Variety’s Oscar issue cover story with Gwyneth Paltrow is amazing & ridiculous

61st Annual Grammy Awards

I walked into this Gwyneth Paltrow-Variety cover story thinking it was just going to be Gwyneth reminiscing about her experience at the Oscars the year she won for Shakespeare in Love. The film was released in 1998, so it’s the 20-year anniversary of when she won her Oscar. Anyway, I walked into this piece thinking it was just going to be a breezy “remember when that happened,” but it’s actually a long-read about how Shakespeare in Love came together, how Harvey Weinstein pulled a coup with the Oscar campaign, and how Gwyneth is totally over the actress life. It’s a lot! It’s a good read too, very interesting if you like insidery stories about how classic or iconic films came together. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights – there are so many good/funny/ridiculous pieces of gossip in here.

How Harvey Weinstein ran SIL’s Oscar campaign: Weinstein introduced guerrilla tactics to push “Shakespeare” past the finish line with a campaign war chest of $15 million (unheard of for Oscars races back then). He proved that with enough spending and smearing, you could go up against Hollywood’s most successful filmmaker and win. Paltrow is honest about her own struggles with the volcanic producer. “He was a bully. I never had a problem standing up to him. I wasn’t scared of him. I also felt for a period of time, I was the consumer face of Miramax, and I felt it was my duty to push back against him. We had a lot of fights.” She doesn’t believe that Weinstein’s involvement with “Shakespeare in Love” tarnishes the picture’s legacy. “It’s a beautiful film. A movie is not going to be successful if it’s not a good movie, not like that.”

Brad Falchuk referenced SIL at their wedding. “I hope this isn’t too personal. But in my husband’s wedding vows, he actually said it’s no coincidence that I played this muse, because that’s who I am to him, and his perception is that’s who I am in real life. It was really sweet.”

She thinks Hollywood has changed: “I think the movies and the business around them have changed so much in the last 20 years. I don’t think any of the movies that I’m known for would get made today. Would they make ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’? Would they make ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’? Would they make ‘Shakespeare in Love’?”

She’s retiring Pepper Potts after Avengers: Endgame: “I mean, I’m a bit old to be in a suit and all that at this point. I feel very lucky that I did it, because I actually got talked into it. I was friends with [‘Iron Man’ director] Jon Favreau. It was such a wonderful experience making the first ‘Iron Man’ and then to watch how important it has become to the fans.”

She’s fine with a superhero movie winning Oscars: “So if the vernacular in film is superhero movies and they’re great movies, then I guess why not, right? I loved ‘Black Panther.’ I thought it was a really powerful movie and culturally very important. So that’s great that it was nominated. I mean that’s so cool.”

She has seen very few of this year’s Oscar contenders: Of all the best picture nominees, the only other ones she’s seen are “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” both with her two kids (from her first marriage to Chris Martin). She admits that she still needs to catch “Roma” in a theater. “Oh, my gosh,” she says. “That seems like a commitment. What else is really good?” There’s “The Favourite,” of course. “What’s that?” she asks.

She turned down the Shakespeare in Love script initially: “I was in the middle of a terrible breakup” — with Brad Pitt — “and the idea of going to England and being far from home just seemed …I didn’t even read it. I was just like, ‘I can’t read anything right now. I’m having a really hard time.’”

When she won the Oscar: “Jack Nicholson gave it to me. There’s a funny story where he’d been trying to ask me out before, and I was like, ‘I have a boyfriend!’” It wasn’t awkward that she’d turned him down. When she forgot to take the envelope from him, he sent it to her with a tender note. “I have it framed.”

[From Variety]

So much shady sh-t, humble-bragging and Classic Goopiness, you don’t even know. I edited like half of all that sh-t out, like when she took credit for making sure Joseph Fiennes was cast (he was still in the dark about that when he spoke to Variety). But there’s so much – Jack Nicholson asking her out, being too devastated about Brad Pitt to read one script, not knowing about The Favourite, it’s all so… Gwyneth. Also: one of the biggest pieces of Hollywood lore – possibly apocryphal lore – is that Gwyneth stole the SIL script from Winona Ryder and that’s what ended their friendship. That’s not addressed here at all. Gwyneth makes it sound like she was only the second choice after Julia Roberts backed out. Hmm…

Also: Brad Falchuk called her his muse in their wedding vows, OMFG. Reader, I laughed.

