearing Rick Owens, Balenciaga, and Lanvin. Two days later, dressed in Yves Saint Laurent, her photograph and news of the new hairdo is in every newspaper in England, after she has attended a charity evening in Leicester Square for the Prince's Trust.
Yes, she knows Prince Charles. She's also buddies with Madonna and Stella McCartney. She is married, of course, to Chris Martin of Coldplay, and he's written songs—huge, memorable, elegiac songs like "Fix You"—about her. No wonder we are endlessly fascinated. But these are all things we would know without meeting Paltrow. As she prepares to return to the screen with two new films this summer—the comic book superhero movie Iron Man and the romantic twister Two Lovers starring opposite Joaquin Phoenix—she talks about the stuff we haven't yet learned about her.
DAISY GARNETT After working very little over the last four years, you've now got two movies coming out almost on top of each other, the first being Iron Man. Not typical Gwyneth Paltrow fare. Is that why you did it, to have a change?
GWYNETH PALTROW Well, it has a really good cast—Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, and Terrence Howard. That's why I did it. Essentially I hadn't worked for a long time because I really liked being a mommy at home. When Moses was about 6 months old I started to get the itch to do a film, but I thought I'm not going to do anything till he's at least a year old—I was with Apple for years without really working—but that if something really inspiring comes up, then I'll do it. That's when I got the call from Jon Favreau, who directed Iron Man. I love his films, loved the cast, and the timing was right. My mom was selling our childhood home in L.A., so it was the last chance for us to be there. I had such a good time: my hours were good, I could take Apple to the nursery, and the kids went swimming every day. It was all really great.
DG Was your husband there too? Could you all be there together?
GP Well, I'm not allowed to talk about him. He hates it. But yes, we always make an effort to be together.
DG What about the other movie?
GP It's a low budget movie shot in New York by a director I've known for a long time called James Gray. It's called Two Lovers. It's with Joaquin Phoenix.
DG What made you want to do it, given how picky you are?
GP James sort of wrote it for Joaquin and me. It's a darker piece, but we had such a good time on set because the script was so good and James was so supportive.
DG What does it mean when a director is good with actors? Do they give you more time or let you try different things in takes?
GP There is an underlying belief in you, so you feel safe. And because there's an underlying respect, you feel you can try things. James was like: I don't want any walls between you and the camera. I want the real deal all the time. It felt like I was able to explore a different way of acting in this movie. I feel like since I've had my kids I've become very economical in how I get to where I'm going.
DG What do you mean? In terms of not wasting any time?
GP Not wasting any time at all. I want to be amazing in every single take and give everything I have and be totally raw and there and just see what happens.
DG Is that exhausting? Frightening?
GP It's more exhausting. And sometimes uncomfortable.
DG Was it a relief to do Iron Man then, compared to your usual, more intense, often quite melancholy, work?
GP It was nice. It's great sometimes to go to work and think, Oh, we're just going to have fun. I wouldn't even know my lines because when we'd get there, Robert [Downey Jr.] would change everything. There was a point when I would have been scared to work like that, but now I'm up for anything. As long as it doesn't involve working five days a week!
DG So how are you combining work with being a mother?
GP I have an amazing nanny. I didn't have one till Apple was 14 months old, but then, because we were going on tour, we found someone fantastic. She's been with us ever since.
DG Do you wonder how you did without a nanny for 14 months?
GP I was really tired.
DG Why didn't you get more help?
GP Because I was obsessed—madly, deeply in love—with my daughter. I wanted to be with her all day long. I was under a crazy spell. I still am, but I've had to adjust to reality more.
DG Did you miss the artistic impulse?
GP Not at all. I never thought about work. It was as if my artistic fire went out. I just wanted to be home. Also, I think I burned myself out in my 20s, because I worked so much. And I had achieved a lot, so it wasn't like I had burning ambitions left.
DG Why did you work so hard?
GP I didn't know there was a choice not to. I had so much I wanted to say, and so many characters I wanted to do. I was getting sent amazing scripts, and there was pressure to commit to projects. I didn't realize you could say, Wait a minute, I don't want to do another project for a bit. Instead, one year, I did five movies back-to-back. That was the nail in the coffin. I thought I was going to die with exhaustion. I couldn't take it anymore.
DG Did you then manage to take control or did life intervene?
GP I decided to do a play here in London—Proof—over the summer of 2002. And then my dad died that fall. That really changed everything. I was doing Sylvia at the time, and there was no other thing I could have done. I was in such grief for such a long time.
DG Can you watch Sylvia now?
GP I don't watch any movies I'm in so much. But that one—that would be hard. Real hard. That was the most difficult time in my life. I began shooting Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and I thought when this comes to an end, I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. Really. I'm going to collapse. So, with regret, I pulled out of two other films I was signed up for.
DG But it must have been a good lesson, pulling out of the films but the world not collapsing.
GP It's true. Because as girls and young women we're taught to please. I had such a fear of not pleasing or saying no. It's an impulse I have only managed to extricate from my body now that I'm in my 30s.
DG Did you do things you wish you hadn't?
