Gwyneth Paltrow was featured in the New York Times this past week to mark the 15th anniversary of Goop. The best way to interview Gwyneth is to let Gwyneth be Gwyneth. Because she’s always good for an eyeroll and a scream (often at the same time). Like this moment, near the top of the piece, when G and journalist Marisa Meltzer are going over the history of Goop and why she started it.
It was 2008 and Gwyneth was living in London, married at the time to Chris Martin who was touring a lot so she was home with the kids and not wanting to go back to acting. Then this paragraph:
“It had been about a decade since she won the Academy Award for best actress for “Shakespeare in Love.” “Hold on,” she said. “What year was it? I have it in the other room, I’ll go look what it says.” She jogged to an adjoining room to retrieve the Oscar statuette from 1998.”
See what I mean? It’s an eyeroll and a scream. She had to go to the next room and get her Oscar so that she could fact check her own win. Like, girl, you could have just stayed on the couch and googled on your phone but then again, as I said, let Gwyneth be Gwyneth. Only Gwyneth can best perform Gwyneth.
By the way, it’s a one-two punch because the next paragraph also brings the eyeroll and scream. The interview takes place at her home in the Hamptons. Here’s how Marisa Meltzer describes it:
“[Paltrow’s] Amagansett home has a great deal of security, including a guard dog, a house manager and a room of security cameras. The interior smells aggressively of cedar and is decorated in neutral tones of cream, with a guest bathroom that has Aesop hand soap and a digital scale. Outside there are manicured lawns and a tub filled with flip-flops.”
OF COURSE THERE’s A F-CKING DIGITAL SCALE IN THE GUEST BATHROOM!
This is the kind of detail they should build a character around for a high school mean girl/horror movie. Maybe I’ll do it myself. New girl in town befriends the queen bee of the Goops, the school’s most powerful crew. And when she’s invited over to her house, she discovers that the digital scale in the guest bathroom records the stats of everyone who steps on it and those stats are shared on a private Snapchat account to be judged by the Goops – like how Facebook started but instead of “Hot or Not” the Goops are playing “Fat or Not”.
Anyway, Gwyneth goes on to tell the NYT that, “Sometimes in my life it takes me a long time to look back and process something and understand something”. She’s referring to how much attention people paid to her wardrobe during the ski crash trial, insisting that for her, she was just getting dressed in the morning heading to court and “the sartorial outcome was so weird to me. That whole thing was pretty weird”.
It can’t be any weirder than Gwyneth herself: constantly controversial, even detestable to some, and still obsessively followed. Let’s not pretend this is accidental. When it’s gone on for this long, with provocations that are so reliably consistent, this is not a matter of coincidence. Maybe the secret here is that she at some point over the last 15 years, she willingly embraced being a cultural villain of sorts – which, curiously, she never really played on screen.
Yours in gossip,