She perfected her pipes on "Glee." She performed at the Country Music Awards. And now we watched Gwyneth Paltrow sing on the big screen with this weekend's release of "Country Strong." We know the film revolves around Paltrow's character, but what about Tim McGraw, Leighton Meester and Garrett Hedlund? Let's explore "Country Strong" and find out who's who in countryfied flick.
"Country Strong": Inspired by Britney Spears?
"Country Strong" revolves around the life of Kelly Canter -- played by Paltrow -- a country music superstar plagued by personal struggles who is attempting to resurrect her career after battling personal struggles. She gets involved with an up-and-coming singer/songwriter -- played by Hedlund -- on a cross-country tour controlled by her tour manager husband (McGraw) and a hot young singer (Meester.) Their lives, romantic relationships and personal demons intertwine and threaten to derail all of their careers.
Does this sound familiar?
It should, because it's reportedly inspired by the downfall -- and triumph -- of Britney Spears' personal life and career.
"We build these artists and celebrate them, then at the first sign of weakness, we rally around their downfall," writer-director Shana Feste told Billboard of our obsession with celebrities. "Then we want to build them back up for a comeback. How difficult to live life like that in public."
"I wanted to present these characters as messy, complicated and conflicted," she continued. "Everybody is flawed."
It sounds like we'll all be able to relate to this film -- who hasn't struggled with personal issues in life?
'Country Strong': Paltrow's Pipes Shine
Critics and audiences are singing the praises of Paltrow's performance and singing ability in "Country Strong." Paltrow definitely has a natural singing ability, but that doesn't mean she neglected her acting for the film.
"I'd say that, before the movie started, all of my attention was on the preparation for the music; voice lessons and guitar, and then once it started and all of the songs had been recorded [it was easier]," Paltrow told SheKnows.
"But, there were a couple of scenes where I could play guitar live and sing. My first day, in the rehab scene, I was like, "Man, I've got to sing a song and play guitar right now." But once that and the scene with Travis, the little boy, where I also have to sing and play guitar, were done, I'd say that [my focus] was more on acting."
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- Country Strong
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Tim McGraw
- Garrett Hedlund
- Britney Spears
- Leighton Meester
- country music