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Gwyneth Paltrow slides door on films to focus on Goop

U.S. actress Gwyneth Paltrow talks during an ‘In Conversation’ session at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on December 6th, 2023, as part of the 3rd edition of Red Sea Film Festival. Photo by Balkis Press/ABACAPRESS.COM Balkis Press/ABACA
During an 'in conversation' session, Gwyneth Paltrow said she was excited to visit Saudi for the first time
  • Actress speaks at Red Sea festival
  • Says wellness business takes priority
  • Hollywood stars flock to Jeddah

Gwyneth Paltrow has all but closed the door on her acting career, giving her more time to focus on her wellness brand Goop and to explore new countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Oscar winner told an audience at the Red Sea International Film Festival. 

“For the foreseeable future I’m at Goop. I have a lot of work to do there, a lot of growth to achieve. But again I have no idea what my next chapter is going to bring. I’m so open, I have no fixed ideas. So, I’m very open to what the universe might bring me, and I’ve no idea what that might be,” she told a film industry gathering on December 6. 

Paltrow, Johnny Depp and Will Smith were among the Hollywood stars who visited the festival in Jeddah this month, as Saudi Arabia promotes social and economic reforms that have helped it develop a film-making industry within only a few years. 

“I’ve never been to Saudi before so this is an exciting trip for me, but I haven’t seen too much of the city [Jeddah] yet,” Paltrow said. She said it would “definitely not” be her last trip to the country.

She did not address reports that the Saudi government had paid exorbitant sums to bring international stars to the event. 

The California-born actress became famous for films such as Seven and Sliding Doors, and won an Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love. She has not made a film since 2020 and when asked in Jeddah if she would be returning to acting any time soon, she paused for several seconds before answering. 

“I never say never. I’m just right now really happy and busy doing what I’m doing but again you never know what the future will hold. If I wasn’t running Goop and one of my best friends said, ‘Please come and do this,’ or something, maybe I would consider it.” 

Goop, which Paltrow started in 2008 as a weekly newsletter, has now expanded into a web-based wellness and lifestyle conglomerate. It sells products, hosts events and has been the subject of a Netflix docuseries – as well as legal action in the US over health claims (the company settled).

In 2018, after a Series C funding round, Goop was valued at $250 million.

Superhero surprise

Younger viewers in particular now know Paltrow best for her role in the Avengers movies. She starred alongside Robert Downey Jr in the film that began the superhero series – Iron Man, directed by Jon Favreau.

Before its release in 2008, few thought it would be the launchpad for a multi-billion-dollar film and TV franchise. “Robert Downey was unhirable at the time, his career was at a very low point, and then I remember they called me one day and I said, ‘I’m not going to do a superhero movie’.” 

But the film surprised her. “We had such a good time, we improvised almost every scene of that movie, we would write it in the morning in Jon’s trailer. It was like what you would do in an independent film.

“Then the movie was such a huge hit that we didn’t make them like that any more.” 

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