Cover and photo courtesy of Variety.

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91 Responses to “Variety’s Oscar issue cover story with Gwyneth Paltrow is amazing & ridiculous”

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  1. Natalie S says:

    Gwyneth is like Miss Piggy come to life. Except Miss Piggy has more self-awareness and a better sense of humor.

  2. Chef Grace says:

    She is so in love with her GOOPY self.
    I needed a good laugh though.

  3. Mia4s says:

    The mid-budget movies she was known for don’t get made today? Ummm, The Favourite says hi? So does The Wife. So does Carol, so does…Etc. Etc. They just don’t want her anymore and she’s too lazy/incapable to produce her own stuff. There are too many who are better at it, starting with Cate Blanchett (who technicality should have 3 Oscars after Weinstein stoke the first one for GOOP).

    I can never tell if she’s delusional or just mind bogglingly insecure.

    • DS9 says:

      Right. Uhm so what have Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain and every other working white lady actress been doing?

      And there’s is always a costume drama in the works.

      Plus, did Wes Anderson die?

    • Steff says:

      Some of those movies you named are not considered “mid-budget” at all. Carol had a tiny budget. Don’t underestimate how hard it is for female lead films to get made in Hollywood. There is a lot of hurdles they face before it reaches our screens.

      • DS9 says:

        Goop didn’t name any female led movies either

      • JinnyBye says:

        Exactly. Shakespeare In Love had a 25 million dollar budget. The Talented Mr Ripley had a 40 million dollar budget. That’s 37 million and 60 million today.

        These days those types of films are rarely given more than 15-20 million to work with. Getting 30 million is a real coup.

        The same goes for The Royal Tenenbaums. Wes had a budget of over 40 million in today’s money to make that. These days he gets 15-25 million. He’s creative in getting around that, but the differences in how he was able to shoot Tenenbaums and Life Acquatic compared to Moonrise Kingdom and Grand Budapest are obvious.

    • lucy2 says:

      I do think she’s right in that a lot of mid-budget movies don’t get made anymore, I’ve heard a lot of people in the industry say that, not just her.

      But I also think her career was drying up, so her trying to spinning as her walking away is typical Goop. Marvel stuff aside, she hasn’t had a hit in probably 12-15 years, and it is tougher for older women, especially ones who aren’t in demand. She was good in some movies, but never really had the appeal/talent as her contemporaries that are still working steadily.

  4. Nanea says:

    Goop on the cover of the Oscar issue…

    Because the actresses nominated for this year’s Oscars have no story to tell, and are absolutely not worthy to be on a cover.

    Well done, Variety!

    • smcollins says:

      I was wondering the same thing. An Oscar issue that isn’t featuring one of this year’s actual nominees? Makes perfect sense.
      And, I swear, I can’t decide if I like GP or not. She’s completely insufferable, but at the same time she’s also kind of endearing (maybe that’s not the right word, but it’s the one that came to mind).

      • Mina says:

        I know what you mean about her being “endearing”. I think she suffers from living in an eternal bubble of self grandiosity and is completely unaware of the real world but I think she genuinely thinks she’s doing good in the world. She’s like a benevolent narcissist. I find her a little exhausting but not completely hateable.

    • lucy2 says:

      Especially one from 20 years ago who hasn’t done anything noteworthy since, and who’s award is widely considered the face of “Oscars go that one wrong”.

      • Kebbie says:

        This is what baffles me. Nobody thinks she deserved her Oscar. Why on earth would her win be the one they’re revisiting?

      • Arpeggi says:

        SIL was not a great movie and did not deserve to win anything aside, maybe, some costume/makeup/set prizes (but it even then other movies did that better). It only won due to HW’s campaign.

        Frankly, the Oscars get it wrong most years, Moonlight was the exception where the movie that deserved to win did (and barely so!). I still need someone to explain to me the point of Silver Lining Playbook or why it deserved awards.

      • TQB says:

        It’s always *someone’s* 20th anniversary of her win!!

