Celebrities in Classics – Gwyneth Paltrow

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.


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?

View more Celebrities in Classics.


9 comments on “Celebrities in Classics – Gwyneth Paltrow

  1. Naomi
    March 29, 2014

    Watching that trailer made me want to see the movie again. As for your question, I’m not so good at remembering what I’ve seen and who has been in it, but I do like Colin Firth, and he’s been in several classic movies, I think?


    • ebookclassics
      March 29, 2014

      You are inspiring me to write a Celebrities in Classics for Colin Firth. It’s so funny to see him playing a villain in Shakespeare In Love. There are so many great actors in that movie Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Judi Dench. I’m not sure if Ben Affleck is quite on their level, but I like him too!


  2. jessicabookworm
    March 29, 2014

    I didn’t realise Gwyneth played young Wendy Darling in Hook. I love that film!


    • ebookclassics
      March 30, 2014

      I didn’t know either and was surprised when I found out. I was actually planning to watch the movie once I finish Peter Pan, so I’ll look for her.


  3. Cecilia
    April 1, 2014

    Great post! Seeing your list reminded me of the ones I’ve missed and that I want to see. I loved Shakespeare in Love and also enjoyed The Talented Mr. Ripley. As you know I love Ralph Fiennes. I still need to catch up on his films (and am disappointed that I missed the limited run of The Invisible Woman when it was playing near us).


    • ebookclassics
      April 5, 2014

      I love Ralph Fiennes too and really want to see The Invisible Woman. Maybe when it’s out on DVD. I will save Ralph Fiennes for whenever you’re ready to do a Celebrities in Classics guest post!


  4. This is a cool feature 🙂 I didn’t know she was in Hook! I really like her in Emma.


    • ebookclassics
      April 8, 2014

      I really loved Gwyneth is Emma too. I wouldn’t mind seeing her in another classics adaptation.


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