Posts tagged “Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow’s second conscious uncoupling

Gwyneth Paltrow

No, she’s not getting another divorce, since she hasn’t remarried (though there are rumors of that on the horizon).

But Gwyneth Paltrow is saying goodbye to GOOP. (Should that be GOOPbye then?)

The 43-year-old lifestyle guru is separating from her brand to spend more time with her spa treatments, home redecorating parties and splurge vacations in Saint-Tropez.

Seriously, no reason was given for her change of strategy. Just a few months ago, in fact, she had stated that she’d basically retired from acting to make GOOP her full-time endeavor.

I’m not sure how this is possible. The website has her initials, or some strange variant thereof, said to be a nickname the actress likes. Then again, she named her daughter after a fruit. Or maybe it was her favorite laptop.

She really believes she got where she did the same way as, say, Claire Danes did. “[My father] said, you know, ‘You are completely on your own.’ He never gave me anything…So, the idea that I am spoiled or that I didn’t work for what I have is just not accurate.” I’m sure no one on the receiving end of her phone calls and auditions knew who her parents were. And the fact that her first substantial appearance to the world was in a film made by her godfather, who also happens to be Steven Spielberg, is complete coincidence.

To me her “lifestyle” choices largely have the ring of celebrity New Age hedonism. Not that that isn’t very popular—everyone today wants to be famous—but she sometimes acts like her website’s mission is to save the world. But she has more followers than I do, so maybe I should just keep my mouth shut.

There’s nothing wrong with splurges. But when GOOP calls a woodburning backyard pizza oven or a facial that costs more than most house payments a “splurge,” when its holiday gift guide would make even George Soros blink at his credit card statement, you have to wonder what world this chick lives in.

The Gwynnie who says she’s got it tougher than most people, and that other moms can keep themselves in the flawless shape she does if they really work at it appears to be rather tone-deaf to the very people who made her rich and famous, spending their weekend crusts to see her Miramax movies at cineplexes in suburban cities she probably despises. Not to say there aren’t media outlets that are very sympathetic to this sort of lifestyle. Their readership is exactly the demo that goes for such very blonde, very New England-y inhabitants as those who seem to come to GP’s soirées. Most such rich people just enjoy this lifestyle quietly, however, and don’t feel the compulsion to rub others’ noses in it.

As for GOOP, “My dream is that one day no one will remember that I had anything to do with it,” she recently said. Amen. But perhaps it wasn’t her dream. Perhaps it was the dream of others, business partners who came on board and possibly suggested the uncoupling. I have no idea if that actually happened, but the about-face stance seems very sudden and, to me, very un-Gwyneth. What’s she going to do with all her free time, Shakespeare in Love 2: Viola Returns from Virginia? (Actually, that could be pretty good.)

I am sad that now I won’t know where to get the best colon-cleanse, but I guess I’ll just have to use Yelp or ask my tony friends.

Meanwhile, join me in saying goodbye to GOOP as we know it.

 


Gwyneth Paltrow’s stalker

Gwyneth Paltrow

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I’m betting you didn’t know she had one, did you? Well, most celebrities do. Including Welsey Shaw.

They just really would rather not talk about it. Including Welsey Shaw.

In Gwyneth’s case, a man has been harassing her for seventeen years.

Yep, let me say that again—seventeen years.

And after numerous incidents, including encounters that sent him to a psychiatric facility back in 2000, he was just found not guilty of harassing her yet again.

The actress was clearly disappointed in the verdict. “I’ve been dealing for 17 years with the communications from this man … I felt very upset by it [the verdict] … this has been a very long and very traumatic experience already.”

The man’s attorney says he is harmless. Furthermore, she says, he is misunderstood. “He just needs the right medication,” she maintains.

I can’t imagine Ms. Paltrow is much comforted by those words.

The sad truth is the famous and easily-recognizable have to deal with this every day. We know who they are. They don’t know who we are. Which is why so many people who seek out the glow of fame later come to regret it.

Paltrow gave evidence in the case in which she claimed she was sent around 70 messages between 2009 and 2015.

She said the letters ranged from “religious to pornographic to threatening.” Some even talked about her death.