    • pria says:

      @Nanea

      It makes sense when you realize she shares the same PR flack as Jennifer Aniston, Stephen Huvane. He’s a master manipulator. Paltrow has had a lot of rumors resurface since the whole #metoo movement with Harvey, and her telling her own particular story. Her old pal Matt Damon threw her under the bus and referred to her as ‘The first lady of Miramax,’ and all that that implies, meaning she was at best cool with Harvey , and at worst his occasional gf. It’s rumored that is why she and Pitt ended, because after Brad getting in Harvey W’s face, rumor was that Paltrow capitulated or got onboard with Harvey (yuck). Pitt was said to be devastated at the betrayal.

      Harvey even went to town on Brad Pitt in the press post the split, so Paltrow wouldn’t be seen as the bad guy. They dropped articles like ‘Ben Affleck is the thinking woman’s Brad Pitt,’ started many whisper campaigns that Pitt was stupid, and Pitt even addressed all this in 1 or 2 old interviews.

      When on the eve of his wedding, Paltrow gives an interview basically fessing up in a vague way, she says she “was the architect of her own misery.”

      It’s one reason, some say, Pitt got involved with another Huvane client at the time Aniston, it was win win for Huvane, and a partial one for Pitt in that Miramax laid off their attacks on him. He was protected by Huvane Inc.

      I sill maintain that’s one reason when he left Aniston, Huvane went full bore after him, and then Angelina in the tabloid press and attached his client to the triangle for all eternity. Revenge.

      SO anyway, back to Pitt/Paltrow. Huvane kept the smear campaign to a minimum and reaped the benefits of his ‘tv woman’ client hooking up with ‘Brad Pitt.’

      I think this new Variety piece is Huvane trying to rehab Gwyneth. Start a new narrative about her and Harvey, and kill the notion that she stole Winona ‘s SIL script. Didn’t Winona actually say that she did her dirty just a few years ago? She called her a frenemy or something.

      This is a Huvane special. I remember the year both Brad and Angelina were nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress, he pulled a similar coup and got a FameHo client to cover a magazine that otherwise should have been covered by a nominee the week of the Oscars. It was Aniston on People Mag (?) talking about her luuuurve for John Mayer. They would split a few days after the Oscars. Lmao

  5. Mina says:

    Isn’t she an Academy member who votes? And doesn’t even know all the nominated movies? I guess we all know this is really what happens with voting in the Oscars but one more proof that they are not the prestige prize they’re supposed to be.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yes, that jumped out to me too. She’s a voter, and should, at the very least, watch all the films in whatever category she is to vote in. She’s surely sent a pile of screeners.

      If people like her are “so over Hollywood” then they should decline their Academy membership, or at least opt out of the voting process.

    • tealily says:

      It’s infuriating, but we all know this is how it all works. What a sham.

  6. MS says:

    Dear god, this woman is exhausting! No way should she have won best actress. The only good thing about Shakespeare in Love was Dame Judi Dench. Everyone knows Saving Private Ryan was really Best Picture that year. Cate Blanchett’s performance in Elizabeth wiped the floor with Paltrow’s. Weinstein’s prints are all over unworthy oscar wins & campaigns.

    • Helen says:

      so many unworthy wins, no wonder gwyneth seems to think her duties as a voting member of the academy are a joke

  7. mycomment says:

    oh ffs… what actress/waitress in Hollywood hasn’t Nicholson asked out. she’d have been insulted if she wasn’t included on that list.
    her head’s so far up her stripper’s ass her vaginal egg couldn’t fit..

  8. Digital Unicorn says:

    She has always been up her own ass, she just lets it fly like a flag now.

    And no she didn’t turn her back on acting, she just stopped getting offered half decent roles. She wasn’t bad in SIL but that’s because the role was her lane and she does seem to have a talent for comedy but she has never been as Oscar worthy actress.

  9. adastraperaspera says:

    More proof that winners write history, I guess. It seems to me that she’s played the same character over and over in all the movies she’s been in. This seems like another lost opportunity for Variety to live up to their name and feature someone besides a white woman brought to us by Harvey Weinstein’s manipulations.

