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The Role Gwyneth Paltrow Regrets Taking

Because Gwyneth Paltrow has lately been more focused on Goop, her wellness and lifestyle company, than her acting career, it may be easy to forget just how extensive her career in Hollywood has been. Working since the early nineties, one of her first prominent roles was in David Fincher's Seven in 1995, alongside Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. She gained more recognition playing the lead titular role in 1996's Emma, based on the famed Jane Austen novel, and in 1998 for playing Viola De Lesseps in John Madden's Shakespeare in Love — the second of which garnered her an Oscar win. Most recently, she has been showing up in various MCU films, as Stark Industries CEO Pepper Potts, a recurring role that began with Iron Man in 2008. 

Out of her many acting credits — of which there are about 60 — there's one movie part that, to Paltrow herself, stands out ... and not in a good way. Paltrow has openly admitted that it was, in her words, a "disaster," and though she hasn't elaborated too much on this, it's easy to see why. 

Gwyneth Paltrow regrets Shallow Hal

Shallow Hal, directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, stars Jack Black as Hal, a ... well, shallow man, who is only interested in exceptionally pretty women. After a life coach, concerned by his shallowness, hypnotizes him, Hal then sees women's inner beauty manifested as their outer appearances. So when he meets Rosemary (Paltrow), a 300-pound woman, he sees her as thin and conventionally attractive. He promptly falls for her.

In a video posted to Netflix's Twitter account, Paltrow and assistant Kevin Keating, who is also her close friend, take a fun quiz to see how well Keating knows Paltrow. When the question comes up of which of her film roles is her least favorite, Keating assuredly answers, "I would say it would be Shallow [Hal]. I'm not sure who told you to do that one, but it wasn't me." He adds that the role was before they were working together. Paltrow laughs and responds, "That was before your time. See what happened? Disaster." 

Even though Paltrow hasn't given a more in-depth reasoning behind her regrets, it likely has to do with the film's problematic flaws, which have only grown more apparent with time. Shallow Hal might have intended to broadcast a positive message – that inner beauty is more important than looks — but it misses this mark on several occasions. As Fandor puts it, "The biggest problem with Shallow Hal is that the raunchy Farrelly brothers, best known for Dumb and Dumber, want to have their cake and eat it too, so to speak; on one hand, they criticize superficiality and "fatphobia," while also milking it for cheap physical comedy."

All this in mind, Paltrow making a self-deprecating joke at her past career decisions makes sense.