The Body Beautiful
By Cristina Greeven Cuomo
Photographs by Eric Cahan
G: Back when your mom [Blythe Danner] introduced you to acting at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, did you know you were going to do this forever?
GP: I always felt that way, weirdly. I went with her every summer. I did plays, and I just loved it. I loved being around them, rehearsing. I was just a theater rat—I loved being a part of that.
G: Why was Two Lovers so fulfilling a role for you?
GP: First of all, the director [James Gray] is a proper writer/director, a real auteur. He’s so intelligent and interested in exposing truth. My character was very complicated—she was a mess. And working with Joaquin was incredible.
G: Is there a character you’d love to play but haven’t?
GP: I’d love to do [Chekhov’s] The Three Sisters; I look forward to doing Blanche DuBois [in A Streetcar Named Desire] on stage someday. I’d really like to do a musical. And I’d like to do SNL again. I liked doing that.
ON COOKING, CROONING, AND COLLABORATING
G: How did you meet Mario Batali?
GP: I met Mario from being a groupie at his restaurant Babbo! Now we do the cooking show together—they want to do the second one in Italy.
G: Do you think you’d collaborate with your husband, maybe do a duet?
GP: No, no, no, no.
G: How about Madonna?
GP: I don’t think so. I don’t think the acting/recording thing really works. Maybe if you’re an urban act, but I’m not sure it works if you’re an actor.
ON BEING A NEW YORKER
G: What were your favorite things about growing up in New York?
GP: Underage smoking on stoops of brownstones, going to museums, the seasons, and how great a school Spence was—how well they prepared me for life.
G: When you’re at your summer house in Amagansett, do you feel you can be “off duty”?
GP: I work really hard there—it’s like running an inn, in a way. We have a lot of guests, which is fantastic, but sometimes I feel so tired. At the end of the summer I got pneumonia. I think I just overextended myself.
A PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE
G: Are you a religious person?
GP: Religious no, spiritual yes.
G: What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
GP: Lying in the grass on a sunny day with my kids on top of me.
G: Is there a talent you wish you had?
GP: Being more economical with my time.
G: Do you have any heroes in your life?
GP: I have a lot—a hero to me is anyone who dedicates their life to other people and forfeits personal comfort. My parents.
G: Finally, what’s your favorite role so far?
GP: Besides motherhood? Hmm….
G: So, motherhood?
GP: Yeah, motherhood.
styling by Maria Serra@LGA
Paltrow’s makeup by Gina Kane@Caren.co.uk
Paltrow’s hair by Peter Gray
Anderson’s hair and makeup by Rachel Wood@Artistsbytimothypriano.com