Mark Hull - Richard
was one of the most famous
actresses of the 1990s.
has starred in many films
and millions of
have seen her on the screen.
was born in Los Angeles in 1973. She
grew up in a family closely
involved with the entertainment business. Her father is a producer
and her mother is an actress. At the age of 11 she moved to New
York, and was educated at Spence, New York's most expensive school
for girls. Gwyneth did not always want to be an actress and for a
time she studied History of Art at the University of California.
Gwyneth soon decided that college life was not for her, and began
to pursue a career in acting. 'Growing up, I loved Grace Kelly,'
She had so much
poise, she was so stylish, she was a
lady. And I loved Vanessa Redgrave and Julia Roberts. Julia's
performance in Pretty Woman was inspirational. Seeing a
woman behaving with such
abandonment, in such a natural way, it
was liberating. Her performance really made me want to be an
In 1991 she began her film career in Shout, a film with
John Travolta. Later, she played the young Wendy in Steven
Speilberg's Hook. There is a story that the Paltrow family
were standing in
a cinema queue one night, with a family friend,
Steven Speilberg, and that he casually asked if the 16 year old
Gwyneth would like a part in Hook.
In 1995 she starred with Brad Pitt in Seven. Gwyneth and
Brad fell in love and their romance became news. Everyone wanted
to know more about the beautiful couple. Brad and Gwyneth got
engaged and were going to get married. However, the relationship
did not last. When Brad and Gwyneth separated
the media wanted to
know all the details. This was very
hard for Gwyneth and she was
unhappy with the attention from the Press.
Although Hollywood was
courting her, Gwyneth was keeping her
distance. She wanted to choose her roles and star in interesting
films – she
turned down the leading part in The Avengers
and in Titanic. She also chose to live in Greenwich
Village, New York, rather than near Hollywood, on the West coast.
'Los Angeles just feels
shallow to me,' she says. 'It's all show
In 1996, Gwyneth started working on the first of three British
films. Her first leading role was in the film, Emma, based
on a book by Jane Austen. She was
cast in preference to many other
British actresses by the producer, Harvey Weinstein. In 1998 she
starred with John Hannah and John Lynch in Sliding Doors,
which was one of the most successful films of that year. And then
in 1999 her role in Shakespeare in Love has made her even
more famous, and won her an Oscar award for the best actress.
'Harvey Weinstein is basically
turning into a
British actress,' says Gwyneth.
For the last three years, Gwyneth has spent 4 months each year
shooting movies in Britain. 'I have spent quite a bit of time in
England,' she says. ' I like it. I get it – the way to live, the
sense of humour. I didn't when I first came. I thought, 'I'm an
American and we speak the same language, it'll be the same'. But
it's not. You have just got
Many people think that Gwyneth now speaks English better than any
American actor before her. She is good at listening and
languages quickly – she is fluent in French and Spanish and is
learning Italian. For Jim Carter, who acted in Shakespeare in
Love, Gwyneth's accent is
enchanting: 'I like her English
accent more than her real one - when she speaks English she sounds
like a princess,' he says.
After the success of Shakespeare in Love, Gwyneth's future
as one of Hollywood's brightest stars seems certain. Gwyneth sees
the reason for her success and fame modestly: 'The parts I've
chosen just seemed like the right ones to do at the time; there's
not been any game plan. I don't worry about what I'm going to do
The film industry reinvents Shakespeare
Although Shakespeare in Love has been a hit in both America and
Britain, the film nearly didn’t happen. Back in 1993, Julia
pulled out of
the lead part after Daniel Day Lewis refused a role. The producer even
tried to drop the word Shakespeare from the title of the movie.
‘Everybody thinks watching something Shakespeare-related is like
going to the dentist’, he said.
So, why have so many people enjoyed the film?
Shakespeare, played by Joseph Fiennes, is suffering from
writers' block, but
regains his writing powers when he meets
Viola, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Their romance becomes the
inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. At the end of the film,
Viola provides Shakespeare with inspiration once more and he goes
on to write Twelfth Night with Viola in the main role.
film is set in Elizabethan London and the combination of
historical interest, beautiful costumes and romance has made it a
hit with a wide range of audiences. However, Shakespeare in Love is not based on historical facts.
Very little is known about Shakespeare's life, which adds to many
people's fascination with the writer. As Ian Rowley of the Royal
Shakespeare Company says, 'Who was he? Was he a woman? Did he
actually write the plays? Are there five more hidden away in the
Although the film is not based on historical fact, many of the
characters in the play did exist. The British actor Dame Judi
Dench plays a mature Queen Elizabeth, and Shakespeare's
contemporary, Philip Marlowe, did in fact die in a
in London. Lord Wessex, played by Colin Firth, is the only
character in the film who existed neither in real life nor in
Many Shakespeare enthusiasts
say that the film
people to read more of Shakespeare's plays and poetry.
One thing is
Shakespeare's popularity is set to continue into the next century!
Source: English Digest
has taken the lead part
became an adult
involved with: participating in (involucrada
en, relacionada con)
to pursue: to try to achieve something (a tratar de
poise: balance (equilibrio)
abandonment: with little self-control (poco
a cinema queue (UK):
a movie theater line (US) (la cola
the media: press, radio and TV (los medios)
hard: difficult (difícil, duro)
turned down: refused (rechazó, no aceptó)
not deep or intelligent (hueco, vacío)
cast in preference:
pre-selected, chosen (pre-seleccionada)
the reason I'm turning into:
the reason I'm becoming (el
motivo por el cual me estoy transformando en)
making films (filmando)
to adapt: to change or accomodate (que adaptarte)
picks up: learns (aprende)
charming, fascinating (encantador)
writer's mental inability
intelectual de los escritores)
regains: recovers (recupera)
open space at the top of a house (ático, desván)
drunken brawl: alcoholic dispute (pelea de
encouraged: stimulated (estimuló
certain: sure (segura,
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