Gwyneth Paltrow almost snubbed her Oscar-winning role in Shakespeare in Love because she was so distraught over her 1997 split from former fiance Brad Pitt.
The Iron Man star won critical acclaim and 1999’s Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in the romantic drama, but she nearly missed out on the professional milestone as she feared she was too heartbroken to jet off to the U.K. to start work on a new project.
“The movie had many iterations. Julia Roberts was going to do it for a long time, and then that version fell apart,” she recalled to Variety. “It ended up in Miramax (Harvey Weinstein’s former production firm), and I was the first person they offered it to.”
“I was in the middle of a terrible breakup (with Pitt) and the idea of going to England and being far from home just seemed (unconscionable)…,” she continued. “I didn’t even read it. I was just like, ‘I can’t read anything right now. I’m having a really hard time.'”
However, when she eventually decided to crack open the script, Gwyneth “just couldn’t put it down”.
“It was perfect,” she gushed.
Elsewhere in the candid interview, Paltrow touched on her dealings with “bully” Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women to date following a series of exposes in October, 2017.
She famously thanked the now-disgraced producer in her tearful Oscars acceptance speech back in 1999, but she is adamant his involvement in the film doesn’t taint its legacy.
“It’s a beautiful film,” Paltrow stated. “A movie is not going to be successful if it’s not a good movie, not like that.”
Her remarks emerge more than a year after Gwyneth went public with an uncomfortable incident she endured with Weinstein, who allegedly made a pass at her, even though she was dating Pitt at the time. She told the actor all about the alleged harassment, prompting Pitt to confront Weinstein about his purported actions and order the filmmaker to stay away.