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September 2004
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: An Interview with Gweneth Paltrow

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: An Interview with Gweneth Paltrow

By Wilson Morales

It's nice Gweneth Paltrow is back on the screen again after giving birth to a daughter named Apple. With her husband Chris Martin at home to take care of the little one as well, Gweneth had some time to come out and promote her latest film, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow". In her interview with blackfilm.com, Gweneth not only spoke about the film, but she also talk a great deal about being a new mom, the public response to the name Apple, and her upcoming projects, including "Proof" and the Marlene Dietrich story.


HIS (Husband Chris Martin) WAS YOUR YEAR OFF FOR MARRIAGE AND MOTHERHOOD,RIGHT? HOW ARE YOU FINDING THAT?

PALTROW: Yes. Fantastic. I've never been happier.


WHY IS THAT?

PALTROW: I don't know. I think that when you find the right person and you have a baby, I think that it's probably very true for women, or more true for women than for men because I think that men still feel like they need to go out into the world and provide and it's a kind of built in instinctual thing. But I just feel so complete. I just feel completely and utterly happy. I'm sure that I'll work at some point a bit at something.


SO MORE COMPLETE THAN HAVING A GREAT CAREER AND AN OSCAR?

PALTROW: Yes.


WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE OF HAVING A TREMENDOUS CAREER VERSUS THE PERSONAL SATISFACTION WITH LIFE?

PALTROW: Right. Well, I also have the luxury of saying that I've done everything career wise that I wanted to do basically. I mean, at a very young age I achieved a lot. So I now have the freedom to shift my focus and fully dive into this domestic kind of bliss. It might be a different story if I hadn't achieved what I wanted to achieve.


ARE YOU GETTING ANY SLEEP AT ALL?

PALTROW: I'm actually very lucky because she's a pretty good sleeper and she was sleeping, having a big chunk of sleep a night from six weeks on. So I've been okay. Sometimes, she's teething now and so she's been doing a 4am thing lately which is a little bit tough.


ARE YOU SOUNDING LIKE YOUR PARENTS YET? THAT'S HAPPENS.

PALTROW: Do you? I hope so.


WERE YOU SURPRISED AT ALL ABOUT THE HUBBUB WHEN YOU NAMED YOUR BABY APPLE?

PALTROW: I was surprised because to me Apple conjures such lovely things. There are lots of people named Rose or Lilly or Daisy. So I thought, 'Why is this such a huge deal?' But people like to make a huge deal.


ISN'T FRENCH FOR APPLE "POM"?

PALTROW: Yeah. Sometimes I call her that just as a nickname.


DOES CHRIS [MARTIN] SING TO THE BABY?

PALTROW: Oh, yes, all the time. He sings lullabies. He'll sing funny joke songs. She loves his music. I played it a lot while she was in my belly and stuff like that. She loves her daddy.


IS IT TOUGH TO DO STUFF LIKE INTERVIEWS WHEN I'M SURE SHE'S IN THE ROOM UPSTAIRS?

PALTROW: It's interesting. I'm just trying not to cave in to the feelings of guilt. And I'm just sort of trying to observe how I feel. This is also an important part of my life. I'm just happy that it's two hours and then I can go see her during my break and then I can be with her.


YOU GREW UP WITH A MOTHER WHO WAS WORKING?

PALTROW: I did, right.


SO YOU HAD A ROLE MODEL?

PALTROW: Exactly. And I never felt like she wasn't around. I mean, I can probably point to two memories in my childhood where I came home and I was like, 'Oh, mommy's working,' and it was kind of like a big deal. But mostly, I always knew that I could go to her. I think that I was probably in third grade and she was doing a film with Martin Sheen. It was shooting, the house that they were shooting was like six blocks away from our own house and they had somehow worked this out. So we would come home from school and walk over there, and it was a fantastic thing. Also, I loved being around actors and it was such a lively kind of atmosphere and everyone was creative and it was a lovely way to grow up. I don't look at it like, 'Oh, no, I'm subjecting her to something that's not great,' because I really feel that it will be.


