Gwyneth Paltrow: Why do so many people hate on her?

gwyneth-paltrowImage Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.comTwenty years ago, I had never heard of “Spence.” But in the late 1990s, as Gwyneth Paltrow blossomed from an up-and-coming actress into a radiant young movie star, I began to hear about it a lot. “She went to Spence” is usually how it got said, the telltale syllable spat out with a special knowing emphasis, a little curlicue of disdain. That accusatory line became a kind of celebrity take-down mantra, the equivalent of the line about Madonna you always heard at parties in the ’80s: “She can’t sing — it’s all tricks done in the studio.” (Yeah, right.) The Spence School is the elite private school for girls located on E. 91st St. in Manhattan. It’s where Gwyneth Paltrow got her education, and for a lot of people, it was a perfect symbol of the floating-on-air ritzy princess bubble in which she grew up. The daughter of Blythe Danner! Raised amid the stately brownstone fortresses of the Upper East Side! With Steven Spielberg as her family friend! The insufferableness of it all!!

Let’s be clear: A lot of people, including me, adore Gwyneth Paltrow. She may have picked a bum script when she signed on to do Country Strong, but there was nothing fake about her performance as a troubled country singer who can’t stop hitting the bottle. (When she finally went on stage for her big comeback concert, her singing wasn’t just good — she was able to sing in character, like a true pop star.) She had a triumph on Glee, and I’m full of anticipation about watching her host Saturday Night Live this weekend. The first time she hosted that show, back in 1999, she proved a brilliant sketch chameleon, chancy and game and hilarious as hell. I expect her to use the night, once again, as a showcase for the sheer playfulness of her talent.

And yet, am I off-base in perceiving that a lot of people, to this day, have an incredible chip on their shoulder about Gwyneth Paltrow? Here are a couple of random comments posted on my review of Country Strong:

“Now, please, can Gwyneth Paltrow just go away?”

“Gwynnie, judging by the box office receipts, the American public finds you as revolting as you find the USA. Payback. And please stop cramming the fact that you can sing as well as any average choir member down our throats. Glee, this stink-bomb, and now Glee again. UGH Stop the INSANITY! You are very much reviled and detested. Now just go away, and take Aniston and the Kardashians with you.”

I now have to ask: Why the hate? Why do so many entertainment junkies seem to feel that Gwyneth Paltrow, one of our finest actresses, is somehow an imposition, a girl on a pedestal who needs to be knocked down?

I think it has something to do with how celebrity itself got tawdrier and more exposed — dunked into the tabloid muck — around the time that Paltrow was becoming a movie star. In another era, the fact that she’d had a privileged upbringing would hardly have been a strike against her; that Blythe Danner was her mother would have made her seem like acting royalty. No one ever resented Michael Douglas for his vintage Hollywood movie-star dad. It only added to his allure. And as far as the Upper East Side goes, there was a kind of fake-proletarian trendiness to this rejection of her Gossip Girl upbringing, as if Gwyneth would have been a “better person” had she come from Kansas and been discovered at a soda-shop counter.

But it was Gwyneth Paltrow’s semi-misfortune to rise to her glory right at the dawn of the “Stars — They’re Just Like Us!” era, when our whole relationship to the famous had descended from idolization into a complex, at times almost jealous rivalry. We now all wanted to be famous so much ourselves that we began to think of movie stars not simply as role models but as competitors. Our competitors. And that made Paltrow, in effect, seem like a princess-celebrity with an Unfair Advantage. Everything about her that made her a quintessential movie star — her perfectly put together willowy blonde Grace Kelly elan, her dating roster, from Brad Pitt on — became, in a topsy-turvy way, something to look down on with envy. Who can forget the run-up to her Academy Award win for Shakespeare in Love? It was back in the early days of the relentless, all-consuming, from-December-to-Oscar awards-show juggernaut season, a state of affairs that we now take for granted. But Gwyneth, showered with accolades, found herself doing endless variations on the same acceptance speech, always paying tribute to her late grandfather Buster. By the time she thanked Buster in luminous tears from the Academy stage, the Best Actress award had come to seem like a meticulously rehearsed coronation. Just one more reason to hate her!

Since then, if you’re a Gwyneth-basher, the sins have just kept piling up. She married a rock star, which is about as close as we now come to royalty (he’s even British, for God’s sake, and writes pretty songs). She named her first child Apple (okay, that was a bit much). She swanned around Spain with Mario Batali. And she started her own Website,, devoted to matters of taste. Her taste. In food and travel and health and upscale consumer indulgence. Kind of like a personalized In Style with a movie-star imprimatur. If you look past the backbiting, GOOP is actually a winsomely elegant and inviting site, but to the haters, especially those in the media, it was all too easy to portray as glorified navel-gazing. The insufferableness of it all!

To me, Gwyneth Paltrow’s biggest image problem right now derives from the fact that she took time, and attention, away from her movie career to raise her family. Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with that at all. But in Hollywood terms, she took her eye off the ball. And she hasn’t always made the best choices. She’s twinkly flirtatious perfection in the first Iron Man, and her performance as the furious, eroticized, self-tormenting Sylvia Plath in Sylvia (2003) was a woefully under-recognized piece of great acting. It was the one time I felt that Gwyneth-bashing had crossed over into the perception — or, in this case, misperception — of her art. But since then, interesting mediocrities like Proof and Running with Scissors and now Country Strong have dimmed her star a bit. She needs another Big Role, one that can reconfigure her image as an actress. She needs a movie like Blue Valentine — or Black Swan. Perhaps her old executive muse Harvey Weinstein, with his mojo now back in full swing, can help to find that project for her.

Until then, I’ll watch anything and everything that Gwyneth Paltrow does — knowing, as all her true fans do, that she’s one of the best things that Hollywood has going. Which may mean that she’s destined to continue getting scorn simply for Being Gwyneth.