GP I wouldn't change anything. Even when I look back and think, Why did I do that or why did I date that person? Because ultimately all roads led me to where I am now. And it was incredibly fun—traveling the world, going to premieres, dressing up. It was just my life. I did it all the time. At certain points in more recent years, when I've been 30 pounds heavier and had milk dripping out of my boobs, it seemed like a fairy tale.
DG But you still get dressed up every now and then. Do you still enjoy it?
GP I'm always interested in fashion. It's part of who I am and how I express myself. I rebelled against the whole thing for a moment when the kids were babies and I wore sweatpants every day. Plus, it's hard to wear fashion when you're trying to take off baby weight.
DG Did you put on real weight or was it movie-star weight?
GP I put on 40 pounds with Moses. And I found it really hard to loose the last 20 pounds.
DG Did you hate having the extra weight?
GP I did. It was just not what I was used to. I didn't mind having the big boobs. But it was the stomach roll, the back fat, and the post-pregnant butt. And it was so hard to get rid of.
DG Are you still macrobiotic?
GP I was macrobiotic for about three or four years, but when I got pregnant with Apple I wanted french fries, grilled cheese, and yoghurt, so it kind of went out the window. I couldn't look at brown rice. It made me throw up. But being macrobiotic is basically about eating local, organic, seasonal food that isn't processed, and that's how I eat now, so it's not that different. I haven't eaten meat for about fifteen years. I eat fish, a little bit of dairy, not much milk, but I love cheese. We'll make chocolate chip cookies and eat them, but sugar makes me feel pretty bad. I have coffee and wine. I've got lots of lovely vices.
DG What do you like wearing these days?
GP Well, today I'm wearing a Balenciaga jacket, a Rick Owens T-shirt dress, and Lanvin flat boots that I've basically worn every day this winter. I wear a lot of Balenciaga. I find it really chic and easy to wear. I've gotten really into Sonia Rykiel lately, so I might wear a pair of jeans with a blazer by her. And I have my school-run uniform: leggings with boots and a sweater dress, or a long T-shirt and long cardigan.
DG Do you still enjoy dressing up?
GP I do. Tomorrow, for example, I am going to this event for the Prince's Trust charity. I think Prince Charles is amazing. I adore him. But it's quite a rigamarole. Do you know what I mean? I have to find something to wear, get my hair done. And that takes up the daytime, which is my kid time.
DG Plus the press is always noting what you are wearing, like the time you wore something with a low back and you'd had a treatment on your back.
GP The cups?
DG The cups. Did you care?
GP No. I think it's good because people found out about cupping.
DG So it was deliberate?
GP No. But I get cupping a lot. I'm a real Chinese medicine fan. But it wasn't deliberate. It was a film screening, and there happened to be press there. I'd done my own makeup, was wearing jeans, and didn't even think about my back. Afterwards when I saw a bruise, I thought, Oh god, this is going to be a thing. But it meant that so many people said, What's cupping? What's acupuncture?
DG How do you know Prince Charles?
GP The first time I met him was at a Royal premiere—Legends of the Fall—so it was with Brad Pitt and I was 22. It was all very heady, being Brad Pitt's girlfriend, which was lovely, and then meeting Prince Charles. At some point soon after that I was asked to get involved in the Prince's Trust. I wouldn't say I know him, but I've met him on a number of occasions. I admire him.
DG But it seems famous people are often friends with other famous people, like you and Madonna. Is it like a "we're famous" club?
GP No, most of my friends aren't famous. I met Madonna when I was 22 or 23. I have other friends I've had longer and I have other friends that I see more, but through thick and thin she's a constant in my life. It's like we have some kind of karmic thing. She's a great woman. She's taught me a lot.
DG How did you get the Estee Lauder campaign?
GP They rang me up and asked if I would like to do it. Apple was little, and I wasn't working, so it was a great way to earn some money and do a day's work here and there. The best part about it has been meeting really great women, and I love the brand. I love that Estee was this little feisty Jewish woman who lived the American dream. I would like to do it forever. I'd like to be doing their old-age cream when I'm 65.
DG Do you know what your next projects are?
GP No movies for a bit. The earliest I would do something would be fall of 2008. I've got other obligations at the moment. We're going on tour, there are records coming out. And I'm writing a cookbook.
DG Have you always cooked?
GP Yeah. I used to do it with my dad, and then when I stopped working I got really into it. The book will be recipes that I've either made up or adapted. Seasonal, local, simple food based on what I cook and eat. Lots of fish. Lots of vegetables and pastas and polenta.
DG Do you think you'll have more kids?
GP I don't know. I go back and forth. I can't bear the idea of not having another one, but I also can't bear the idea of being pregnant again. I'm so bad at it. I was sick the whole time. We'll see. It changes from day to day. If it's meant to be it will happen.
Manicure Gina Viviano (Artists by Timothy Priano) Photo assistants Lars Beaulieu, Javier Villegas, Johnny Vicari Stylist assistant Anatolli Smith Makeup assistant Alice Lane
Hair assistant Brian Buenaventura Production Katie Fash and Steve Sutton Digital technician Heather Sommerfield Set design Philipp Haemmerle Set design assistant Shaun Kato-S amuel Tailor Buick Audra
Printing Pascal Dangin for Box