12/04/2006 at 01:00 PM EST
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."
Paltrow, who lives part-time in London with her British husband,
Coldplay singer Chris Martin, and their two children, Apple, 2, and
Moses, 7 months, says: "I live in England half the time because I'm
married to an English guy. It's not like I've left America."
As for where the quotes came from, Paltrow says she did not give an
interview to the Portuguese daily newspaper, though she did give a press
conference – in Spanish – for an endorsement she did in Spain.
"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!"