In Cannes to promote Two Lovers, in which she costars with Joaquin Phoenix, the Shakespeare in Love Oscar winner, 35, expanded upon a comment made by Jodie Foster, who noted that Hollywood has a short memory.
"I really did not know if there would be a place for me," said Paltrow. "Jodie Foster was right, especially if you are a woman and especially if you are not 25. Hollywood is pretty cutthroat, and everybody has a short memory. There is always someone who is younger or hotter or prettier."
In terms of her own career, "I was very realistic of that fact there would not be room for me," said Paltrow. "I definitely knew I had lost my place."
She considers Two Lovers, a romantic drama set in Brooklyn, a shot in the vocational arm.
"It has given me a lifeline, because I had taken a long time off work," said Paltrow. "Going from being a mother at home for a long time, which was the greatest time in my life, but also feel like an artist again ... that was a gift for me."