So who out there loves Gwyneth Paltrow? Or doesn’t like her? And if so, what, exactly, is your problem with her?

Comments (734 total) Add your comment
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  • Jenn

    Because she comes across as a pretentious a**.

    • Alan Smithee

      Yeah, that would be my guess.

      • Jim

        Yup, it’s the Goop. Same reason hate Martha Stewart.

      • Brianna

        Thank you Owen. I have always thought she was a more fun actress than others. Boy can she sing…she was very fun in the movie Duets. I’m seeing her movie Country Strong tonight…yay…so excited!!!!

      • Miss M

        Alan, you haven’t directed a movie in a long time, LOL

      • Alan Smithee

        To Miss M, I am offended. I’ve directed the finest films of 2011. The Green Hornet, Season of the Witch. BTW, you are the first person in the two years I’m used that name to actually know what is. And I solely use it in reference to movies.

      • @Brianna

        Thank you for mentioning Duets! That was a pretty enjoyable movie, and yes, Gwyneth Paltrow sang really well in that movie. (I still hear the Duets version of that song on the radio from time to time & its good, but can’t remember the name of it).
        I thought the Glee thing was a bit contrived, the choices of songs (namely F*@k You by Cee-Lo) not so much her performance though. She should do a musical movie, but if she releases an album I don’t think I can get on board with that.

      • Goop gloop

        It’s definitely Goop. I found her inoffensive until it debuted. I’ll repeat the word “pretentious,” and that’s exactly what it is. Her holiday gift guide includes a $1,500 collage of your own kid’s artwork (just send 100 finger paintings to some poser in Brooklyn) and a $52 leather fly swatter for the um, fly-swatting cowboy in your life. She is the very definition of elitist and who likes those?

      • uncle fester

        I like elitists but what do you expect I went to Andover. You don’t like elitists because you went to school with a class of obese junk food eaters who can’t find the state they live in on a map. That’s why they’re stuck some place they don’t want to be and are made bitter by the hatred and envy they feel for those who aren’t stuck in the same stupid place.

      • Mike

        I love Gwyneth Paltrow, people need to realize that she has A LOT of money. She can afford to have expensive taste, that’s not overly pretentious, she’s not claiming that her website is something it’s not. Just as Owen pointed out, people seem to expect stars to be “just like us.” What do you think, she should sell Wal-Mart quality items on her website? She can do what she wants, you don’t have to visit it.

      • Lana

        Well, personally I think she’s great. She’s elegant, eloquent, stylish and sophisticated. The millions of drunk whore girls in American colleges would do well to take her as a role model. But what am I saying, why should you look up to women who as “snooty” and “pretentious” when Lindsay Lohan and Snookie as your cultural icons.

      • Aunt Sassy

        People hate on her because they can. Who cares where she was educated – shouldn’t we just be happy that she was? Sorry, but in this country it seems like people are just SO UNHAPPY about everything – but especially people who they feel have more than them or are in some way better than them or smarter than them. I am convinced that is why Bush was elected and why people are so up in arms about Obama – they liked to feel superior to Bush and are intimidated by Obama because he comes across as smart. Sorry, but I want my President to be smarter than me. Unfortunately people hide behind their computer screens and spew forth a bunch of hateful cr@p and yet if Gwyneth Paltrow suddenly sat next to them in the coffee shop down the street they’d be the first to ask for her autograph. It’s just the state of the nation right now and I hope to god it changes (for the better) soon.

      • Blue Silver

        Gwyneth is awesome and has REAL talent. And Yes, she CAN sing!!! It’s all jealousy and envy and a lot of people feel the need to knock others to feel better about themselves! …..Pretentiousness??…look closely at the Kardashians!!!!!

      • lizzy

        I just assume people who make vicious, inane posts like that are just trolls and be done with it. Owen, Why on earth did you invite that kind of jealous venom to an anonymous forum?

    • J

      My dislike stems from her being cast in British roles. She’s not British and her fake accent annoys me. There is nothing special about her acting and the projects she chooses. There are so many actresses that are more attractive and more talented. Enough about Gwyneth!

      • SaraS

        That is the dumbest reason. She was sought after for those roles (Emma, Shakespeare in Love) and she did a great job with the accent. Who CARES that she took British roles? What a dumb reasont to hate someone.

      • Liz

        She was BRILLIANT in Emma & Shakespeare in Love!! 5and saying some lines by Jane Austen & Shakespeare is NOT an easy thing to do!).

      • Felicia

        That’s lame. So many British actors play Americans and very few of us have been able to cross that line the other way. I’m proud of the few who have.

      • iris

        Another of her overlooked roles with a British accent is Sliding Doors. A very compelling film

      • the minister

        Actually, it’s because she cast herself as herself as a British person. Insufferable.

      • Amie

        But you don’t mind all the European actors/actresses doing “American” accents?

      • @Iris

        Thank you for mentioning Sliding Doors! I really liked that movie a lot – and she did a good consistent English accent.
        Gwyneth Paltrow is a good actress with a decent resume of films. That GOOP site is a little much, but since I don’t like it I don’t go on it – simple as that. Just cause I don’t care about her personal opinions about health, food, etc doesn’t mean I don’t like her as an actress.

      • Portia

        She won the oscar (that belonged to Cate Blanchet for ‘Elizabeth’) for her lame acting in the disposable ‘Shakespeare in Love’.

        If she returns the oscar to Blanchet, I will forgive her

      • Pandora0312

        I completely agree with Portia. Blanchet was robbed, pure and simple. That alone will fuel the fire of my intense dislike of Paltrow for years to come.
        Other than that, my issue with Gwyneth is the fact that she cannot act her way out of a paper bag. And time and time again, I find myself enjoying films in spite of her rather than because of her.

      • birdy

        oh please.. im tired of cate blanchett. she was horrible in the aviator. that accent was sooo off.

