Actress Paltrow learns of 9/11 "Sliding Doors" moment

Mon Sep 5, 2011 11:12am EDT
 
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By Mike Collett-White

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - Gwyneth Paltrow has received a letter from a woman who believes the actress may have inadvertently saved her life on the day of the attacks on New York nearly 10 years ago.

As the United States prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Paltrow told Reuters she was more closely involved in the events than she had known at the time.

"Basically, what happened was I had gone to a yoga class very early," the Hollywood star said in an interview in Venice to discuss her latest movie "Contagion."

The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, also features Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, and tells the story of a deadly disease that quickly spreads around the world causing panic.

Particularly in its examination of how governments react to a crisis, some of its themes echo the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers.

"I was on the way home and it was the morning of September 11 -- not that I knew at the time what that meant -- and a girl was jaywalking across the street and we kind of both stopped at the same time and waited a really long time," said Paltrow.

She said she and the woman did "this stop-start thing" for a time and began to laugh before the woman finally went on her way.

"Ten years later I got a letter from her saying that she had been late for work and we had that thing and she went down to the Christopher Street station to catch her train to go down to the World Trade Center where she worked on the 77th floor of the South Tower and the train was just pulling out.   Continued...