SO IT'LL BE FUN FOR HER GROWING UP TO GET TO VISIT SETS AND SO ON?

PALTROW: Yeah, absolutely. Exactly. I'm just not ready to do it yet.


DID YOUR MOM GIVE YOU ONE GOOD PIECE OF ADVICE ABOUT BEING A MOTHER?

PALTROW: Gosh. She's very supportive of me. It's more of a dialogue that we have about questions and child raising things, and she sort of tells me what I was like. She'll give me something to go off of. It's not like, 'How do I do this?' I read about five hundred books on breastfeeding, child psychology, raising a child, sleep, all this kind of stuff.


YOU LOOKED GREAT RIGHT AFTER BIRTH, HOW DID YOU DO THAT?

PALTROW: Blush and a girdle.


WAS THERE A LOT OF EXERCISE INVOLVED?

PALTROW: Yes, absolutely. It was tough. It was tough. SO IS THIS YOUR FIRST ACTION FILM?

PALTROW: It is my first action film. I had so much fun. I'll tell you, I loved it.


WAS IT HARD WITH ALL THAT BLUE SCREEN?

PALTROW: It was strange. But I don't know, it was just a wonderful experience for me because I was with Jude [Law]. I had no idea what anything was going to look like. We didn't know how to do this blue screen thing, and so we just sort of clung to each other for dear life. And we would just get hysterical laughing about things like, 'Now how big is the robot that I'm looking at?' I just can't believe that I was saying this. They were like, 'No. It's a weird ostrich like creature. Make a bigger reaction.' You'd be like, 'Do I have egg on my face here? Is this really real?' No. It was really, really fun.


NOW WAS THIS REALLY BASED ON A LITTLE SIX MINUTE FILM THAT KERRY CONRAN DID AND DID YOU SEE IT?

PALTROW: I did. I did. It was basically like a trailer, a very clever trailer for the whole film because he had it all worked out really. He'd never done a movie, but I could just tell from the short that it was going to be extraordinary looking. I just thought that if there's ever a time to do an action adventure movie, this is the time where it's something totally new and it has tons of style and it's not kind of just the same old car crash action movie. It's something really different and could kind of reinvent the way that people do this genre and it's with Jude. I just felt super excited about it when I saw the trailer.


NOW THE FLIP SIDE IS FOR 'PROOF' WHICH YOU WON AN AWARD FOR IN LONDON?

PALTROW: No. Nominated for some. IT'S COMING AT THE END OF THE YEAR WHICH WILL PUT YOU IN OSCAR CONTENTION. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT DOING THE PLAY AND THEN THE FILM?

PALTROW: Yeah. It was an amazing experience because obviously I'd done the play. And when you do a play, you explore a character for five weeks of rehearsal and then every night you're learning something else while you do the play. And you get so immersed in it. So when I showed up on set to do this film, I thought to myself, 'I can't believe that I haven't done a play of every other part that I've ever done first because I'm so prepared and this is so much freedom and it's such a fantastic feeling.'


WAS IT DIFFERENT HAVING ANTHONY HOPKINS AND JAKE GYLLENHAAL THERE?

PALTROW: Yeah. It was different. I mean, obviously, it was a totally different cast. They hadn't done the play either. So John Madden had this whole other language that we had to be careful about and then making them feel like we were doing it all together for the first time. It could've been, I suppose, intimidating for like Jake. Obviously not for Sir Anthony [Laughs]. But, you know, coming into a situation where we really knew what was happening, but they were so fantastic. That's the amazing thing about theater and then doing it as a film. You get to see how all of these different actors can come and do a play and interpret a role and do something themselves. It's like the honor of playing Catherine, that's my character, where all of the women before me and around the world, I mean one of my great friends in France did it in France. And I love that. That there are these great roles for women in the theater or for anyone in the theater and everyone can come in and interpret them in their own way.