This struck me because there is a similar subplot in Entertaining Welsey Shaw. It could almost have been ripped from the Paltrow case, except that I started writing it first, or at least before anyone ever knew GP had a stalker. In the beginning, to a large degree, Welsey Shaw was modeled on Gwyneth Paltrow. (I’ve since moved away from that to modeling her after a large number of actresses to making her largely her own person, with a pinch of this celebrity and a dash of that.)

What’s truly frightening, and what I wanted to point out with Welsey’s stalker, is that there’s no real defense against people like this. You can get restraining orders, have them put away somewhere, but those orders always expire, those sentences are eventually up. You can’t keep the person away forever. And you never really know when they’re going to end up on your doorstep. After all, they don’t send you a note saying, “Hey, they let me out today!” —Or they do, which is perhaps even scarier.

Paltrow said her stalker “wanted to marry her.” Ironically, that’s exactly the plot line I’d devised for Welsey. Her stalker also wants to walk her down the aisle!

He too gets put away. He too is eventually let out, and attacks again. And there’s not much Welsey can do about it.

Sadly, this is a very bad case of life imitating art. There should be better ways to safeguard celebrities who are stalked, but I have no idea what they could be.

 


The big chill

CryogenicsSome Hollywood celebrities want future generations to enjoy them—and not just through their art.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian are among those who, according to some sources, are looking into freezing themselves for the future.

It’s called cryogenics: A body, or just a head, is frozen after death in waits for a method to bring them back to live some more. (This gets me wondering: In the future there will still be diseases we can’t cure, just different ones. So will they want to be frozen once more to be thawed out at a later date every time they contract something fatal?)

Rumor has it that Walt Disney put himself in the deep freeze, though it’s officially denied by his estate.

And now rumor is saying that Gwynnie, Kimmie and Kanye-ie are looking at the big chill.

An unnamed person who knows Paltrow says, “It’s no secret Gwyneth is obsessive about maintaining her looks and living a long life. She’s become increasingly fascinated by cryogenics as an eternal option for when she passes on…It’s not as crazy as it sounds.”

You could either conclude she and her colleagues are ahead of the curve or that they have way too much money. (Or both.)

But even “common people” do this sort of thing. A St. Louis, a woman had her head cryogenically frozen so that she could be brought back when the cure for her aggressive form of brain cancer. 

At least in that case, all sorts of moral and religious issues arose with her parents, who were against the idea. But I have a feeling this won’t be the case with our celebrity trio.

And future generations will be able to experience live performances of Kanye, or see as-yet-undreamed-of movies starring Gwyneth Paltrow, or…well, Kim doesn’t actually do anything, but at least luxury goods retailers will enjoy a pleasant little sales spike.

Because these people want to continue pleasuring the world with their presence.

Woo-hoo.

For what it’s worth, Welsey Shaw wouldn’t do something like this—at least, I don’t think. (Sometimes your characters surprise you.) She knows the secret of greatness is knowing when to take your bows.

 


Her name is Welsey…

Letters

It was way back in the 80s, but I still remember my mother announcing that Kristie Alley had replaced Shelley Long on Cheers. The only problem is her name wasn’t and isn’t Kristie Alley. Of course it’s Kirstie Alley.

Gwyneth Paltrow has an unusual name. Yet so many people seem to think it’s okay to refer to her as Gwen.  It’s not. Gwen is not the diminutive for Gwyneth. She’s Gwyneth, not Gwenyth.

Why am I talking about this? Because so many people seem to think my heroine is called Wesley Shaw.

Wesley.

It’s not proved to be a popular name. So many people have told me I should change it. Or they look at the title and say “Wesley Shaw”—which is another way to telling me I should change it.

I picked Welsey because as far as I know there is no one with that name. I’ve never seen evidence of a single person, male or female, named Welsey. It’s meant to be unique, like her. The problem is, lots of people immediately see “Wesley.”

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

General Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark

To be clear, there is already an actor Wesley—Wesley Snipes. And there’s Wesley Clark, a U.S. General.

But there’s no Wesley Shaw.

It’s Wel-sey.

I’d originally briefly considered naming her Lindsay Shaw, because I like that name so much.

