Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.
[On her father's (Bruce Paltrow's) struggle with throat cancer]: It changed me more than anything else. You don’t want to get to that place where you’re the adult and you’re palpably in the next generation. And, this shoved me into that.
[On her 1997 break up with Brad Pitt]: It really changed my life. When we split up, something changed, permanently, in me. My heart sort of broke that day, and it will never be the same.
I try to remember, as I hear about friends getting engaged, that it’s not about the ring and it’s not about the wedding. It’s a grave thing, getting married. And it’s easy to get swept up in the wrong things.
I find “Sex and the City” (1998) irreverent and shocking. It’s one step beyond how girls really talk. I would do a cameo on that show in a flash.
I realised life is so short and precious, you should do things that make you feel inspired, that push you and teach you something. I’d rather not have a big house, a huge closet of clothes, diamonds and a private plane, and instead a body of work that I’m proud of.
I’m glad that some day my children will be able to see my father and hear his voice, get a sense of who he was. One of the things that disturbs me the most about the fact that he’s dead, is that I feel like a statistic. I sort of feel like one of those people who was unfortunate and lost their father when they were 30, and life goes on. But he was so unique and so incredible, I don’t like to think about it in those terms.
I worked so much in my 20s and I really burnt the candle at both ends. I wasn’t too picky about what I did and I was lucky that I did some really good films, but I also did some really rubbish films, I think part of the downside about being so successful and winning the Oscar at the age of 26 is that I sort of became insouciant about the things that I chose. I thought, “Oh, I’ll just try this, it’ll be fun or I’ll do that for the money”. Things like that now I would absolutely never do.
The simpler things are, the happier they are.
The work gets more difficult as you get older. You learn more and you gather more experiences, there is deeper pain and higher highs.
There are certain women in this business who have children and I just think, “You must never, never see them!” You can’t do movies back to back and see your child if they go to school.
Our marriage is between us. If we decide to continue being together or not, it’s our business.
[on being pregnant while filming Proof (2005)] It was very, very difficult. I was trying not to barf. I felt terrible.
Even actresses that you really admire, like Reese Witherspoon, you think, another romantic comedy? You know. You see her in something like Walk the Line (2005) and think, “God, you’re so great!” And then you think, “Why is she doing these stupid romantic comedies?” But of course, it’s for money and status. I just think, “Wouldn’t it be great if all of those movies people went to see were about real women?”
I love the English way, which is not as capitalistic as it is in America. People don’t talk about work and money. They talk about interesting things at dinner parties. I like living here because I don’t tap into the bad side of American psychology, which is “I’m not achieving enough, I’m not making enough, I’m not at the top of the pile!”
I’m very happy here [in London] and I really like the way the film industry works, everybody cares. I like that it doesn’t have this big capitalistic feeling. When you do something in L.A. you really feel the crew are punching the clock.
I sort of look at some peers of mine and I think, “No, you’ve got it all wrong!” I just want to tell them all to have babies and be happy and not get sucked into that Hollywood thing.
I find the English amazing how they got over 7/7. There were no multiple memorials with people sobbing as they would have been in America. There, they are constantly scaring people but at the same time, people think nothing of going to see a therapist.
Brits are far more intelligent and civilised than Americans. I love the fact that you can hail a taxi and just pick up your pram and put in the back of the cab without having to collapse it. I love the parks and places I go for dinner and my friends. It’s a pretty city, you know.
British people don’t seem to ask each other out on dates. If someone asked you out they’re really going out on a limb, whereas in America it happens all the time. Someone will come up to you and ask you for dinner and you’ll say, “Sure!” It’s no big deal and no weight should be attached to it. It’s only dinner, for God’s sake. Yet in Britain, mostly what happens seems to be that people meet at work. If there’s a little something there, then they hang out together and, all of a sudden, they’re boyfriend and girlfriend.
It would be a lot easier on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston now had they not talked to the press about each other and everything to begin with. I learned my lesson at 24.
[on daughter Apple's accent] She says “Mummy” instead of “Mommy”, I don’t mind that. I will if she starts saying “basil” and “pasta” the English way, as that really drives me nuts.
[on the paparazzi] If I have my daughter in the car and they are making me nervous, I’ll do whatever I have to do. I keep a whole log. I take pictures of their cars, write down license plate numbers, everything. If they do it again, I can go to the police. I know my rights and, believe me, I will have them arrested. I will stop at nothing.
[in Style magazine, 9/06, on Madonna] She has evolved with so much wisdom and grace that I would say my favorite Madonna is today’s Madonna. She’s a beautiful product of all her explorations and incarnations.