Gwyneth Paltrow says Shallow Hal was a disaster. She also revealed that it's her least-favorite performance of her entire lengthy career. The movie came out in 2001 and was directed by the Farrelly Brothers. Jack Black starred alongside Paltrow as a shallow man who, after hypnosis, begins to see people's inner beauty reflected in their outward appearance, including Paltrow's overweight Rose character. While reviews were mixed, the unconventional rom-com was given praise for its humor, along with the more emotional moments. Roger Ebert even gave it a positive review.
At the time, the Farrelly Brothers called Shallow Hal a "valentine" for overweight people. In a new video to promote her Netflix series, The Goop Lab, Gwyneth Paltrow's long-time assistant and friend Kevin Keating answered questions about the actress, including which was her least favorite performance. Keating guessed Shallow Hal, and Gwyneth Paltrow immediately confirmed, "Exactly." He went on to comment, "I'm not sure who told you to do that one, but it wasn't me. I wasn't there working for you. Not around for that." Paltrow then said, "That was before your time... See what happened? Disaster."
Gwyneth Paltrow was very open about wearing the fat suit for Shallow Hal when the movie came out. The actress was nearly unrecognizable underneath the suit and all of the makeup she had to wear. Paltrow was uncomfortable in the suit and she revealed that it made her see the world in a new way, which wasn't exactly positive. At least she remembers shooting the role. She had this to say during an interview in 2001 about having to pack on the fake pounds for the role.
"The first day I tried [the fat suit] on, I was in the Tribeca Grand [a hotel in New York City] and I walked through the lobby. It was so sad; it was so disturbing. No one would make eye contact with me because I was obese. I was wearing this black shirt with big snowmen on it. For some reason, the fat clothes they make... The clothes they make for women that are overweight are horrible. I felt humiliated because people were really dismissive."
While wearing the fat suit wasn't something Gwyneth Paltrow loved about working on Shallow Hal, she had a much different opinion about the movie when she was promoting it then she does now. Obviously, the romantic comedy is now nearly 20-years old, so it's understandable that her opinions about the movie may have changed. But, at the time, she was very into the "pro inner beauty" aspect of the story. She explains.
"I really liked that part where Tony Robbins says that we are all hypnotized, to see beauty this one way. And it's true. I don't know who decided that skinny is more appealing than not skinny. It seems arbitrary. If we were living in ancient times, I would be considered sickly and unattractive. It's sort of like the times dictate that 'thin is better' for some reason and discounts women and men and how we feel about ourselves, how we're taught to feel about ourselves. I don't think the movie is very offensive at all. It's very pro inner beauty. I think the message is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
Gwyneth Paltrow in 2020 is also very different from who the actress was in 2001. The actress has starred in a number of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, including Avengers: Endgame, which is currently the highest grossing movie of all time. She also now runs the "wellness" company Goop and sells candles that reportedly smell like her vagina for $75. Maybe she'll look back at Goop as a disaster in 20 years too. You can see the video of the interview below, thanks to the Netflix YouTube channel.