It must be nice to have friends like Robert Downey Jr. For her role in this month’s Country Strong, Gwyneth Paltrow is doing a little more than playing an aging country star with an inspirational comeback like most of the trailers emphasize. Her character actually struggles with an intense drug problem that brings to light the ugly underbelly of the fame monster. But how did sweet Gwynny get into that dark place? She turned to a friend, her Iron Man costar for help.
The man who turned it all around after letting drugs take him to rock bottom was a resource for the blonde star, who had only ever really understood her own rebellious addiction to cigarettes. She reached out to her former superhero pal to get some insight on an addiction that has people “wrecking other people's lives in your wake and just being so altered and so drunk or on pills that you embarrass yourself and you wreck people's lives and you cheat on people.” I hope she didn't open with that line; he may be ridiculously open about all this, but you still catch more flies with honey, darlin'.
Downey sent her an email explaining his dark time and she had an artist’s epiphany that allowed her to tap into the dark place for the film. It must have been one hell of an email. But then again, RDJ is pretty much good at everything; I think he’s probably capable of writing a life-changing email too. Downey has famously been rather candid about his past, also helping his Tropic Thunder costar, Jack Black, find his drug-addicted character and even offering up unsolicited yet sage advice to troubled, aging star Charlie Sheen during an interview with David Letterman. I guess once you’ve been to hell and back again, you want to put that experience to as much good use as possible.