There are many actors who can’t watch themselves onscreen. One major exception is Samuel L. Jackson, who loves watching movies featuring him. But then there’s his MCU and Hard Eight colleague Gwyneth Paltrow. The Oscar-winning thespian famously can’t stand watching herself in movies. But there’s one scene in The Royal Tenenbaums — just one, mind you — that’s the only one she can stomach.
As related by EW, Paltrow was one of a number of Tenenbaum alumni who took part in a 20th anniversary screening and pre-taped panel, as part of this year’s Tribeca Festival. We learned some interesting things. Gene Hackman, who was not present for the reunion, took a big pay cut. Alec Baldwin’s narration almost got scotched. Famously mousy director Wes Anderson actually lost his temper at one point, over cuffs.
But maybe the biggest takeaway was the aforementioned scene of herself that Paltrow actually likes. It’s the one, about a half-hour or so in, where her character, troubled playwright Margot Tenenbaum, steps off the bus, reuniting with her half-brother Richie (Luke Wilson), with whom she’s quietly in love. It’s a wordless stretch, in dreamy slo-mo, set to Nico’s “These Days,” written by Jackson Browne. It’s not just that it’s, let’s be fair, a pretty excellent scene.
“My dad was there, and it was this very special day,” Paltrow recalled, referring to her father Bruce, who passed away in 2002, the year after Tenenbaums was released. “I really hate, hate seeing myself in a movie ever. That’s kind of like the only scene that I can watch of myself, like of my whole career.”