Gwyneth Paltrow graced last month’s cover of Vogue magazine and I just got around to reading it. Minus the fame and multimillion-dollar paycheck, here is a snippet about work-life balance we can all relate to:
If Gwyneth’s life sounds like it runs like clockwork, the last two years, since Moses’ birth, have not been easy. “You know, I had postnatal depression after Moses. I didn’t know I had it until after it was over,” she says. “I just didn’t know what was wrong with me.” When I ask her how she felt during that time, she says, “I felt really out of my body. I felt really disconnected. I felt really down; I felt pessimistic.” Part of the cause, she believes, was that she had immersed herself so deeply in motherhood that she had stopped doing anything for herself. Pre-baby indulgences such as acupuncture and massage were dropped. “It was not helpful. I do think it is important for mothers to take some time for themselves.” (However, even now, despite the fact that her job requires an extremely beautiful body, Gwyneth will work out only while her children are either at school or napping; “otherwise, I would feel like this is really indulgent.”)
As Gwyneth tucks into a dumpling, she recalls that her desire to act again resurfaced “when Moses was about six months old. The fire came back to work. I was starting to feel that as an artist I was missing something.” When actor/director Jon Favreau asked her to play the supporting role of Virginia “Pepper” Potts opposite Robert Downey, Jr., in Iron Man, it seemed like an ideal way to step back into a career that is almost incompatible with motherhood. “When I had Apple, I just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her. When I work, I leave the house before the kids are awake. And I come home and they’re asleep. So that’s why, ever since having them, I’ve never played a lead in a movie…but when Jon called me about Iron Man, I thought, This is the kind of cast I dream of working with, and I could go back to work and not work five days a week. It was the perfect, perfect job for me.”
Paltrow, BTW, did not have a nanny for the first year and a half of Apple’s life. Instead, they toured with her husband Chris Martin (Coldplay), waking up in a different city every day. Sounds nightmarish, but Paltrow insists she does not regret it.
As for the movie, I have not seen Iron Man. But, I recently saw the Incredible Hulk starring that other leading momma Liv Tyler. (Worth it!) It was probably too violent for a small child like Ari, who picked the movie. But at least for me, the violence of an imaginary green monster throwing cars does not offend me as much as a realistic battle scene in Gladiator, which I would never let Ari see.
Still, despite picking Hulk, Ari was disappointed and bored throughout the movie. (Too much plot for a four-year-old.) But he would sit up in his seat every time Bruce, played by actor Edward Norton, would turn into the Hulk.
What movies have you seen this summer?