      • soz

        @Felicia – not true. If anything, I find more British actors playing Americans than the other way around, they’re just lower profile. Watch enough Masterpiece Theatre and they pop up everywhere.

      • Hedbangr

        I don’t disagree that Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth” was quite the performance, I don’t think that we can blame Gwyneth for the influence of the Weinstein Bros. Until we all become members of the Academy and have our individual say-so, you can’t fault her (or any other actor/actress) for winning that award. You don’t have to be a fan but there is no need to personally insult someone you’ve never met. And I’ve just come off of my soapbox…

    • Proud American

      Maybe it’s the comment about Americans being less intelligent and civilized than the British. She had everything handed to her on a silver platter because her parents made a success of themselves in this country; then she turns around and slams America. You forgot to mention that part in your article.

      Of course, this is EW where the rape of women and children can be forgiven if you’re a European film maker. So I’d expect no less from this site.

      • Zach

        Please. At least Polanski is brilliantly, brilliantly talented. One problem with Gwyneth is that, until this year with her Glee comeback, she’s been really annoying personally but without the talent or at least good film choices to back it up! She had a few hits when she played Brits, but after the Oscar, everything went downhill!

      • REASON

        @Zach, wow so as long as you are a brilliant filmmaker molestation and rape are forgiveable, but Paltrow annoys you?!?!
        The problem isn’t just with Paltrow, it is with many actress’ of the same caliber and beauty. You could insert any name in this article, Aniston/Roberts/Heigl/Bullock/Jolie and make a case for them. The problem is the internet, anonymous people can say whatever they want w/o consequence, “backlashes” are created, etc. The majority of any comments you read about anything are going to be negative.

      • YokoOhNo

        ^^ This is the correct answer.

      • Wes

        All too true, REASON. I really don’t enjoy reading comments at all anymore on any site. I try to always be at least somewhat positive, even if I don’t like the person or topic in question. Trolls or otherwise, I wish there would be a way to stop the unnecessary hatred and ignorance in comments.

      • gataroo

        she’s OVER APPRECIATED in my book, but what do I know, I am just a dumb American.

      • jbris

        News flash, as a whole the British are more intelligent and civilized. Stop picking lint out of your belly button, get out of the trailer park, and get a clue.

      • simps

        Totally agree about the anonymity of the internet fueling unnecessary negativity. The only negative thing about her I can think of to not like her is that I know she named her kid Apple, but is that a reason to hate her? She was raised privileged, but that should not take away from her performances in film. This whole anonymous posts on the internet is so out of control in general. On any website you can read comments and find them filled with homophobia, racism, sexism, etc. and the majority of it I am fairly certain these people would never say out loud. The majority of these people who supposedly despise Paltrow would probably be pretty pumped to meet her in person.

      • Amie

        Go to another site if you don’t like what you find here.

      • Proudly Canadian

        Maybe Gwyneth Paltrow shouldn’t have grouped and pitted all Americans vs all Britons in such a broad statement like that – BUT that being said, there is a large majority of the American population that is quite ignorant when it comes to the world outside the USA. AND there are lots of Americans that are very intelligent, choose to think for themselves and formulate their own opinions by finding out facts themselves instead of swallowing down every last bit of ridiculous lunatic bullsh@t that spews out of their television. She just meant that Britons (and a lot of people from other countries) take more personal responsibility to be well-informed about both sides of issues regarding world events, political topics, geography, other cultures, etc.

      • lipton

        He did commit rape, yes. But it’s really quite pointless now, the woman, Greimer, doesn’t even want to go through it again. She even says she’s “gotten over it”. I do think that he committed a crime, but it’s pointless to make a big fuss about it now. In another case, I would say the same if the victim didn’t want to pursue charges after decades. If Greimer did want to press charges then I would say she has a right, but she doesn’t, so what’s the big fuss?

      • @REASON

        thank you. i agree 100%.

      • Blover

        Yes I totally agree with proud American. This article is stupid and contrived a lame excuse for our intense dislike of paltrow. I don’t hate her because she is rich. I look down upon her because she insults the very country that has raised and sheltered her. Have some respect! Stop doing hollywood movies if you think you are better than us. You don’t have to be “just like me” but you don’t have to be disrespectful either.

    • lefty

      because she named her child apple?

      • sam

        I’ve heard that she’s a huge snob in real life. My friends’ parents have worked with her and have said that she is extremely full of herself and high maintenance.

      • Jane

        Well Sam- because your friends parents say so….WHO CARES??? Thats the problem. Everyone makes judgements based on something they heard from someone. Anyone who does this is the dumb American Gwyneth says you are. I have always loved Gwyneth. WHY? Because I use my brain & realise that I don’t know her personally so I make judgements based on what I do know of her. As an actress. In movies. & BTW- Europeans & British people are WAY MORE civilized than Americans.

      • Jane

        oh & this is coming from an American

      • response to jane

        jane, are you sure you are not british? you spelled “realize”…”realise.”

      • Jane

        I’m pretty sure I’m Canadian. But yes- I do live in North America. Was born here as was my parents. No British roots, however I am part German & Russian

      • nyangel22

        @Jane, first you said you were American, but now you’re Canadian. I hate to burst your bubble, but being from North America does not make you American.

        That said, I do believe that many Americans are less intelligent than the British (or most other Europeans for that matter). The American school system sucks. Schools are constantly being closed because kids are not learning. They can’t pass state tests, but teachers pass them anyway. A couple of years ago, Mayor Bloomberg abolished social promotion in New York City public schools, which outraged parents. They claimed that the state tests did not mean anything and that it didn’t matter whether their kids could read and write. This is the mentality of many Americans, which is probably caused by the fact that it doesn’t matter how educated you are when all you need to do to be “famous” is to be beautiful, rich, or know how to throw a ball in a basket or across a plate.

