Happy Birthday, Gwyneth: A Timeline
Written by: the Editors of goop
Published on: September 27, 2022
Did Gwyneth Paltrow always know that she had a professional rebrand in her future? Probably not. But in a way, goop came to her in her 30s as naturally as the urge to act did in her younger years. “I was always curious and asking questions, so why not make it official?” she says. “The idea of goop evolved and grew, and I along with it.” Here, a (not entirely comprehensive) timeline of GP’s five decades of forging her own path.
September 27, Gwyneth Paltrow is born in Los Angeles.
Eighteen-month-old Gwyneth watches her mom, Blythe Danner, play Nina in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. Family legend is that she knew then that she wanted to be up there someday.
Who was the first celebrity you met who wasn’t your mom?
I think it was Alan Alda, when I was a baby. And probably Michael Douglas and Lee Grant, too.
Meets lifelong BFF Mary Wigmore.
Meets lifelong pal Maya Rudolph.
Abby Kane and Anne Keane complete the LA girl crew.
The Danner-Paltrows move to New York City.
What are some of your memories of cooking with your family?
At our house in Westchester, cooking dinner together was a regular occurrence. My dad would catch fish in the lake to grill with vegetables from the veggie patch. Or we’d make roast chicken and a big chopped salad—simple, easy American dishes. Later on, when my dad and I both got really into cooking, we’d watch the Food Network—in its early days, when it was very instructional—and call each other to compare notes. He’d see a technique for dicing an onion or something and call me to share it.
Enters seventh grade at the Spence School. Meets lifelong friends Julia Cuddihy and Hilary Angle, and Mike Tiedemann, Tony Woods, and Tony Leness from the boys’ school.
What was your first professional audition?
I was 17 years old, sitting in a coffee shop on 91st and Madison having coffee after school. A scout came up to me and asked if I wanted to audition for a film about Sunny and Claus von Bülow. I didn’t tell my parents because they forbid me from acting, but the casting people put it together from the last name and called my mom’s agent. She was not thrilled. I got a callback but not the part.
Auditions for a pilot that her dad, Bruce Paltrow, is producing and gets the job “through nepotism.” The show does not get picked up.
Applies for January admission to UC Santa Barbara and goes back and forth between school and auditioning in Los Angeles.
Gets a part in Shout with John Travolta. Delivers one line, “Rebecca,” her character’s name.
When did you decide to leave school and act full-time?
It was thanks to my dad. I got a part in a play that was a part of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. My dad came backstage after dress rehearsal and told me to drop out of college and pursue this thing for real.
During what would have been her sophomore year, she is in Texas shooting Flesh and Bone.
“When I came home from Flesh and Bone, I got a job waiting tables at Enterprise Fish Co. off Main Street in Santa Monica. They’ve since closed, but it was a great spot for oysters back in the day.”
Cast as Lucy Trager in Moonlight and Valentino, which shoots in Toronto.
Leaves for Paris to shoot Jefferson in Paris. GP doesn’t know it yet, but the first seeds for goop are planted.
“Being in Paris got me into asking the crew and any cool people on set where to go, what to see, and where to eat. All my friends from home were graduating from college and came to stay with me and my brother in my Paris apartment. Even my dad came out, bringing my dog Holden with him. We would go to this incredible cookware store called E. Dehillerin for supplies to cook at home.”
GP gets the call to do Seven in Los Angeles. Lives in LA and NYC while dating Brad Pitt. The two follow each other on location based on what they are shooting and where.
“Corner Bistro in NYC was famous for their burgers—still is. I went there for vodka tonics and to Moomba on Seventh Avenue for the little dance floor—it was a fun little hot spot in the ’90s.”
Works on Emma in the English countryside.
“I was working 16-hour days six days a week, so there was no time to go out and explore. When I went back to the UK for Sliding Doors, I got to live in the city, I started cooking for myself more, and London just felt so alive and vibrant. It was the Brit-pop era, a fun time to be there and try out all the cool spots.”
Tell us about The Haircut.
Even though I was excited to do it for the movie, I wasn’t into having short hair. I hated growing it out and vowed never to cut it short again.
More goop groundwork is (unconsciously) laid on the set of The Talented Mr. Ripley, where GP fills dozens of notebooks with recommendations for great hotels, food, and shopping, dragging them around Positano and Ischia.
GP tries a macrobiotic diet and yoga: “It was a phase that I f*cked with for a little while.” It’s also the year she shoots Shakespeare in Love—which she’ll win the best actress Oscar for. Coincidence?
GP meets yoga teacher and friend Eddie Stern.
