For AnOther Magazine A/W03, all eyes were on cover star Gwyneth Paltrow. In an entirely unique interview, AnOther collected questions for the star from her friends, family and admirers, which, when interspersed with queries from editor-in-chief Jefferson Hack, formed a patchwork of dreams, humour, home truths and candid revelation.
Here we present a selection of our favourite of the Q&As, alongside a gallery of Mario Sorrenti’s spectacular images.
Tom Ford: I have always admired the fact that you are incredibly real as a person. I have watched other celebrity friends wall themselves in and become detached form the real world. Is this a constant struggle for you?
I wouldn’t say it’s a struggle as much as just having to be conscious of it. I find that when you’re famous and you’re young, people are constantly removing obstacles for you. People you don’t even see hear that you’re coming to the airport and get the tickets ready, and all of a sudden you’re not going through life like everyone else does. I think that what can happen, quite gradually, is that you come to expect things. Not in a horrible petulant way, it’s just a natural thing that happens. I constantly have to remind myself, “Wait a minute this is not normal, you are being treated specially.” It makes me feel sick, but I get a kind of guilty pleasure from it as well. I have celebrity friends who do wall themselves in. I’m lucky because I have people in my life who are always saying to me “Wait a minute, hang on, this isn’t normal, you’re not seeing things how they really are.”
Wes Anderson: Who’s your favourite hero or heroine from books and movies?
My favourite heroine in fiction is Franny Glass or Jane Eyre. I don’t really have a hero/ine in the movies because I don’t really like them.
Harvey Weinstein: Who is the best looking producer in New York? I’ll give you a clue, his initials are H W.
That would have to be Hal Wallis, producer of such great old films as 42nd Street, Jezebel and The Maltese Falcon.
Christine Jeffs: Is there any other character you’d like to play based on a real person?
I would like to play Catherine the Great or Marie Antoinette, some incredibly power mad, complicated woman. I think it is my favourite thing to uncover the reasons behind why someone is reviled, unloved. I especially find it fascinating when historical women get assigned titles like ‘monster’.
Alexander McQueen: Do you think the term ‘film star’ is relevant to the 21st Century?
I think that we’re moving into an age where everyone is a celebrity, everyone’s a star. I think film stars are relevant because they’re famous for actually putting something into the world, something that takes thought and creativity, as opposed to letting a camera watch them 24 hours a day.
Sadie Frost: One of the things I admire about you is your strength. What do you attribute to? Where do you get it from?
I don’t quite know where it comes from, I suppose it’s from my family again. No matter what happens I have them, so I’ve never felt alone in the world. I think the reason that Sadie perceives me as strong is because a lot has happened in my life. I have been emotionally decimated a few times. I lost a cousin at 17, a good friend in an accident a year later, my grandfather when I was 26 – which was a real blow because we were very close – and then my father who was the centre of my world. Within that time frame I had a broken engagement and a drawn out and tortured relationship with a complete knucklehead. I have made and lost friends and seen people change. I have gotten the wrong idea about life and then righted myself. I have had a big life in the last decade. Sometimes it has made me feel heavy and weary and like the shine has worn off me, especially since my dad died. But life has a funny way of equalising things, and in another respect I am happier than I have ever been.
Valentino: Gwyneth, would you leave forever to follow your boyfriend or husband to a little island in the middle of nowhere?
(Laughing) I think I would if it was something that we were doing together. If I didn’t feel like I was compromising everything I was and everything I have in order to do his thing. If it was ‘let's do this together’, I would.
For the full article, and for all 25 issues in the AnOther Magazine archive, visit Exact Editions.