At 41, Gwyneth Paltrow remains luminously beautiful, her figure as lithe and graceful as ever. In many paparazzi photographs, it has become hard to tell which part of her “perfect” body is real or is the result of retouching. Paltrow, on the other hand, is so lovely in real life, it’s confounding – even close up, you would swear her face and body were somehow the product of Photoshop.
The daughter of the late director/ producer Bruce Paltrow (who died almost 11 years ago) and the actress Blythe Danner (with whom she co-starred in 2003 in Sylvia, a biopic of ill-fated poet Sylvia Plath), the actress attributes her air of calm assurance to her upbringing as much as to her professional success.
“The self-belief I have is thanks to my dad,” she says, her voice filling with emotion. “We had an incredible relationship, we understood each other to perfection.” She remembers a thousand fond anecdotes about him, like the time he took her to Paris as a teen and said, “I want you to get to know this city with a man who will love you forever”; and wise advice such as, “Look after your old friends. The possibility doesn’t exist to make new old friends.”The other great man of her life has been – and is – her husband, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, to whom she has been married to for nearly a decade. Despite the fact that one of the provisos of this interview was not to ask about him, Paltrow herself never stops mentioning him in our time together. “One of the things that unites us the most is that we always laugh at the same jokes,” she reveals. For his part, Martin recently confessed in an interview: “When I met her, I went from being a loser to winning the lottery.”
Like every mother, she’s discovering that parenting doesn’t get any simpler as children grow. “Last night, I was talking about that with my husband: it gets more complicated. The problems are getting more serious and I notice that they need me more now than even when they were very little. My daughter, for example, who is super-intelligent, asks me [tough] questions! I feel I have to constantly be by her side.”
Are she and Martin planning to have a third? “I would love to, but I don’t know if I could start changing nappies again. Also, when my son was born I had terrible depression. It was strange because with my eldest it didn’t happen, I was super-happy. But with Moses it took me a year to get out of the hole.”
To read more of marie claire’s interview with Gwyneth Paltrow, pick up a copy of this month’s issue, on newsstands today!