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Film: Interview - Workís Pipped By Apple ; Gwyneth Paltrow Says Family Life Comes Before Filming.
It has been an emotional few years for Gwyneth Paltrow. Her producer father Bruce died suddenly in 2002, she married Coldplay star Chris Martin in 2003, then gave birth to baby Apple in May 2004. But, while still grieving over the father to whom sheíd been devoted, Gwyneth took on the role of a daughter whose dad, played by Anthony Hopkins, is slowly dying, in her new film Proof.
Here, Gwyneth, 33 - who is expecting her second baby later this year - tells The Ticket about her life as a working mum and saying goodbye to her dad.
Part of Proof is about having to say goodbye to a parent. How difficult was that for you having just lost your father in real life?
It was hard. I was still very much in the grief phase while I was doing the film and itís a very, very hard thing to see that change in your parents - when theyíre weak and needing you. It was especially difficult because my real father and the Anthony Hopkins character were so much the centre of their familiesí lives and so intelligent. To watch that fade away is really hard.
But it was kind of cathartic. It was also nice to be on a similar trajectory as the character I was playing and not have to betray myself every day by portraying some silly bimbo or something.
Do you find yourself drawn to different things since becoming a mother?
Yes. Iím definitely working a lot less since I had Apple because nothing is as good as hanging out with her. Itís also been kind of hard to get myself back in the mindset of working. But I definitely feel Iím getting ready and looking for something - you just want to make sure that it all works with the family and everyoneís schedules.
I also have to consider where itís going to be shot and if itís really the right material, role and director. Iíve done a couple of tiny things but I havenít sunk my teeth into something big yet.
What kind of material are you gravitating towards?
I canít imagine doing something like a huge commercial Hollywood movie at this point in my life. I have been drawn to very eclectic things because I want to discover areas of myself as an actor that I havenít touched before.
Hollywood films these days are just so bad. They used to be kind of good like Top Gun or something, but now theyíre just terrible. So, I canít imagine leaving my daughter for 14 hours and doing something like that.
Itís hard because I think the movie business is getting so polarised. On the one hand, youíve got these tiny little art movies that are the kinds of things artists want to do, but they donít pay you any money to be in them and nobody goes to see them (laughs). Then you have these horrible behemoth things on the other side that seem to be getting more extreme.
So Proof is one of those movies which doesnít pay much?
Thatís right, yes.
Itís based around maths. Were you any good at that at school?
No, I was terrible. Really terrible. And science - not good at all. I just donít have the brain for it.
When you did interviews for the romantic drama Bounce back in 2000, you said you cried a lot. Has Apple - and being married - made you less fragile?
Well, my life has changed a lot since then. I feel quite grounded and happy. Iím home all the time and with my family. I donít work very much. And itís funny because having lost my father, my life has taken on this great sadness. But at the same time Iíve never been happier.
Can you see foresee a time when you give up doing movies altogether?
No, but equally itís not something that I panic about. I will definitely do more films now that Apple is older, but I donít have the same ambition any more. I know that doing film after film doesnít make you happy, and I feel very lucky and see my life differently now. I feel very content and can see how fortunate I am, which I never really appreciated in my twenties. When I was younger, I worked so much and my life was such a whirlwind all the time that I didnít have the perspective to see it.
Can you see any traits of yourself in Apple?
Itís hard to say. I try not to project myself onto her. She seems very much her own person. Itís interesting - you have a child and people say, ďOh I can see you in herĒ. But I canít see it. I see her as very much her own thing.
Some young mothers find it hard to talk to their one or two-year- old. Do you find it difficult?
No, not at all. Sheís got a massive vocabulary and sheís very good at communicating. I think itís because I always spoke to her as a normal person, as my father did with me. I spoke early and Apple speaks a lot. Sheís certainly very good at communicating her needs.
Is it true that ďhummusĒ was her first word?
No, but it was one of the first (laughs). She loves it. She even wanted it for breakfast this morning.
Are you strict about what she watches on television?
She doesnít watch television. Although, recently we were on holiday and it was raining a lot so we rented The Wiggles. Now we have one Wiggles tape that we ended up buying. So Apple watches that, but she doesnít ask for it that often. Sheís not a real TV person which is good. She loves books and we read to her a lot.
Whatís the craziest thing you ever heard or read about yourself?
Here in the US, they just write lies all the time and make things up. Thereís this thing now that I apparently said London is dirty, which I never did. I grew up in New York if you ever want to talk to me about dirty streets.
Or another time there was a rumour that I ate naked in front of a mirror. Itís things like that which make me want to sue someone, but theyíll get their own punishment for writing such crazy lies.
You were always known for exercising and being very healthy. Has that changed now?
Iím definitely less interested in all that stuff than I used to be, but I still really believe in eating whole organic foods. I also believe in holistic medicine, yoga, Pilates and so on. But I also believe in a banana split sundae once in a while!
Youíre doing a project with your brother Jake now, arenít you?
Yes. He wrote this really fantastic black comedy called The Good Night and got the financing for it. Itís independent, and Martin Freeman and Simon Pegg are in it. I just have a small part.
Why did you decide to sign a promotional contract with Este Lauder?
As I keep doing films like Proof and Sylvia, I needed a way to supplement my income without being forced into doing some horrible movie. So I now have the freedom to do these tiny films where you donít get paid.
I also really like Erin Lauder. Sheís become a friend of mine and is a great girl. I like the image of the company and itís a nice way for me to travel a bit, work a bit, meet interesting people and not be on a set away from my daughter for 14 hours a day.
Itís a way to work a little bit as a model and an actress which can be fun. You hop on a plane, go and do something and then youíre finished. Itís nice.
Youíre friends with Madonna and yet you seem such opposites. Do you think youíve taught each other anything?
I know what you mean. I think she has this drive and strength that Iíll never have, but there is also a side to her thatís very soft and lovely. Thatís where we connect more. In private weíre more similar than you would think, but out in the world weíre definitely very different.
Proof is released today.
ĎI donít have the same ambition any more. I feel very content and fortunateí