Articulate, erudite, and endowed with a quick-witted sense of humour, Paltrow puts those around her at ease.
It's a common view that love and fame don't go together, but obviously the eight-year Paltrow-Martin union has proven otherwise.
"Yes, in a lot of cases that's true, or it seems true. In my case, I think because I was raised by people who were very focused on the family and the importance of family, I saw firsthand that that's where you get real richness in life. Success is great, but it's an illusion. Real life is when your kid is at the table and making a joke about their butt, and you're laughing. That's the best thing about life, that human interaction and connection. So, I think luckily, because of my parents, my priorities are in the right place, and that's how you sustain relationships." She pauses. "You yield good stuff from putting in the hard work."
Endowed with a strong work ethic, Paltrow is artist ambassador of the Save the Children foundation and raises awareness about World Pneumonia Day. She's also on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation that serves to alleviate poverty in New York City.
It seems that Paltrow doesn't do things in half measures. Even her performance on the hit tv show Glee garnered an Emmy award for Outstanding guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Holly Holiday.
"I loved it," she gushes. "It was so much fun. It was a lot of work. I landed in Los Angeles, I went straight to the recording studio, I recorded the songs and I went to learn the choreography. We had an hour to do it." She also performed a Stevie Nicks hit, Landslide. "I was so nervous that day because Stevie was there," she laughs. "I was a bit starstruck." Paltrow is the epitome of class. The face of American high-end fashion brand, Coach, as well as Estee Lauder fragrance, Pleasures, and has also teamed up with Luxe watchmaker, Baume & Mercier.
Needless to say, looking and feeling her best is essential to all aspects of her work. She credits trainer-to-the-stars, Tracy Anderson, with keeping her body in optimum shape.
"I am very committed to my Tracy Anderson Method. I do it five days a week. I drop the kids at school, come home and then I exercise for an hour and a half or an hour or fifteen minutes. There is no fairy dust, there is no trick. You do it and it works," she says, matter-of-factly.
As far as her eating habits are concerned, she says, "I feel like you can't always be on a diet because you have to enjoy your life, otherwise it would be so profoundly boring. But nothing comes for free. I can't eat whatever I want and not exercise and look like this," she says, candidly. "I have to be realistic. If I have something coming up I'll go on a major detox and diet. I also step it up and hit the exercise hard. But life isn't worth living if you can't eat cheese and drink wine. I like to eat my kid's pasta, have some of their ice cream and then go out to dinner and eat some of my own dinner. And then do the extra cardio in the morning because you have to," she says. "But I'm lucky. I have two fantastically delightful children and a very nice husband," she says. "I have a wonderful, blessed life."
Although she's never had to endure pain in real life as a parent, in her movie last year, Country Strong, she played a mother dealing with loss. "Once you have a kid, if somebody tells you about someone losing a child, of course, it's every parent's worst fear. You never want to think of a child suffering."
Clearly, Paltrow's a hands-on mother and her kids are in good stead with their parents. How does she think she'll deal with their teenage years?
"Well, my kids are really good people. They've just come out like that and all I know is that I just don't want to mess them up along the way," she smiles. "I think that if you can get your kids to believe in themselves, that's a big one. I'll always be there for them if they want my advice. I think when you grow up feeling loved you have a big advantage."