      • Allie

        @nyangel22 – that was one of the silliest things I’ve ever read. I literally laughed out loud. Just because people from the United States have decided to claim the title “American” doesn’t mean people from any of the Americas are not American. That’s like the British saying only Britons are Europeans. And @Sam…..I’m amazed at how this woman is considered pretentious – basically because she comes from money – but putting every last thought on the internet (i.e. facebook) that everyone loves to do is not the least bit pretentious because we, as a society, have less money. It’s just plain jealousy people. Thinking that the world cares what you’re making for dinner on a constant basis (I’m talking to you, facebook abusers) is far more pretentious in my mind than naming your child Apple.

      • Lyndsey

        I just happened to come across this article & I had to reply to an idiotic comment:
        To Allie, anyone born in the Americas is an American??!! That is by far the most idiotic, asinine thing I have ever heard! We ARE the only “Americans” because we are from the United States of America!! I have never in my life heard a resident of Canada, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Columbia, etc refer to him or herself as an “American”. Why on earth would they?! Do you have no pride in your own country?! Ridiculous!!
        And I love how so many people from other countries like to insult our intelligence yet who do you all run to when you need help? Oh yes, that would be America! How quickly you all forget you’d be speaking German if it wasn’t for us! Then we tried to pull the European’s butts out of the fire in Korea & Vietnam after all of their failed empire building (I lost an uncle in Korea too)! Not to mention helping protect their borders from the Soviet Union. We’ve done more good in the world in our mere 235 years than Europe has done in over 2000 years! I’ll be the first to admit that we certainly aren’t perfect at least we try to help anyone who needs it.
        By the way, I don’t care for Paltrow as an actress & certainly haven’t had any use for her since the comments she’s made about America. Just because I don’t care for her doesn’t mean I’m jealous. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I have no use for fame nor have I ever gushed over a celebrity (and yes I have met several, like Jared Leto). I’m not rich but I’ve never lacked for anything. I also have more education than she does & probably better grades. I wouldn’t trade my life as a history teacher for hers even if given the option. Not all Americans are obsessed with being rich & famous or every aspect of celebrities lives. None of that makes her better than any of the rest of us. But seriously, who cares enough about people like her to hate them?! :-/

    • mad man


      – She named her kid Apple.

      – She tried to be Martha Stewart ala her dumb GOOP site

      – She gallivants around Spain with Mario Batali for some odd reason, probably to show off her perfect Spanish accent.

      – She had NO business winning Best Actress over Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth

      • davey

        “She had NO business winning Best Actress over Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth”…..THANK YOU! Someone finally said it! Cate Blanchett DESERVED that Oscar – and I loved Shakespeare In Love.

      • gwyn is lame

        “She gallivants around Spain with Mario Batali for some odd reason” and poo-poos at any food even remotely exotic looking. why be on a food show if you dont like exploring new foods? so annoying.

      • KK

        She didn’t canvas for the Best Actress Award. It was given to her. Why are you hating on her for winning it? Maybe you should be hating on those who voted for her.

      • wtfnyc

        THANK YOU, mad man — EXACTLY!! Her GOOP site is an absurd reflection of her privileged life, wherein she suggests and recommends things that no ordinary person could manage/afford. Ditto for “Apple” (seriously??) and her Batali trip (by the end of which Mario looked like he was going to beat her to death with an orange Croc, btw). And don’t even get me started on her Oscar “win” — INSANE. Add to that her faux British superiority and the now constant shoving of her no-better-than-mediocre singing voice down our throats, and GAH!! Just insufferable.

      • Calamity Jane

        Yes, this is what I would list too–her getting the Oscar win (and that stupid bubble gum pink ballerina dress) over Cate Blanchett. Elizabeth was a far superior movie and yet everyone was IN LOVE with Shakespeare in Love because it was charming and Gwynyth was charming. Charming, but merely charming–not fantastic.

        I’m ok w/ Gwynyth now, but it’s taken a lot of years to have her grow on me. I had to recover from that ugly, sheer black “chicken cutlet for boobs” dress too.

      • Kris

        She didn’t steal the Oscar it was awarded to her. The ACADEMY gave it to her, hate them.

      • Juneau

        You are terribly naive if you think she had nothing to do with winning her Oscar. She and Miramax bribed the Academy for her Oscar. How else do you explain that mediocre rom-com winning best picture over Saving Private Ryan. So everyone in Hollywood is to blame, including Gwynnie.

      • Kev Dogg

        HA! I was just thinking about her traipsing around Europe with Mario in their $90,000 convertible! And, yes, she named her kid Apple. And, yes, I’m jealous.

      • Amie

        So, what are your bullet points? That you smoke? That you like going to flea markets? You name your kid Misty? Seriously…you’re just jealous.

      • Janell

        Agreed….Cate Blanchet deserved the Oscar for Elizabeth. A much better film than Shakespear in Love.

      • Teller

        Why do people keep using her Oscar win against her? SHE DID NOT GIVE HERSELF THE OSCAR, people! Blame the Academy members who voted for her. I agree that Blanchett’s Elizabeth was the stronger performance that year, but damn…you would think that Paltrow forced the voters-at gunpoint- to vote for her. Another thing, she didn’t choose to be born with a silver spoon. She is a decent actress and a good enough singer, but the intense dislike people feel for her mkes them come up with illusory excuses (SHE CAN’T ACT! SHE CAN’T SING) You know who really can’t act, can’t sing and truly has no business beng a pretentious diva? J-Lo

      • Ellie

        I would add to @mad man:

        – She talks way too much about things like cleanse diets! TMI!
        – And this from GOOPin 09: “Back in the day, I had a “frenemy” who, as it turned out, was pretty hell-bent on taking me down. . . . I tried to take the high road. But one day I heard that something unfortunate and humiliating had happened to this person. And my reaction was deep relief and…happiness. There went the high road. So, why does it feel so good to hear something bad about someone you don’t like? Or someone you DO like? Or someone you don’t KNOW?”

