Hamptons Neighbor: Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow.
Gwyneth Paltrow. Credit: bigstock.com

Thursday is Goop day for Gwyneth Paltrow. Goop.com is Paltrow’s lifestyle website that provides recipes, advice, information and a window into the life of Paltrow and friends like Stella McCartney and Jessica Seinfeld. The site was named for Paltrow’s nickname taken from the initials of her first and last name, and, despite a moniker that conjures up images of a natural successor to Silly Putty, Goop has grown in just a few short years from 150,000 to 15 million users. Thursday is the day news from Goop turns up in the inbox of thousands of subscribers, most of them hopeful that they, too, can get their toddlers to chow down on kale and brown rice just like Apple and Moses, Paltrow’s children with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

Forbes magazine has called Goop.com “Act Three” for the willowy actress/singer/cookbook author.
The article cited tabloid speculation regarding the possibility of Paltrow’s 
growing her brand to include an Oprah-esque magazine, but Paltrow remarked that she “wouldn’t have
 time!” Yet, somehow, shuttling 
between her homes in London, New York and Amagansett, Paltrow manages to continue her acting career as well as all of her other auxiliary ventures.

Acting has been the first and primary focus of Paltrow’s career. Growing up in a show business family in Los Angeles, Paltrow got to observe the industry first-hand watching her mother, actress Blythe Danner, and father, producer/director Bruce Paltrow. Her parents had commented that there was never a time when it wasn’t evident that Paltrow was intent on an acting career.

In 1990, Paltrow took her first bow onstage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, where she had spent many summers watching her mother do the same. She moved into films with roles in Shout with John Travolta and Hook, Steven Spielberg’s take on Peter Pan, in which she played young Wendy.

Even before Paltrow’s breakthrough role in the chilling Seven, there was buzz about the young actress, although more for her relationship with Seven co-star Brad Pitt about than her acting skills. The commercial and critical success of the 1995 film, followed a year later with the release of Emma, cemented her position as a young actress with more to her credit than cool beauty and a hot boyfriend.

With two significant box office and critical successes under her belt, all Paltrow needed was the kind of role that would showcase all of her skill and charm—Shakespeare in Love was a career-maker. The 1998 film was a perfect fit for Paltrow, netting her an Oscar for Best Actress, an award she accepted in a pink Ralph Lauren gown. Shakespeare also brought Paltrow a Golden Globe for Best Actress, and MTV and Teen Choice awards for both acting and sexiest love scene.

Post Shakespeare, Paltrow’s film career continued and took her in a musical direction. Dad Bruce Paltrow directed his daughter in 2000’s Duets. The film wasn’t well received critically, but Paltrow’s voice fared much better. Her rendition of “Cruisin’” with Huey Lewis took a turn at the top of the Billboard Adult Contemporary list and made a big splash on Australian pop charts. Later, she would combine her acting and singing skills again to star as a troubled country-western singer in Country Strong, debuting the title tune before the film’s release on the Country Music Awards, singing and accompanying herself on the guitar in front of country music’s finest, a bold move for a novice country singer. More recently, on TV’s “Glee,” Paltrow appeared as Holly Holiday, the sexiest substitute teacher ever to appear outside of a teenage boy’s dreams.

Backstage after
concert in 2002, just a few weeks after her father passed away, Paltrow met Chris Martin. A little more than a year later, they were married, and soon the couple welcomed their first child, Apple. The birth of son Moses followed a few years later and Paltrow decided to slow down her movie career to focus on motherhood. When fans wanted to know more about the details of life in the Paltrow-Martin household, Goop.com was born. The cookbook My Father’s Daughter followed, prompting Martha Stewart to tweet “Is Gwyneth the next Martha?”

Paltrow may be growing Goop into a force to reckon with, but it seems unlikely that she will ever leave acting far behind. Currently, she is reprising her role as Pepper Potts in the hugely successful Iron Man franchise. Soon to be released, Thanks for Sharing teams Paltrow with co-star Mark Ruffalo. In between acting, mothering and Goop-ing, Paltrow finds time for philanthropic efforts—she is on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, an organization dedicated to alleviating poverty in New York, and also serves as an artist ambassador for the Save the Children.

Paltrow has enjoyed summers in the Hamptons for years, often staying at the home of Steven Spielberg. In 2006, Paltrow and Martin purchased their own Hamptons retreat in Amagansett, which was featured in House and Garden magazine. In keeping with its owner’s personal style, the home is decorated in a cool, contemporary manner, and includes a serene, light-filled yoga studio, and a huge kitchen with slate gray cabinetry. In case you’re wondering what gets cooked in that kitchen, Paltrow’s cookbook has recipes for duck ragu, a number of takes on burgers, veggie and otherwise, and an entire section on desserts.

Life isn’t all brown rice and kale, after all.

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