Gwyneth Paltrow was recently hailed ‘most hated celebrity in Hollywood’, beating the likes of Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart to the dubious title.
The accolade, if you can call it that, does seem a little harsh given that (bar the tearful Oscar acceptance speech way back in 1999 and a rumoured desire for depriving her children of carbs) the girl has done nothing to warrant such animosity.
Perhaps it’s her predisposition to do annoyingly well at anything she turns her hand to.
There are the indie films (Sliding Doors, The Royal Tenenbaums, Sylvia), the singing (Glee, Country Strong), the lifestyle website Goop and subsequent cook books and the news that she’s set to star opposite Antonio Banderas in the Spanish film 33 Dias. She is, of course, fluent.
All this and she still manages to boast a gym-honed body and the picture-perfect family in the shape of Coldplay’s Chris Martin and their two children Apple, eight, and seven-year-old Moses.
You just don’t want to like Paltrow – but then you come face to face with the Hollywood actress and she seems really rather sweet, nervous even.
She might not relish interviews but needs must when there’s a movie of mega proportions such as Iron Man 3 to promote.
In this third instalment of the franchise, she returns as redhead Pepper Potts opposite Robert Downey Jr’s billionaire-inventor-superhero Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.
This is the first movie that’s technically a sequel to two films (Iron Man 2 and The Avengers Assemble) and places Iron Man and Pepper, who’s now his live-in girlfriend and the CEO of Stark Enterprises, opposite super-powered humans.
“There’s a lot of comfort between them now, so it’s not the kind of tentative relationship they had in the first two films,” says Paltrow, who’s understandably grown close to Downey Jr over the last six years.
“Robert and I have always had a really great working relationship and it’s nice to phase it into something new,” she says, before adding: “Robert definitely keeps you on your toes.”
You sense Paltrow’s no walkover and she jokingly berates her co-star for moaning about the Iron Man costume.
“Robert used to complain about it all the time but let me just tell you he is a wuss because it’s very easy to wear,” says the actress, who also dons the iconic suit this time round.
“I really liked being in it. It felt very superhero-ish, very strong,” she says, laughing.
Iron Man 3 boasts everything you’d hope from a summer blockbuster, a stellar cast including Sir Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce, eye-popping action sequences and brilliant special effects.
Even Paltrow was impressed with the final result, having watched it the night before with her family and friends. “Everybody loved it, including myself. I was really surprised,” she says.
In the flesh, she’s as you’d expect, all glowing skin, barely there make-up and poker straight blonde hair. It’s incredible to think Paltrow turned 40 in September.
In recent years, Paltrow has spent less time on the big screen but she isn’t tempted to give up acting to focus solely on a business empire.
“You know, I really like the balance I have now in finding one really interesting film a year to do around the family schedule and my business life,” she says.