It seems that over the last couple of years, there has been a huge out-pouring of hate with regard to Gwyneth Paltrow. I don't follow Hollywood, read "People" magazine and I don't think I've seen her in the movies since "The Royal Tenenbaums" back in 2001. So I'll admit, I don't understand what all the ruckus is about.
Ever since I learned Fatty Arbuckle raped a woman to death with a champagne bottle, I haven't held Hollywood types in high-regard. Most of them are spoiled children made a thousand times worse because they're given a national microphone. If you've ever been to a United Jewish Appeal fundraiser in the basement of a temple, you know there's nothing worse than a spoiled brat with a microphone.
Nevertheless, about six or seven years ago I was assigned to make a cinema commercial for American Express heralding their participation in the Tribeca Film Festival. I had wanted DeNiro to do the voiceover, but he had no interest. Next on my list was Gwyneth Paltrow.
Paltrow was in LA at the time and we "met" over ISDN line, at 7AM her time.
My policy in working with talent of her ilk is to be extremely compliant. Naturally, I have to get what I need, but I also have to respect that they know what they're doing. In short, I give minimal direction, and what little I do give, I deliver wearing kid gloves.
Like a lot of people in the morning, Paltrow came on the line full of phlegm. She cleared that up over the course of three pretty good reads.
I said, "I think that last one was pretty good."
She said, "I have a cold."
I said, "Phlegm becomes you." And she laughed.
Once she saw that I wasn't going to be demanding, she pushed herself a bit.
"Let me do another one," she said.
"Of course, and do me a favor, hit the word 'fun' a bit. Give it a little laugh."
She did what I asked for perfectly.
And that was that. The whole shebang took about 20 minutes and turned out pretty good.