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Gwyneth balances acting and business

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: May 02, 2013

  • STAR: Gwyneth Paltrow. Picture: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/PA Photos

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GWYNETH Paltrow was recently hailed "most hated celebrity in Hollywood", beating the likes of Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart to the dubious title.

The accolade, if you can call it that, does seem a little harsh given that (bar the tearful Oscar acceptance speech in 1999 and a rumoured desire for depriving her children of carbs) the girl has done nothing to warrant such animosity.

Perhaps it's her predisposition to do annoyingly well at anything she turns her hand to.

There are the indie films (Sliding Doors, The Royal Tenenbaums, Sylvia), the singing (Glee, Country Strong), the lifestyle website Goop and subsequent cook books and the news that she is set to star opposite Antonio Banderas in the Spanish film 33 Dias. She is of course fluent.

All this and she still manages to boast a gym-honed body and the picture-perfect family in the shape of Coldplay's Chris Martin and their two children Apple, 8, and Moses, 7.

She might not relish interviews but needs must when there is a movie of mega proportions such as Iron Man 3 to promote.

In this third instalment of the franchise, she returns as Pepper Potts opposite Robert Downey Jr's billionaire inventor/superhero Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.

This is the first movie that's technically a sequel to two films (Iron Man 2 and The Avengers Assemble) and places Iron Man and Pepper, who's now his live-in girlfriend and the CEO of Stark Enterprises, opposite super-powered humans.

"There's a lot of comfort between them now, so it's not the kind of tentative relationship they had in the first two films," says Paltrow, who has grown close to Downey Jr over the last six years.

"Robert and I have always had a really great working relationship," she says. "Robert definitely keeps you on your toes."

Paltrow jokingly berates her co-star for moaning about the Iron Man costume. "Robert used to complain about it all the time but he is a wuss because it's very easy to wear," says the actress, who also dons the iconic suit this time round.

Iron Man 3 boasts everything you would hope from a summer blockbuster: a stellar cast including Sir Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce, eye-popping action sequences and brilliant special effects.

Even Paltrow was impressed with the final result, having watched it the night before with her family and friends. "Everybody loved it, including myself. I was really surprised," she says.

"Pepper really steps into her power this time. She's incredibly strong at work, you see her really as an equal partner with Tony and then she gets involved in all sorts of action so this one was the most fun in terms of where she is in her life."

In the flesh, Paltrow's as you'd expect, all glowing skin, barely there make-up and poker straight blonde hair. It's incredible to think she turned 40 in September.

"When I was 39 I was freaking out about it but when I woke up on my birthday I was like, 'Oh this is fine, yeah I like this'," she says.

The daughter of the late producer Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner, Paltrow was 19 when she made her screen debut alongside John Travolta in Shout.

But it was a role in Se7en four years later, and her ensuing relationship with co-star Brad Pitt that propelled her to stardom.

Her "celebrity" was key to the 2008 launch of Goop, a website "to share all of life's positives" as it states on its homepage. It was met with the sort of eye-rolling saved solely for celebrity-endorsed projects, but Paltrow has proven the naysayers wrong.

"I was really just doing it for fun and to share information. I really didn't know that it would end up having so many subscribers and such a big audience. It's really thrilling for me," says Paltrow.

"I love women and I love to create a community for women and it's been such a rewarding experience to do it."

In recent years, Paltrow has spent less time on the big screen but she isn't tempted to give up acting to focus solely on a business empire.

"You know, I really like the balance I have now in finding one really interesting film a year to do around the family schedule and my business life," she says.

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