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December 05, 2006

Gwyneth Paltrow Recants: "I'm proud to be an American, if that's what it takes to keep the rubes coming to my awful movies"

Claims she was misquote, which has the thinnest veneer of plausiblity as her words were translated by her into Spanish and by the reporter into his native Portuguese. Although, you know, Portuguese is practically Spanish anyway.

Gwyneth Paltrow is "deeply upset" over stories claiming she made anti-American remarks, and tells PEOPLE exclusively that she never said anything against her native country.

"First of all I feel so lucky to be American. When you look at the rest of the world, we're so lucky, and that's something my dad always instilled in me," Paltrow tells PEOPLE. "I feel so proud to be American."

The actress has recently been criticized after she was quoted as telling the Portuguese newspaper Diario De Noticias, "The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans."

"I felt so upset to be completely misconstrued and I never, ever would have said that," says the 34-year-old Oscar winner. "I definitely did not say that I think the British are more intelligent and civilized than Americans. I am a New York girl, that's how I always think of myself and see myself."

I don't know if I like that "New York girl" thing. I remember post-9/11 PSA's that featured a lot of people saying "I'm an American." (It was largely to deflate any "anti-Muslim backlash," as many Muslims were featured declaring their American-ness.) But Frannie Liebowitz (or whatever her name is; I may be mixing up the name with the photographer's) instead chose declare, "I'm a New Yorker."

There was something about that that grated -- the ultimate expression of loyalty not to America as a whole but to one Blue State bastion.


"This is what I said. I said that Europe is a much older culture and there's a difference. I always say in America, people live to work and in Europe, people work to live. There are positives in both," says the actress, adding, "Obviously I need to go back to seventh-grade Spanish!"

That's kind of true, and it does seem to me that Europeans live better than we do in many ways. But I can't see how that aphorism could possibly have been mistranslated into "English men are more civilized and intelligent than American men."

Why the sudden declaration of patriotism? Because her comments weren't well received by the American ticket-buyers.

She says dinner party chat here is far more interesting, intelligent and civilised than back at home.

It's a declaration that has gone down rather badly in America. The 34-year-old Oscar winner, who has lived in London since marrying Coldplay frontman Chris Martin three years ago, said: 'I love the English lifestyle, it's not as capitalistic as America.

'People dont talk about workand money, they talk about interesting things at dinner.

'I like living here because I don't fit into the bad side of American psychology. The British are much more intelligent and civilised than the Americans.'

Last night, as her comments were reported in her homeland, Americans called chat shows and radio phone-ins to express their disgust at her 'betrayal'.


A British expatriate rang in to one programme to say: 'Quite frankly, shes only stating the obvious, as anyone who has spent a long time in the United States can testify.'

Another quote had her saying that Americans only talk about money, whereas the British talk about... oh, I don't know, more interesting things. I don't think that's true -- Jullian Fellowes, who wrote Gosford Park and knows all about the upper-crust society Gwyneth is so fond of chatting with, says the British rich talk about almost nothing but money. Even other subjects -- like where you went to school, or where you vacation -- are just proxies for ferreting out exactly how much money you have.

Maybe she just thinks that because people in Hollywood, being very driven, entwork-y, and business-oriented, talk a lot of shop and deals in social situations, whereas in Britain she's now hanging out with the art goon set.

At any rate, she's not an especially good actress, and I'd announce I'm boycotting her movies if I had already been boycotting them by default since... well, forever, actually.

On Hannity & Colmes last night, Greg Gutfeld was arguing with Rachel Sklar, another Huffington Post blogger. Sklar was claiming Paltrow had been misinterpreted. Gutfeld pointed out that Sklar and everyone else at the Huffington Post (except him) writes the exact same sort of things Paltrow said all the time. So the suggestion that Paltrow couldn't have said such an awful thing rings a little hollow.

I've always looked down on those people -- and there are many -- who become so instantly enamored of Europe and Europeaness, often after a semester abroad or the like. Just being in Europe seems to change their outlooks so much that I sort of wonder about how mature they were, or how complete their personality was, when they went. It's understandable enough for a college-age person to be so smitten by Europe -- they are, after all, young and easily impressionable -- but Paltrow is not college age by a longshot.

In fact, as they say in Hollywood, there are only three roles for a female actress: Babe, DA, and Driving Miss Daisy. She never was in the Babe category and her age puts her out of the running anyhow, she'd be even less plausible as a DA than Katie Holmes was in Batman, which means... well, hopefully we won't see too much more of her for another thirty years.

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posted by Ace at 10:57 AM

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