But I was afraid people would think I was alluding to another troublesome actress with the same first name. I’m not. But I wanted to make sure there was no confusion.

Plus, imdb says there are a couple actresses already named Lindsay Shaw.

I guess it’s just not distinctive enough.

So it’s Welsey. Some editor or agent may ask me to change it. But I’m not going to. That’s for sure.

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The foot, the mouth and Gwyneth Paltrow

gp2She’s been in the news more than just about anyone else this past week, but probably for reasons she doesn’t like.

Gwyneth Paltrow, self-anointed guru of … practically anything … saw her GOOP website crash when she posted that she and rocker-husband Chris Martin are divorcing.

OOOPS! Sorry, they are “consciously uncoupling.” Don’t say the “D” word. (The uncoupling term comes from a lifestyle guru, one of many people the movie star follows in her quest to be the Perfect Person.)

But Gwynnie’s managed to get even more attention for something else she then said. Gwyneth believes that you have it easier if you’re raising kids than she does, because, well, being a famous movie star is tough. You plebeians just don’t appreciate it because you’re, well, plebeians:

“It’s much harder for me…you [working moms] can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

Really, even for her, wow.

There’s all sorts of theories why people dislike Gwyneth Paltrow, but I think the most obvious is that she has manufactured everything about her life, from leveraging her godfather connection with Steven Spielberg to get her first gig to threatening to destroy Vanity Fair, Louella Parsons-style, by telling everyone she knows never to speak to the magazine again for daring to write a story that her life was less than perfect. The exact contents of this article will never be known, but the fact that the divor—um, conscious uncoupling (Angelina to Brad: “Dammit, now what are we going to call our divorce?”) came just a few months later is surely no coincidence. (Paltrow admits she and Martin have been trying to patch things for “well over a year,” according to her site.) Vanity Fair later killed the piece they’d originally implied would be a bombshell, saying actually it wasn’t all that interesting after all. Yes, movie stars typically do everything in their power to squash an article that “isn’t very interesting.”

Sometimes I wonder if Paltrow actually uses her perch at her website as an act of sour aggression. She can’t be so dumb as not to realize that when she raves about $400 silk T-shirts and $10,000 room make-overs she’s rubbing our noses in it, all the while seemingly “surprised” if you’d think these are little more than small splurges. She must realize that ordinary people don’t have nannies and assistants, and don’t hire decorators to do their house. She has played some ordinary people in movies, after all.

Some critics call her tone-deaf. I think it goes a lot deeper than that. Gwyneth Paltrow, under the sunny exterior, has contempt for the plain, boring people who have made her rich and famous—something Welsey Shaw, for all her shortcomings, does not.

Her GOOPsite is a plethora of “look how superior I am to you”-ness. She famously condemned Americans for being shallow materialists—“…I was at a party and a girl looked at me and said, ‘Oh, my God! Are those Juicy jeans that you’re wearing?’ … I have to get back to Europe.”—and then opened a retail store in L.A. that extols exactly that kind of conspicuous consumption. There are people who genuinely want to share something that makes their lives better. And there are people who want to tell you about the great things they have knowing you probably can’t have them yourself. They will listen to you talk about how stressful just getting by can be, and then recommend a month of golf in Hawaii as the cure.

Gwyneth is that second kind. She enjoys diminishing you even as you line up to see her films or buy items from the product lines she hawks. Her perfection is pointless without an audience. After all, if a perfect tree fell perfectly in the perfect forest and there was no one to hear it, there’d be no sound.

No wonder Harvey Weinstein stopped letting her use the Miramax jet. She probably kept leaving gum under the seat.

She has stated that she only lets her children watch TV if it’s in French or Spanish. This might not be so hard to swallow if she practiced what she preached, but she continues to do American films and television, and cash hefty American paychecks for doing it.

In a way I feel sorry for her. She’s an empty vessel. There’s nothing there, no soul, just macrobiotic Kabala. And the narcissistic desire to be envied. Our attention—I was about to say approval, but she doesn’t care about approval, only attention—is what drives her.

Since she’s so into speaking French, I wonder if she knows the phrase faux pas.

Really, Gwynnie, perhaps you should let everyday people give advice to everyday people.

More about her latest one here:

 

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