Academy Award-winning actress and entrepreneur, Gwyneth Paltrow has carved out a distinct position within the film industry for herself, delighting the audience with a variety of diverse roles and characters that she has always played with grit and depth.
Having debuted in 1989 on television, she garnered audience attention after playing the titular character in the 1996 film Emma. 1998 was a breakthrough year for her as she starred in five great films and won an Oscar for her role in Shakespeare in Love.
It’s fair to say that Gwyneth Paltrow has been unstoppable ever since, even starting a profitable empire and becoming a business tycoon with a penchant for food blogging.
Paltrow was recently seen in the 2021 series Sex, Love & Goop which explored relationships, sex and intimacy. Despite being a prolific actress, Paltrow has been a part of a film she absolutely hates and is ashamed of.
Starring Jack Black and Paltrow, the 2001 film Shallow Hal was directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly. Black starred as Hal, an extremely shallow and insensitive man, inclined to date only attractive women. After being hypnotised, he falls in love with an obese woman named Rosemary who, he assumes, is extremely attractive under the spell.
Paltrow had to wear a fat suit for the film which made her realise how offensive the character was and the kind of message it portrayed about beauty standards and self-confidence.
The film has nothing positive to contribute to the never-ending fat jokes, stirring in fatphobia and doing nothing to combat it. It might be seen as a potentially damaging flick for people who already have enough insecurities about the ‘perfect’ body image.
She recalled the same by saying, “The first day I tried the fat suit on, I was in the Tribeca Grand and I walked through the lobby. It was so sad. It was so disturbing. No one would make eye contact with me because I was obese.”
Calling it her least favourite role, Paltrow described the experience to be a “disaster” and said that she “felt humiliated because people were really dismissive” towards the feelings of “women that are overweight.”
The Shallow Hal is streaming on Netflix UK.