WHAT ABOUT THE MARLENE DIETRICH PROJECT. IS THAT FOR REAL?

PALTROW: That is for real. That is something that I got involved with a long time ago, before I got pregnant. So we've been developing it and it's being written now not by John Guare. This is a completely separate thing.


SO THAT'S YOUR NEXT PROJECT?

PALTROW: I don't know. It's based on a couple of biographies, I think. I don't know if it's my next thing. I cannot imagine going back to work right now full time. So I'll just kind of have to see how I feel.


THREE MORE MONTHS?

PALTROW: Oh, no, no. Not three, not three.


IF HE'S ON TOUR, DO YOU STAY HOME WITH THE BABY, AND VICE VERSA?

PALTROW: I'm not sure how it's going to work. I think we'll just have to see. I mean, the most important thing to me is my family. So I'll put that first and if it works out that something great comes along and I get excited about it and want to do it then hopefully we can all work it out.


BUT MARLENE ISN'T READY TO GO?

PALTROW: Not now. No. They're still writing it now.


WHY DID YOU WANT TO PLAY HER?

PALTROW: It's just amazing. I mean, her life was so incredible. I mean, all of the things that she did and all of the lovers and the boys and the girls and the wars and the singing and the activism. It's just incredible. But I mean, I had never thought of it and then I was approached with the project and when I started to understand it, because I didn't really know anything about her, and I still don't know very much about her because I haven't done all the research yet. I want to see when the script comes in how it is as a script as opposed to, 'Oh, this detail wasn't in there.' I don't want to be an expert on her life until the script is right.


YOU'VE SEEN 'BLUE ANGEL' THOUGH RIGHT?

PALTROW: No, I haven't, not in it's entirety.


SO IT MIGHT BE TWO YEARS BEFORE WE SEE ANOTHER MOVIE FROM YOU?

PALTROW: Well, 'Proof' will come out in December, and then I don't know. Maybe if I do one next year at some point. Yeah. It'll probably be a little while.


WHEN YOU DATE SOMEONE LIKE CHRIS, HOW IS IT BRINGING HIM INTO THE ACTING WORLD?

PALTROW: Oh, he doesn't like me to talk about him very much at all.


BUT YOU'RE SUCH A COMFORTABLE PUBLIC PERSON AND THEN HE'S NOT, HOW DOES THAT WORK?

PALTROW: I think that we're basically, when it comes to our private lives, private. And I think that he probably even more so than me and I just have to respect that which is great because I'm fundamentally the same way. There's kind of no reason to‚§I mean, a relationship is a complicated thing in and of itself and to invite the whole world into it on purpose seems crazy. I mean, people are going to talk about it and gossip about it and speculate about it anyway, but I don't know. Jay Z, who I love, was being interviewed and was getting asked about Beyonce [Knowles] and he said, 'You know, a relationship is hard enough without telling eighty thousand people about it.' I thought that was good. WHAT ABOUT YOUR DAUGHTER BEING RAISED IN NEW YORK AND ENGLAND, IS SHE GOING TO BE DUAL NATIONALITY?

PALTROW: She is. She has dual citizenship. So she has both passports. That's hilarious. She has an American passport and a British passport with her fat little baby face.


DO YOU HAVE TO SHOW BOTH?

PALTROW: It depends on what country you're going to. I think that we'll be here a lot. We haven't decided where she's going to go to school, but I think that we'll be here, if we're splitting time it'll maybe be here sixty percent of the time, forty percent there. I don't know. We'll see how it goes. It's hard to say with how we travel and move around.


WILL YOU EVER HAVE A ROLE AS GOOD AS CATHERINE IN 'PROOF?'

PALTROW: Can there ever be? Maybe.


WOULD YOU DO A 'SKY CAPTAIN 2?'

PALTROW: Yeah. I would. I mean, it was so much fun doing this one.

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