        Um, it’s called schadenfreude honey, and I’m sure a few people will indulge it in when something bad happens to you one day. However, unlike you, most people don’t transparently rub it in the face of their “frenemies” by blogging about their misfortune 10 years later.

        My vote: utterly uncharming

      • Alice

        Jealous? Of course I am. Just like I envy Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman or Michelle Williams. But I find only Gwyneth to be a pretentious, self-entitled twit.

      • tipsy

        I think that being in SIL which won Best Picture over SPR was the biggest turn off. Winning Best Actress over Blanchett earned her movie buff hate but since general public didn`t even see Elisabeth (it made paltry $16 mio altogether), I doubt they cared for that one. But SPR was a huge matter of patriotic pride and a huge hit so awareness was through the roof and the upset shocking.

        Also, her PR that tried to position her as the Next Grace Kelly was just stupid. She is not Next Kelly or any Next Hichcock blonde or Golden Age diva. Just a simple fact. But such comparison was infuriating.

        Finally, she was a constant target to some gossip gurus (didn`t E`s Ted come with the moniker “Fishstick”?) for her skinniness, her carefully chosen power boyfriends,etc. They created the image of her as stuck up b**** and it sticks. But I recall some interview quotes from her that actually confirmed gossip may be right on the money.

    • Dave

      Seriously? I find her completely charming and as someone who generally keeps up with entertainment news, I was completely unaware of the Anti-Gwyneth Movement.

      • Jenn

        I agree in finding her charming, although I didn’t always. I never had much of an opinion about her, until I watched Shakespeare in Love. The chemistry she had with Joseph Fiennes was incredible. And then came her appearance on Glee…and that is when I became aware of how talented she is. I don’t care so much about her personal life…but I have replayed her version of F**k you too may times to admit! I think it’s jealousy of the general public. She’s a modern day renaissance woman, and people find that hard to accept. Bravo to her for not being a one dimensional celebrity.

      • Jim

        I agree, Dave. Until Mary Pols trashed her in the most recent issue of Time, I had no idea there were so many people out here with so little going on in their own lives that they can build a list of reasons to hate an actress. And why do so many people resent her singing. Do you hate Jeff Bridges? Joaquin Phoenix (OK, maybe a bad example)? Scarlett Johansson? Zoey Deschanel? Give it a rest, people. If you don’t like her work, don’t watch/read/listen. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that no one’s holding a gun to your head and making you watch her movies or visit her website.

      • Kat

        “Seriously?” is my reaction, too. I find it incredible that #1) members of the general public can be so passionately disdainful about someone whom they’ve never met and not self-conscious about how ridiculous it sounds; #2) the reasons stated, like her winning an award or seeming pretentious, come across as irrational, and in some cases jealous. I think Owen Glieberman’s right. This all sounds like a collective chip on the shoulder. Paltrow got sucked into the spotlight first as Brad Pitt’s girlfriend of all things and survived tabloid windfall to establish herself as a serious actress. She carries herself with class, both professionally and personally, and doesn’t apologize for liking herself. People could learn from her. Lastly, I’m a military member who loves my country. Yet I have been stationed in several countries and won’t hesitate to point out their cultural advantages and disadvantages. That’s not being pretentious. That’s refusing to confuse patriotism with ignorance.

      • Lisa London

        Kat – great answer!

      • Sabrina

        Kat – you put it all perfectly!

    • FromChicago

      I don’t hate her, but she’s not someone I would follow into a movie. If she wants to sing, she should go after the singing career and leave the acting alone — maybe TV is her calling, but not the big screen. She radiates “zilch” on screen.

      • Ana

        Nooooooo! No more singing!

    • SuperDan

      Ha, nailed it on the first post! If I like one of her movies (Shakespeare in Love is a fave), it’s usually in spite of her. I’m surprised Owen didn’t mention the most annoying thing about her — dating Ben Affleck when they were both at the height of their insufferability. It was like arrogance squared in BOUNCE.

      • Felicia

        Sorry, no way. The height of Affleck’s insufferability was during Benifer.

      • Jane

        she dated Ben Affleck in the “Good Will Hunting” days. He was insufferable because of Jennifer Lopez. SEE? This is what I’m talking about. Everybody goes on & on about things they have no idea about like a bunch of idiots

    • Floopa Bambers

      The gossip bloggers hate her and they are relentless. I just find it unfair that the attitude has spilled over even to sites like Huffington Post, which proclaimed GWYNETH BOMBS as the weekend boxoffice headline. And inaccurate headline at that: “Country Strong” played in less than half of the theaters as “Little Fockers” and yet still came in #6. And it had the 2nd highest per-screen average. That’s not a “bomb.”

    • Barb Masters

      Pretentious. As in the time she presented an award to Anthony Hopkins by giving a lengthy introduction in which she repeatedly pronounced his name “Antony?” Like the faux British accent she used for years? Like GOOP? Yeah, all that, and more. And I had no idea that she went to Spence or was raised on the Upper East Side.

      • Sarah O

        I like her fine as an actress. I will see her movies. I think she’s very smart and has a good sense of humor. I also find her condescending and full of catty remarks about people who never did anything to her. So I’m not a hater, but I’m certainly not a lover either.

      • peggym

        I’m kind of indifferent. Her anti-Americans comments are annoying, and her dancing in Glee was awful, bt I’ve liked her in a few things. I’d muc rather see her mother act.

      • Bren

        I cut her slack on the Antony/Anthony thing. I have a Brit friend whose name is Anthony, but out of respect for how he pronouces it, I pronounce it the way he does when talking to him, too.

      • clark

        I believe that’s the way HE pronounces it. It is HIS name and he is British.

      • Mallory

        It is pronounced Antony.

