Gwyneth Paltrow on Her 'Super Ballsy' Daughter: 'I Always Follow Her Lead'

Gwyneth Paltrow talks to Harper's Bazaar about how her daughter is a natural risk-taker and how her own upbringing influenced her parenting

Alexi Lubomirski

Alexi Lubomirski

Most moms probably expect their kids to follow their paths in one way or another. But for Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s quite the opposite when it comes to her daughter.

“My daughter is super ballsy. I always follow her lead,” the actress and lifestyle businesswoman, 44, shared about 12-year-old Applefor Harper’s Bazaar‘s November cover story. “I actually don’t need to encourage her to take risks. She likes to push herself; she wants to see how far she can get.”

Adds Paltrow, who is also mom to 10-year-old son Moses with her ex-husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, “It’s really inspiring to see that in a young woman.”

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Alexi Lubomirski

Alexi Lubomirski

Even though Paltrow credits her older child with developing her own strength, the mom of two and Goop mastermind can’t deny that their upbringing has played a role.

“In my case, I’ve borne these two kids into a particularly strange circumstance,” says Paltrow, who has spoken in the past about the importance of keeping a family dynamic despite her conscious uncoupling from Martin.

“They are going to have to fend off a lot and protect themselves from a lot of projections and prejudice about who they are, coming from the family that they come from,” she continues.

It’s no surprise that Paltrow’s children are strong and independent already, considering her own upbringing.

“[My dad’s] whole parenting philosophy was to give my brother and me the skills to be grown-ups and the curiosity to ask the right questions,” she says. “I don’t know if I came to this life with [my drive] or if it’s something that came to me in my childhood, but I do feel that some of the things my parents said to me and how they raised me really stuck with me.”

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Paltrow continues, “I remember when I started acting and didn’t get a part and was really jealous of the girl who got it. My mom [actress Blythe Danner] would say to me, ‘If you don’t get a part, that means it’s not your part. It’s just not yours. You will have your parts.’

“It really recalibrated me at a very young age to where I could be driven because I was trying to achieve things for myself, and that had nothing to do with what anybody else was doing.”

Paltrow admits that although she is thankful for the character traits her parents helped instill in her, that experience came with a lot of tough love — specifically, one instance she remembers when she was at the pinnacle of her film fame.

“I was sitting with my dad, feeling great about my life and everything that was happening, and he was like, ‘You know, you’re getting a little weird … You’re kind of an asshole.’ And I was like, ‘What the hell?’ I was totally devastated.”

Alexi Lubomirski

Alexi Lubomirski

“But it turned out to be basically the best thing that ever happened to me,” she continues. “It’s the difference between someone who loves you more than anything in the world giving you criticism and getting it from some bitter stranger on the Internet … I’m so grateful to him for doing that. He was such a no-nonsense guy in that sense.”

And considering her personal opinions on growth as she navigates her 40s, it’s no wonder the Iron Man star’s daughter is a powerhouse.

“If you haven’t taken all of life’s incredible knocks and disappointments and used them to become a fully integrated, self-expressing person by the time you’re 40, then what can I tell you?” she says.

Jen Juneau

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