Gwyneth Paltrow says she was so heartbroken over her 1997 split from Brad Pitt that she initially passed on ‘Shakespeare In Love’ – the film that led to her Oscar for Best Actress.
Gwyneth Paltrow, 46, has revealed that she was so devastated by her split from Brad Pitt in 1997 that she almost missed out on her Oscar-winning role in Shakespeare In Love. The actress, who walked away with the Academy Award in 1999, initially passed on playing Viola De Lesseps in the hit film because she was still recovering from the end of their relationship. Gwyneth made the stunning revelation in a Feb. 19 interview with Variety. The mom-of-two was engaged to the now 55-year-old actor in the mid-1990s before they called it quits.
Reflecting on the film, she told Variety, “Julia Roberts was going to do it for a long time, and then that version fell apart. It ended up in [the production company] Miramax, and I was the first person they offered it to.” But, Gwyneth said she initially passed on the role because she was “in the middle of a terrible breakup and the idea of going to England and being far from home just seemed …” Gwyneth never finished her sentence but she added, “I didn’t even read it. I was just like, ‘I can’t read anything right now. I’m having a really hard time.’”
Thankfully Gwyneth changed her mind after British actress Kate Winslet turned the role down too. She finally read the script, saying, “I just couldn’t put it down. It was perfect.” The rest is Academy Award history. In 1999 she won the Best Actress Oscar and cried her way through her acceptance speech.
Gwyneth’s Variety interview is not the first time she has spoken about her split from Brad who went on to marry and divorce Jennifer Aniston and is currently finalizing his split from second wife Angelina Jolie. During a January 2015 Sirius XM radio interview with Howard Stern, Gwyneth said she was “such a kid” when they dated. “I was 22 when we met,” she added, according to Vanity Fair. “It’s taken me until 40 to get my head out of my a**. You can’t make that decision when you’re 22-years-old… I wasn’t ready, and he was too good for me… I didn’t know what I was doing.”
It seems that Gwyneth wasn’t the only person who was upset by her split from Brad. Her late father – TV director Bruce Paltrow – was “devastated” by the breakup, she claimed. She said, “My father loved him like a son.”