Paltrow stars as an overweight woman in Shallow Hal, but she accepts the role only after learning it is not mean-spirited. The actress also talks about her body issues, telling PEOPLE, "I've always been a slim person, but I've had issues with my body. Through most of junior high I felt very awkward. I was small for my age and very skinny." She also says she has been on a strict macrobiotic diet, eating raw foods and avoiding caffeine and sugars.
Backstage at a Coldplay concert in New York City, Paltrow jots down her phone number for Chris Martin, the band's lead singer. Two months later, though still officially just friends, Martin dedicates a song to Paltrow during a London concert.
Just five days after Paltrow celebrates her 30th birthday in Italy, her father, Bruce, dies suddenly in his sleep. Since her early days in the spotlight, Paltrow was outspoken about her deep bond with her father. She tells London's Daily Telegraph, "I cannot fathom living the rest of my life without my father, but I have to."
Apple Blythe Alison Martin is born in London. Paltrow tells Oprah Winfrey, "When we were first pregnant, her daddy said, 'If it's a girl, I think her name should be Apple. Apples are sweet and they're wholesome, and it's biblical.' I thought it sounded so lovely and clean." The couple chooses not to have a nanny for at least the first year. On motherhood, Paltrow tells EW, "It's like being the most in love you've ever been, but mixed with the worst heartbreak because she's so tender, because life is filled with so much difficulty, because one day you're not going to be together anymore."
Paltrow gives birth to her and Martin's second child, Moses Bruce, in New York City. He is named after a 2003 Coldplay song Martin wrote for Paltrow and her father, Bruce.
Paltrow returns to work with supporting roles in Running with Scissors, with Evan Rachel Wood, and the Truman Capote biopic Infamous. Paltrow tells Oprah that she loves being a mother and housewife, but working has made her a better mom. Next up, she stars in The Good Night, written and directed by her younger brother Jake, costarring Penélope Cruz.
With Robert Downey Jr., Paltrow makes her box office mark in the comic blockbuster Iron Man, which opens at No. 1, taking in $100.7 million. Not only does the film impress audiences, but Paltrow's sexy red-carpet return does as well. "I've always liked clothes, and it's part of my job," the actress, who returns for the 2010 sequel, tells PEOPLE. "It's fun to dress up!"
Paltrow takes the stage with Vince Gill to perform the title track from her new film, Country Strong, at the CMA Awards. "She worked very hard on the music," director Shana Feste tells PEOPLE of the Oscar winner, who portrays a troubled country star in the film. "She had guitar lessons and vocal lessons and she took it very, very seriously."
After covering Cee Lo Green's hit song "Forget You" on Glee, Paltrow shares the Grammys stage with the singer. "She sings like a natural," Green graciously tells PEOPLE of the actress, who also earns praise from Glee costar Matthew Morrison. "She killed it!" he tells The Hollywood Reporter.
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