Gwyneth Paltrow almost missed out on this iconic role because of her split from Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow
(Image credit: Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow)

Wait, WHAT?

Gwyneth Paltrow is one of the most talked about women in the world, and from her lifestyle brand Goop to her marriage to Brad Falchuk, she never fails to make news.

Recently, it was her previous relationship with Brad Pitt that everyone was talking about, with Gwyneth admitting that her split from the Fight Club actor had almost prevented her from taking one of her most iconic roles, Viola from Shakespeare In Love.

On Shakespeare In Love’s 20th anniversary, Gwyneth explained that she wasn’t supposed to star in the film at all, with a different A-list actress given the role.

"The movie had many iterations," Gwyneth recalled in an interview with Variety. "Julia Roberts was going to do it for a long time, and then that version fell apart. It ended up in Miramax, and I was the first person they offered it to."

Despite being offered the role however, Gwyneth went on to explain that the timing wasn’t right, with the actress mid break up from Brad, reportedly turning the opportunity down at first.

"I was in the middle of a terrible breakup and the idea of going to England and being far from home just seemed … I didn't even read it," she explained. "I was just like, 'I can't read anything right now. I'm having a really hard time.'"

We don’t know who convinced Gwyneth to reconsider but seeing as she won herself an Oscar for the role, we doubt she regrets her decision.

“It just changed my life,” Paltrow explained of the impact of the 1998 film. “I don’t think it ever went back to normal.

“I think you cross into some hemisphere of being recognized. It happens in steps and stages, but that was like, ‘OK, you’re categorically not this anymore. You’re in this realm!'"

Paltrow also went on to explain that it prompted a whole career rethink.

"I’m a very results-driven person, and I had quantifiable feedback,” Paltrow explained. “Well, what do I do now? It was the beginning of my questioning my overall career choices. It started a whole series of thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

It just goes to show, never turn down an amazing opportunity because of a break up.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.