"Possession" reconfirms Gwyneth Paltrow as Hollywood's favorite choice for English literary roles, after her Oscar-winning turn in "Shakespeare in Love" four years ago.
This is no accident, according to the star.
"I feel I have a real sense of the differences in the way [British] people think, and how they behave, and their sense of humor," she said in an interview last week. "I like British people!"
What also attracted her to "Possession" was filmmaker Neil LaBute, best known for indie features with an abrasive touch.
"Neil's first couple of films are ... sometimes difficult to watch," Ms. Paltrow says, "but I like ... people who push buttons, and question and challenge sociological ideas."
Paltrow seems to oscillate between literary pictures like "Emma" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" and mass-audience movies like "Shallow Hal" and "A Perfect Murder."
Is this by design?
"Occasionally you have to make something commercial," she says with a smile, "because your agent is about to weep from frustration. I obviously prefer to do smaller films and films that have more artistic integrity, but I feel there aren't [many] made anymore ... like 'Thelma and Louise' or 'The Silence of the Lambs,' which had women in them [and] were very well written, very well directed, and made a ton of money.... So it's hard to find something where you can do both.
"I haven't made any money in a year, and I have another whole year when I'm not going to make any, because I did three movies that aren't going to earn anything. So next year, I'll probably have to do something commercial!"