Gwyneth Paltrow finds "Country Strong" a struggle

Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:19pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - There is nothing easy about overcoming an addiction and for Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays an addict in her new movie "Country Strong," it was a battle simply to comprehend why people abuse drugs and alcohol.

"Country Strong" debuts on Wednesday with Paltrow, an Oscar winner in romantic comedy "Shakespeare in Love," playing singer Kelly Canter. The actress strums the guitar and belts out tunes with ease, yet, getting her head around Kelly's drinking and drug use was among her most difficult work as an actress.

"I just couldn't understand how you could be so drunk that you could wreck people's lives and then wake up the next day and pretend everything was fine," the actress, 38, told Reuters. "I struggled with that."

To prepare, Paltrow turned to her "Iron Man" co-star Robert Downey Jr., who has recovered from addictions in his own life to stage a career comeback.

"I asked Robert, 'How does this work?'" said Paltrow. "He was really articulate about addiction and the psychology behind it. He really helped me a lot."

In the movie, country singer Canter is a star of the music industry when her drinking and drug use lands her in rehab. She is discharged before she is ready and embarks on a comeback tour, planned by her husband James (Tim McGraw).

Joining Canter on tour is her sponsor -- a budding young singer named Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedlund) -- and rising starlet Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester). But they only complicate Canter's return to the stage.

Canter's affection for Hutton threatens to come between her and her husband, and Stanton has her mind set on overtaking the Canter and ascending to the top of country music charts.   Continued...