      • HollyHiskey

        That’s how I would say it too, and I am British. Also her accent in Sliding Doors was excellent, I saw it before I knew that she was American and believed for years that she was a British actress.
        I get the sense that a lot of people don’t like her because they’re jealous…
        Oh, and about her site- yes, it’s pretentious, but the stuff she’s talking about is no worse than reading the Telegraph Magazine on a Sunday morning. Yes, she shops at Net-A-Porter, so would I if I could afford it.

    • Mike

      You know her so well! Lol, what a joke. She’s hot man, that’s the only part I’m able to accurately judge through my TV.

    • philly

      Spot on.

    • sunsetsnow81

      I really like Gwyneth Paltrow and I am a big fan of her as an actress. The problem is that she does come across as a little pretentious in what she says and does in interviews. Part of it is how she moved to London and often talked about how cultured, refined, and elegant it is to live there. Her words came across as calling the US backwards and unrefined even though this is her country and where her bread and butter lies. Not a good look when US popularity was waning. Disappearing to London for years did not help her at all either. She also talks a lot about her celebrity friends, name dropping often in her interviews. She also didn’t handle the whole fame thing with Brad very well, at a time when people were really interested in the both of them. She doesn’t act very humble and oftentimes comes across as a know-it-all. I still like her and agree that she needs to choose her roles more wisely.

    • Jason SPQR

      Don’t forget her other abysmal movie choices: Possession, Hush, View from the Top, Shallow Hal, The Good Night, A Perfect Murder, Bounce, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Duets, Great Expectations.

      There is only one film in which I think she did a good job: The Royal Tenenbaums. She played a spoiled little rich girl who was above everyone else. Maybe typecasting is her only salvation…?

      • Di

        I loved Duets, but it was mostly for Paul Giamatti… I have absolutely no problem with her.

      • Michelle

        I love her in “The Royal Tenenbaums.” But I have a sneaking suspicion that her role in “Great Expectations” is the real Gwyneth.

      • TalonRF

        hey – don’t hate on Shallow Hal – it was her only movie where the ugly outside matched the inside

    • Jack Lean II

      And you are???

    • Jolie

      Could it be that she comes from a Hollywood family (mother an actress, father a producer) and doors have opened wide-open for her while a talented person of a non-priveleged usually cannot break in the business on that level.

      • Tony

        Yes, it could. Except that her mom puts on no airs and seems to be genuine and affable and a true actress. I think Kathy Griffin helped the hate Gwenyth trend in her stand up. That being said, I tend to get a bad taste in my mouth when someone gets and Oscar for a role in which they didn’t deserve it, even thought I may like him or her (I’m looking at you Sandra and Kate – both should have gone to Meryl).

    • Andie

      She does come across as a little pretentious. Other than that there’s this sense that things have been handed to her, that it was too easy. I don’t think that’s completely fair though. And she was great in ‘Sylvia’. I thought that was a fantastic performance.

    • Juneau

      And her inexplicable winning of an undeserved Oscar is the other reason.

      • Tarc

        No, Halle Berry was an inexplicable Oscar win. Paltrow was terrific in a whole series of films and her Oscar was much deserved (though not particularly for Shakespeare In Love).

      • Mallory

        While I think Cate Blanchett should have won that year, I do agree that Halle Berry’s win was WAY more undeserved. Congrats Halle, taking that extra money for going topless paid off!

    • jones

      I agree with those reasons. More than anything, guess I just do not get all the fuss about her(good or bad).

    • wino

      ding ding, we have a winner. sorry owen, but her acting in Shakespear in Love was not Oscar worthy, especially when you consider her main competition….Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth (!). and lets be honest, the notion of her so called SUPERIOR talent has been forced fed into our mouths by certain critics and the Spielberg mafia. i just believe she had the hype before really proving herself…and thats a major turnoff.

    • Kristin

      Agreed. She seems like a total snot.

      And taking time off for her family? Good for her. That doesn’t make me like her any more or less.

    • Allison

      No “comes across.” She IS a pretentious a**.

    • Liz Lemon

      I love Gwyneth. She seems genuine to me. And she’s talented.

    • JNS

      That’s really all there is too it. Her macrobiotic diets, her feuding with Madonna, her faux-british accent, the most pretentious baby name ever…etc. Owen is completely off-base (as per usual) in saying that people dislike her because she took time off to raise her family. I think one of the main reasons that many people responded to her positively when she did ‘Glee’ is because it showed that maybe she doesn’t take herself so seriously afterall. If she’s on a pedestal, it’s cuz she climbed up there herself and looked down her nose (from what it seemed) at anything ‘mainstream’ or ordinary. The bad news is…the movie-going public is the mainstream.

    • Tarc

      Only to badly educated, poorly informed, classless drones. Hence, most of America. Paltrow has always been pretty great.

    • Colin Barth Turnbull

      I live in a redneck town. Gwyneth is not a real Mama Grizzly. She doesn’t hunt and she’s too educated. That means she can’t be trusted in the country world. She’s hated because she’s out of the box.

    • katie s.

      Agreed about the pretentious a** part. I don’t mind that she came from wealth and fame, so much as I mind that everyone reveres her for a greatness I REALLY don’t think she has. Her singing is pretty mediocre; When she attempts a foreign accent its dreadful; And perhaps most unforgiving of all? She lacks the necessary talent to blend into her roles. I’ve never once seen her in a movie and forgotten she was Gwyneth Paltrow. The woman honestly ruins movies for me. I’ll never be able to fully enjoy Iron Man, because she’s prancing around like a phony actress with that awful fake hair color. Maybe she’s trying too hard? Not really sure, but everything about her demeanor, presence, and acting sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s not attractive.