“When I got really into Ashtanga, I did it six days a week for seven or eight years. After I had my kids, it was hard to get back to such intense practice, but the fundamentals of what I learned from yoga always stayed with me.”
Fast-forward to her run doing David Auburn’s play Proof in London.
“I got a tiny apartment in Belgravia and learned to drive a Vespa on the left side of the road. All my reconnaissance missions between stores and galleries were done on the Vespa to beat the traffic.”
Bruce Paltrow passes away on October 3.
GP meets Chris Martin three weeks later.
Moves to London for the next 10 years.
How has your music taste changed over the years?
I’ve always been into alternative music. So in the ’80s, when everyone was listening to Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, I was listening to New Order and the Psychedelic Furs. In the ’90s, when I was spending more time in NYC, I was really into Radiohead (Kid A came out around then) and this French band, Air.
GP takes on Pepper Potts.
“Moses was five months old, and I needed help getting myself ready to shoot Iron Man. Tracy Anderson taught me that dancing is somatic movement, that to dance is to express yourself and let things go. It’s become such an integral part of my mental and physical health upkeep.”
How is your exploration of the relationship between food and well-being going at this point?
Moses’s pediatrician recommended no gluten or dairy for his eczema when he was two. I didn’t know where to begin making him anything that met his needs and also tasted good. This is when I really started to understand how food is tied into how we feel.
The first goop newsletter is deployed from GP’s London kitchen in September. It includes two recipes, accompanied by photos shot on her Blackberry.
“I had tons of moments of doubt, but I’ve so far never been a person who backed away from something because someone else didn’t like it. I remember receiving early criticism that I was stepping out of my box as an actor. It caught me off guard, but that’s when my punk-rock side kicked in and I pushed through. When you’re doing something that you genuinely believe to be beneficial or delightful to people, you just focus on that and keep going.”
What’s something memorable you wrote about in the beginning?
At goop we try to eliminate stigmas and shame from women’s lives. The postpartum depression piece was one of the first times I put myself on the line in the name of our mission. We wanted to break open a conversation women felt ashamed of having. I couldn’t believe how many women were going through it or had gone through it.
GP meets Brad Falchuk while guest-starring on Glee.
My Father’s Daughter comes out.
“The first cookbook was a catharsis for me—I got to connect to my dad in this visceral way in the kitchen. Writing about him became part of my grieving process because food was our love language.”
Gwyneth and family move to Los Angeles.
It’s All Good comes out.
“The second cookbook was a way for me to answer my own questions. I was dealing with gut-health stuff and went to Dr. Habib Sadeghi to get my blood work done and learned how functional medicine answers digestive health questions. I make stuff from the first two cookbooks the most, but now, being paleo, The Clean Plate gets brought out more…unless I go to Italy or Spain—then all bets are off.”
Conscious uncoupling—the subject line of the newsletter announcing Gwyneth and Chris’s split—is deployed into the world.
The goop board appoints GP goop’s CEO and the first goop clean beauty line is born (read more about GP’s beauty and wellness journey here).
“I thought I was buying clean products until Blair Lawson came on the goop team and really educated me about it. It was hard to find a brand I resonated with, which is why I made my own. Our first product launch filled a white space for skin care that was truly clean, efficacious, and results-driven.”
In 2016 you launched G. Label. What’s the story?
I remember shopping at a big department store and thinking that charging $6,000 for a blazer was astronomical. Where is the designer-caliber clothing line that’s not $6,000? Then I asked myself, What would Katharine Hepburn wear if she were alive right now? Classic, timeless pieces that are feminine, grown-up, but not too serious—which is what we did with G. Label.
In March, GP interviews Oprah (Oprah!) for the first episode of The goop Podcast.
In September, Brad and GP tie the knot.
“Brad was the person who taught me to face my intimacy issues. I have historically picked partners who were intimacy-averse, and when I met Brad, I realized I have a problem with intimacy myself. He helped open that up and sat with me while I worked on it. He made it possible for me to understand what a truly intimate relationship looks like.”
The long- (loooooong-) awaited goop Beauty lip balm is ready.
“I started thinking about doing a lip balm on day one, but it took years to get it to where I wanted it.”
Netflix and goop collaborate on a show called The goop Lab, followed by Sex, Love & goop in 2021.
“We had this idea to do a wellness show that was an anthology, cramming as much useful info as possible into each episode.”
GP turns 50.
To celebrate, a golden photo shoot.
“There’s a beautiful evolution that happens when you start to age and recalibrate. I believe in longevity: feeling and looking how you want to as you age. I can only speak for myself, but I am much smarter and cooler now than I was when I was younger.”