  10. Skyblue says:

    I was so disappointed when she won that Oscar. Cate deserved it for Elizabeth. And the humble-brag is strong in this one. 🤢

  11. Tiffany says:

    So we finally got confirmation of Harvey’s strong handing, I refuse to call it campaigning.

    He took one look at Elizabeth and knew what he had to do.

    • Helen says:

      so many unworthy wins, no wonder gwyneth herself doesn’t seem to take her duties as a voting member of the academy seriously

  12. Jerusha says:

    SIL is iconic/classic? Nah. But, The Matrix, also 1999, is iconic, imo. No reason at all to watch SIL a second time.

  13. titi says:

    I honestly wonder what it is like to never really have to worry about anything. This woman was born into a gravy boat, and watching her leisurely doggie paddle through her life of Being GOOP is trippy to me.

    • wildflower says:

      “Being Goop” sounds like the perfect name for a documentary about her and I agree on your take on her life: totally spoiled and self absorbed and seems to have no idea that things have been handed to her.

  14. Steff says:

    You made an error. It was released 1998, the Oscar ceremony was 1999.

  15. Helen says:

    she seems to have a deep and abiding love of cinema

    *sike*

  16. minx says:

    Humble bragging, yep. That’s our Goopy.

  17. Barrett says:

    I’m a grown woman, I don’t want to be called a MUSE!!!!

  18. Grant says:

    I actually have an unpopular opinion, but I thought Gwyneth was a revelation in SIL. I totally understand why she won that year… She gave a magnetic, charismatic performance that she’ll never be able to top. And I say this as someone who largely can’t stand her.

  19. Mumbles says:

    OMG. The Favourite – “What’s that?” Give me a break. I’m not a Hollywood actress and I know what The Favourite is. Is this a way to mean-girl Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Coleman?

    Affleck as the lead would have been horrific. Wooden and goofy. She did have good instincts there.

    • Kebbie says:

      Rachel Weisz would be her peer and she has to pretend there aren’t roles for people like her, so she can’t know what The Favourite is. A mid-budget, creative and female-led film ruins her entire argument for why she doesn’t act anymore.

  20. anp says:

    She is so Phony just like BP.

  21. Mina says:

    I think the funniest thing of this piece was her allegation that Weinstein wanted Ben Affleck as Shakespeare but SHE convinced him it had to be a british person and Weinstein coming out of his hole with a press release saying that’s a lie.

  22. Sadezilla says:

    I thought Goop annoyed me uncontrollably, but I realize I do love to hate read her. She’s such a caricature.

  23. DS9 says:

    I think the real issue is that Gwyneth has always been a bit bland as an actress, not without talent mind you just not necessarily unique or versatile. She is very good as playing an idealized wife or girlfriend. Most of her roles bear this out.

    Just looking at 2018, I see a number of roles similar to what she described but that have more depth and character development than she’s capable of. She’s not very versatile and not willing to challenge herself.

    She also doesn’t seem to be developing her own projects or looking to produce. Most of the established working actresses from her era, just before and after are doing things to get the roles they want made. She isn’t

    • Kebbie says:

      This. The roles available to women her age are a lot more complex and interesting now. Amy Adams, Rachel Weisz, Viola Davis, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Chastain, Sandra Bullock…why would anyone pick Gwyneth Paltrow over these women?

      • TQB says:

        There is no way she could hang with any of the women you list. She just doesn’t have the talent or the commitment.

        ETA: which is fine, but own that. Don’t BS and say you quit because it wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it TO YOU. The roles were there, just not FOR YOU.

    • JinnyBye says:

      I don’t think that’s really fair. She actually did try to get quite a lot of female led projects off the ground in the early aughts, but her timing was off. It was after she’d taken a break from dramas to do some silly comedies and rom-coms, and no one was taking her seriously anymore. Her attempts were just treated like silly little vanity projects, but she was quite serious about it. If she’d been about 5 years later her passion for films like Sylvia and Proof would have been received very differently.

  24. perplexed says:

    I think they still make movies like she did — they just probably play to smaller audiences now. Or maybe they’re on Netflix.