      • Merry Bear

        I completely agree. I liked her earlier work–Emma and Sliding Doors, before I could identify the actress with the person. Now I just see Gwyneth, and can’t stand to watch. Wealthy and well educated has no correlation with the kind of pretentiousness she throws our way. She seems like she wouldn’t give anyone out of her perceived social class the time of day, and that’s what I find annoying. Plenty of wealthy and educated folks actually enjoy spending time with their fans, and among the masses. She’s above that, and it’s evident in everything she does.

      • CMF

        To your point, I feel the same about every movie Julia Roberts has ever been in.She plays Julia Roberts in every movie. Even the one she won an Cscar for. (and JR’s Oscar was completely undeserved.)

    • The Dude

      EXACTLY. michael douglas comes across as a guy you would like to have a beer with. and GP comes across like the girl who would roll her eyes at such a notion.

    • Lisa

      The constant whining about her weight is tiring.

    • Zack

      I hate her!

    • birdy

      i think it’s because she doesn’t put pounds of makeup on to look like a playboy bunny slut.

    • Fred

      The nasal fake accent, the fake blond hair (she is a brunette), the fake vegetarianism (she eats meat etc now), the self-absorption, the lack of true talent, etc… all reasons to hate Gwyneth…

    • Sammy

      Once I read enough to know that you are a Paltrow advocate I stopped reading. She doesn’t have to toot her own horn – you do it for her. Why don’t I like her? Lets start with Apple? Who names a baby APPLE?? My mom and I said she should know better. Her mother is Blythe Danner for crying out loud! Who BTW my mom said she is sick of now. Thank your daughter Blythe! Move on to conscious uncoupling – vomit!! That was about it for everyone I believe. Everyone else splits, breaks up, divorces – not her. She’s better than the rest of the world. She CONSCIOUSLY UNCOUPLES.

  • Meg

    first post?! and i LOVE Gwyneth. chill with the haters

    • Nathan

      I don’t mind her overall, but her newest role as Nashville Barbie is just plain stupid.

  • Craig Ranapia

    *cough* I don’t hate Gwyneth Paltrow – I just think she’s a competent but unexciting actress, though obviously one or two (including you and the voting members of AMPAAS) have begged to differ over the years.

    • The Devil

      Thanks for the reasonable response. Pretty much sums up my feeling of her. Don’t love/hate her…she’s not very exciting. And I think the Owen G. is focusing too much on negativity. I doubt most people even hate her as the comment boards may suggest. Just that trolls tend to dominate the boards whereas the more laid-back fair-minded people don’t bother to post if the subject bears no interest to them.
      Oh, and doesn’t Kathy Griffith hate her guts, too? That might be why so many people hate her.

      • Bonnie

        Agree with both of you. I don’t understand Owen’s total love fest here or why he felt compelled to defend her in a tribute blog post, are things slow around EW? Also agree with others that the internet and posting on walls offers the anonymity people need to let loose and shocking comments get the most attention.

    • PennyBeGood

      Craig, you completely nailed my feelings for Paltrow. I don’t hate her, but she’s never thrilled me as an actress. To me, she’s forgettable.

    • teekay

      Exactly! As an actress, she’s decent, as a singer she’s okay; I’ll see a movie she’s in if it looks interesting but she won’t be the reason why I watch it. She has a famous husband, a self-indulgent website and a family – that’s nice for her – I really don’t care. I have better uses of my time and energy than expending them on despising or adoring Gwyneth Paltrow.

  • Lee

    People didn’t warm to her because she’s known for frowning in ‘gloomy’ movies. Now she’s proving she does ‘sunny’ brilliantly too (Glee). Give her a break!

    • harry


      • Steve

        I have to admit I loathed her, mostly because I had seen a bunch of interviews where she just seemed like she couldn’t be bothered and was so above it all. However, I’ve been warming up to her lately. (I won’t say love, yet). I think her performance on Glee helped and her appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as well – she came across like she was having fun and enjoying herself — which is something I think was lacking before.

      • CB

        I have to agree, I was in the Gwenyth Paltrow , meh? , camp before gLee. I’ve since warmed up to her a bit. I’ll wait until country strong is watch instantly on netflix

    • katie s.

      No, no. I roll my eyes when I see she’s cast in a movie I’m interested in, not because she’s in “gloomy” movies. It’s because the woman can’t blend into the scenery. Her acting is stiff and forced and sticks out in any movie. When watching Iron Man, it was all “Oh look, there’s Iron Man and his lovely assistant, GWYNETH PALTROW”.

  • Charlotte

    I totally agree Owen. I have always loved Gwyneth and think she’s one of the finest actresses of our time. I also love her newsletter, Goop. I think it’s so strange that people love to hate on her because she’s so “perfect.” So what? I don’t think she’s obnoxious at all. I think she’s beautiful and a great actress. After Sliding Doors and Emma, she’s golden to me. :)

    • davey

      What performances has she created where you can say that she’s one of the finest actresses of our time? Other than maybe Shakespeare In Love….???

      • Floopa Bambers

        Did you ever see “Two Lovers” with Joachin Phoenix? They were both FANTASTIC in that movie. Too bad it wasn’t a big, mass appeal movie. Rent it.

      • Tarc

        Sliding Doors. Possession. Sylvia. emma. The Royal Tennenbaums. Proof. Heck, she was even excellent in Sky Captain.

      • Mother Nature

        Sorry, Tarc. There was nothing excellent about that Sky Captain.

  • Stacie

    I admit that she is very pretty, but I find her boring.

  • Joey

    She does come across as really pretentious, but I love her anyway. She’s a great actres!

  • Shh

    I thought Proof was fantastic, she was great on Two Lovers too. I don’t understand the idea that we are supposed to like celebrities as a person, I like actors if the can act and if they make good movies. I’ve always enjoyed Paltrow’s choice of movies even the risky ones like Country Strong.

    • REASON

      She is amazing in Two Lovers! You start to get that feeling Pheonix’s character is getting as you watch her in it, I had butterflies in my stomach during the subway scene.

