Ruth Jones says Gwyneth Paltrow treated her like ‘a nothing’ on movie set

‘She was quite dismissive of me,’ the ‘Gavin and Stacey’ star said

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 16 June 2024 16:45 BST
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Gwyneth Paltrow discusses criticism of her 2002 Oscar dress

Ruth Jones has called out Gwyneth Paltrow for treating her “dismissively” on a film set in the 1990s.

The Gavin and Stacey writer and actor, who is currently writing a Christmas special with James Corden, made her screen debut in the 1996 Emma, which starred Paltrow as the titular Jane Austen character.

The film, written and directed by Douglas McGrath, saw Jones play a maid working for the Bates family – a role she described as “a job I remember for several reasons”.

According to the Welsh star, she originally had two lines until Oscar-winning actor Paltrow requested one of them be cut, which she found “heartbreaking”.

Addressing the encounter on Wondery’s podcast Brydon &, which is hosted by her Gavin & Stacey co-star Rob Brydon, Jones said: “I had two lines. I had to announce Gwyneth Paltrow and say, ‘Miss Woodhouse is here’ and then I had to say ‘Goodbye Miss Woodhouse’ at the exit and let her out – and Gwyneth Paltrow cut one of my lines.”

Jones claimed that Paltrow, showing no solidarity with her being new to the profession, said: “Does she really need to say that? Can I just come in?”

“Imagine this for people who are starting out. If you’ve got two lines, and somebody cuts 50 per cent of your script, it’s heartbreaking.”

Jones said she even tried to engage Paltrow with conversation in between takes, but the Hollywood star, who had appeared in David Fincher’s Seven the year before, “was quite dismissive” of her.

Gwyneth Paltrow in 1996 film ‘Emma’
Gwyneth Paltrow in 1996 film ‘Emma’ (Miramax)

“We were waiting for them to shout ‘action’, so it was just me and Gwyneth behind the door. She didn’t want to talk to me, I was a nothing. I did have two lines, now down to one. So I tried to make conversation with her.

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Jones continued: “At the time, she was going out with Brad Pitt. And I said, ‘Do you have any Welsh connections?’ Because Gwyneth, I always think of as a Welsh name, right, so I said: ‘How come you’re called Gwyneth?’ She said, ‘My mother had a friend called Gwyneth and she really liked the name, so she called me Gwyneth.’

“She was quite dismissive of me, so I was thinking it’s an old woman’s name where I come from so when you get married, you’re going to be called Gwyn Pitt!”

Ruth Jones says Gwyneth Paltrow was ‘dismissive’ of her
Ruth Jones says Gwyneth Paltrow was ‘dismissive’ of her (Getty Images)

Paltrow would win an Oscar three years later for Shakespeare in Love. The Independent has contacted Paltrow for comment.

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