  25. stormsmama says:

    The SHEER PRIVILEGE omfg!!
    And proof the older Hollywood still likes em white and predictable
    Only a born on 3rd base Gwynnie could get this cover
    AND HAVING DONE NO HOMEWORK AT ALL show up tp talk about just being herself
    no prep work at all to pay respect to all the women in the category for best actress
    UGH SO GROSS
    can you imagine ANY WOMAN OF COLOR on the cover being like”the favorite? Whats that?” the level of disrespect for her peers and industry is GROSS
    A muse?! Um GROSS!!!!!!
    Never disliked her GOOPYNESS MORE

  26. bobslaw says:

    Also, what the f**k does it mean when she says “Roma…gosh..that seems like a commitment”. It’s an essential movie. Not perfect. But essential.

  27. Who ARE These People? says:

    Why does “Roma” seem like a commitment? We watched it in 2 nights at home on Netflix. Surely it couldn’t be the subject matter or the language?

  28. Nev says:

    I enjoy her immensely.

  29. tealily says:

    I guess we see what she sees in Brad Falchuk.

  30. Jerusha says:

    Her mother seems so, idk, normal. I’ve never heard anything bad about Blythe Danner. But, Gwyneth was a daddy’s girl.

  31. DS9 says:

    I’m still hung up on her mentioning The Talented Mr Ripley as some sort of example of a movie that’s just not made anymore.

    It’s a pretty standard psychological thriller and she’s not even the main protagonist. She’s just the girlfriend, an idealized All American status symbol at with very little character development who does very little in the movie.

    Gone Girl and Girl on the Train are pretty similar in appeal. Cate Blanchett and Charlize Theron are of similar age and look and are still working.

    I know I’ve commented a lot on this one but the disconnect she has between her own head and reality is just mind blowing.

  32. KidV says:

    I love Goopy, she never fails to entertain me. And now I will hear Miss Piggy’s voice in my head when I read any quote from Goopy. Miss Goopy.

  33. Who ARE These People? says:

    A muse? MOI? (bats eyelashes)

  34. Harryg says:

    I finally realized who she reminds me of: Nurse Ratched. Slowly, very slowly, very gently she’ll crush you.

  35. smoothjazz says:

    She’s 48 and looks older than Marissa Tomei. Too much working out. Her mum looks way softer than she does. Always thought SIL was super overrated in every way. DS9, to be fair Talented Mr Ripley is deeper than GOTT and GG, which were kind of trashy and superficial and very cynical plays at a thriller film. Ripley was bordering on horror, had a very tight script, and the characters were actually believable. And Jack Nicolson probably hit on every second woman he came across in HW; he was sort of trying it with Jennifer Lawrence that year she won.

  36. Christine says:

    Am I hallucinating, or is her heart on the outside of her chest?

  37. Andrea says:

    Weinstein: give the list of the actors they shared, everything you did …

  38. Christine says:

    What is on her chest? Does the dress have a leather insert, is my vision going? Please answer me !

  39. Nikitabby says:

    *vomits on phone*
    I hate that she inspires so much loathing in me.

  40. ladytron2000 says:

    All that money & they still couldn’t tame those flyaways….?

    Second everyone’s emotion about GOOP = GAG! BARF! EYEROLL!

  41. Malachite says:

    I went to see Roma in the theater. No, it was not a huge “commitment”, and I’m just an average Jane! It was a lovely film.

    True, it wasn’t about a blonde, ridiculously over-privileged, tone-deaf white woman. Pretty sure the “lack of Goopy representation on screen” is what she meant by “commitment.”

  42. Granger says:

    “He was a bully. I never had a problem standing up to him. I wasn’t scared of him.”

    I hate that quote. Maybe I’m being unreasonable but to me, it says, “The women who were sexually assaulted by Weinstein clearly didn’t have the guts to stand up to him, like I did.”

    Brad Falchuk referring to SIL and calling her a muse in his wedding vows … Wow. What’s her motivation for telling that incredibly personal and narcissistic story? Like someone already said above, I’ve always thought GP is very insecure — her quotes here prove that to me even more.

    • Catt Berlin George says:

      @granger I totally agree with you about her saying she was never scared of Harvey like she is stronger than all the other women he terrorized. Please. Plus I do NOT believe her either.

  43. Suz says:

    It hasn’t been that long since Wes Anderson’s had a movie out. Royal Tenenbaums still gets made these days.