Celebrities in Classics is my regular feature profiling actors and their appearances in classic book adaptations.
WHO IS IT? With all of this talk lately about her “conscious uncoupling” from her husband, I started thinking of some of the classic adaptations Gwyneth Paltrow has appeared in over the years. The award-winning actress was born into Hollywood as the daughter of director, Bruce Paltrow, and actress Blythe Danner. Her godfather is director Stephen Spielberg.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT GWYNETH: Whether you love her or dislike her, you can’t deny that she is a talented and versatile everywoman. She’s a mom, acts, sings, models, cooks, writes, blogs and runs her lifestyle company, Goop.com. I’m sure she has tons of help, but unlike many other celebrities who have tried to “do it all”, Gwyneth has been very successful. I’m fascinated by her, but a little wary of her genuineness. Unfortunately, she has a terrible habit of putting her foot in her mouth and getting into fights with other celebs, so … Oh well, the girl crush continues.
FIRST ENCOUNTER: The first movie I saw with Gwyneth Paltrow was Seven. She plays the wife of homicide detective, David Mills, played by Brad Pitt. If I remember correctly, her character was sweet but a little wimpy and I didn’t love her. Although, I do feel bad about what happens to her character at the end of the movie.
FAVE MOVIE/SCENE: Shakespeare In Love! I thought it didn’t count as a classic book adaptation, but of course it does cleverly playing on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night, with plenty of other cheeky references throughout the movie to other plays. Gwyneth plays Viola, a princess who pretends to be a boy so she can act in the theatre.
CLASSIC BOOK FILMOGRAPHY
1991 – Hook ~ Young Wendy Darling
1996 – Emma ~ Emma Woodhouse
1998 – Great Expectations ~ Estella
1998 – Shakespeare in Love ~ Viola De Lesseps
1999 – The Talented Mr. Ripley ~ Marge Sherwood
2002 – Possession ~ Maud Bailey
2005 – Proof ~ Catherine
2008 – Two Lovers ~ Michelle
For Gwyneth’s full filmography visit Wikipedia.
GREAT QUOTE: “… one of the best gifts came from Ethan Hawke when we were shooting Great Expectations. I was having a hard time because my first big movie, Emma, had just been released, and everything started to change. I had my first crisis. I found myself asking, “What’s happening to my world? To my life?”
In the middle of all this, I went into work one day and found that Ethan had left me a big cardboard box full of his favorite books: The Stranger by Albert Camus, Motel Chronicles by Sam Shepard, The Passion by Jeanette Winterson, to name a few. Isn’t that the best present? He gave the books to me with the intention of taking me outside myself and having me connect with poetry and literature—things he thought would give me perspective and make me feel better. It was such a generous gesture.”
Who is your favourite celebrity in a classic adaptation?
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