  • PeterBilt

    because people love to hate. its so much easier than giving a compliment. i’m guilty of it too sometimes. but in todays age, hate prevails.

  • Rachel

    I also have no idea why people hate Gwyneth so much. I think she’s wonderful and will see anything she is in. Can’t wait for SNL this week-end!

  • C.G

    I love Gwyneth Paltrow- people are just jealous.

  • Karin

    never liked her. Can’t stand her stingy straight hair pulling her face down. Went to a movie premiere and she had this holier than thou attitude with the photographers and isn’t that part of the job?
    She doesn’t appear to be down to earth at all-seems stuck up.
    Plus-I just don’t find her acting to be that good

    • MojoJojo

      And I guess you have a thick mass of glossy waves on your head. I think you should take a minuet and listen to yourself, you sound like the kind of person that will hate someone just for the way they look and am sure you are not (I hope). I don’t like or dislike her cos I haven’t met her or know her. To me actors are people that are just doing their jobs and might even project an image (sanctioned by their publicist)just to get suckers to go see thier movies. Appreciate the craft you don’t have to like them. And please tell me you don’t actually believe that all the actors you love cos they are ‘real’ are really like that?
      And for the record I don’t think she is the best actress out there but she is better than most, but what do I know, am just a layman that knows what I want to watch which is determined by the movie itself and not whatever persona the actor projects in real life.

  • Chris

    Paltrow reminds me of this girl I had classes with in high school that just felt like she was the smartest person in the building. She was a hard worker and did well, but gave off too much of that “look at me and bask in my awesomeness, worm” vibe. Nice job on your grades, but you’re still a pretentious bitch.

    • Cantare

      That seems to have a lot more to do with your feelings about yourself than about her.

      • jack sprat

        The Gwyneths of the world, we know all too well from our teenage years. They’re the ones who occasionally descended from their privileged clouds, so that they might gratuitously count coup against their social inferiors. They’re the ones who repeatedly tormented people like Dylan Klebold. Except on the rare occasions when she remembers to ACT in public, Gwyneth does seem little changed. No great surprise that those who spent a good portion of their formative years having their noses rubbed in it should respond unfavorably to its unreformed avatar.

      • Rinn

        Cantare FTW!

      • Chris

        On the list of people’s opinions I care about, you’re not there. Go back to your Phantom Trollbooth.

      • nyangel22

        Chris, I don’t know you, but I agree with Cantare. I also think the same goes for Jack Sprat. I knew a bunch of snobs when I was younger, but i don’t take out my annoyance with adolescent them on some actress i don’t know.

    • Tarc

      The trouble is, Paltrow IS often the smartest girl in the room. And that’s your hangup… not Paltrow’s problem.

    • nicolette

      perfectly said, chris. (and p.s., i don’t know who tarc is hanging out with, but paltrow could only be the smartest person in the room on a very limited basis. her godfather is steven spielberg, forgodssake. pretty big act to follow.)

  • Molly

    What really made me officially hate her was that show she had on PBS where she drove around in a convertible eating local food…pretentious

    • M

      Really? That’s what made you “hate” her? That says more about you than you may have intended.

      • Lou

        LOL, I couldn’t agree more M!

      • Mother Nature

        It wasn’t the fact she did it, it was the way she went about it. If you’d seen it, I think you’d have to agree. Helen Mirren saying ‘darling’ and Gwyeth Paltrow saying ‘daaarling’ is really a different experience. Same word, yet one is endearing and one is pretentious. She was beyond obnoxious in the PBS series, and every word she said made her that much more grating.

    • KK

      Maybe you’re just jealous?

    • Tarc

      Great show! She did a foodie show with Mario Batali.

  • sgerbil

    This sounds awful, but I think she just looks like a snob. Something about her looks and mannerisms scream snob. I myself was shocked to discover how sweet, funny and genuine she was on Oprah. I don’t think she deserved the oscar for Shakespeare in Love, but I do like lots of her movies.

    • TJ

      I like that you’re being honest, and if I’m honest, I’ll admit that I did for a long time perceive her in a similar way. Her first appearance on SNL was the first time I saw her as anything other than that. At the end of the day, she may have some pretentiousness about her, but there is more to her than that, and as she’s aged I’ve grown to accept that and not judge her so harshly, to my own benefit. I really did enjoy her in Time Captain (probably the only one), and I enjoyed her in the Iron Man movies and on Glee.

    • Ames

      I agree. It’s really back to high school. She’s blond, skinny, blue eyes, privaledged. Everything I’m not. And yes, I know that says more about me than her.

      And there’s just something about movie stars now a days. They make SO MUCH MONEY!! It’s so disportionate to what anybody else makes. With the job market the last few years, I’m not sure how any celebrity is avoiding a hateful backlash.

      • Tarc

        Don’t gripe about movie stars: look at the ridiculous salaries of people in the banking industry and corporate America. They do little, and most of that is worthless, and they make staggeringly ridiculous amounts of money. A handful of people are ‘movie stars’, but tens of thousands (of not hundreds of thousands) simply are sucking the financial life out of the nation…

    • LR

      it’s not just that she seems like a snob, which she does, it’s that she has no comprehension at all that she is percieved this way – so her “2 month juice fasts are so easy!” blog posts come off even more pretentious, shallow and grating than they would from another celebrity. no self awareness. or she knows that people think that, doesn’t care and plays off her “perfect” image even more, which makes her even more difficult to tolerate.

    • Tarc

      Considering half the men in American seem to feel it’s OK to wear sweatpants/pyjama bottoms to the mall (often sans underwaer), I think saying that someone is ‘snobby’ is just a wee bit (read: way, *way*, WAY) out of whack.

      • nyangel22

        Tarc, how do you know that half of the American men go commando when they wear sweatpants? This might just be the most inane argument I have seen yet.

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