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This Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree: Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow

Almost from the dawn of celebrity couples, musicians and actors have had an irresistible attraction to one another.  Perhaps it is meeting people that have a similar schedule and who are passionate about their work or it could be that there is a mutual attraction to somebody who is living the other’s dream, but there have been so many celebrity unions between actors and musicians.  From Academy Award winning actress Rene Zellwegger’s doomed relationships with White Stripes front man, Jack White, and country singer, Kenny Chesney, to fellow Oscar winner Nicole Kidman's seemingly blissful new marriage to Australian country rebel, Keith Urban, it is quiet common to see Hollywood queens and musical kings together.  Actresses Winona Ryder and Drew Barrymore are notorious for their dalliances with the hippest musicians of today, as Barrymore has been recently attached to The Strokes drummer, Fabrizio Moretti, and Ryder has been attached to such stalwart musicians as Beck and Connor Oberst.  The actress Cameron Diaz and the newly declared King of Pop, Justin Timberlake, had recently ended their three year relationship.

Considering the attraction between actresses and musicians, one is able to get a glimpse into the personalities of certain starlets based on the type of musicians they date.  For example, judging from Winona Ryder's relationships with indie rock musicians, one is able to see an edginess in her personal tastes.  The same can be said about Drew Barrymore.  However, arguably the most famous celebrity and musician celebrity marriage out there is between Academy Award winning actress, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Coldplay leader, Chris Martin.  When looking at this couple, one is able to see that both of these talented artists take life seriously and are socially engaged.  Although a bit serious, these two committed humanitarians seem to be perfect for each other.

The most fascinating thing about this powerful celebrity couple is how aristocratic they appear despite their considerable dedication to humanitarian causes.  It could be that Gwyny and Crono (the nickname that Chris Martin has given himself as a tribute to his hero, U2 singer, Bono) have unbelievably good blood in them.  Martin’s great-great-grandfather is William Willett, the man who invented daylight saving time.  Paltrow on the other hand can trace her ancestry back to David HaLevi Segal of Cracow, a famous 17th century Russian rabbi.  With so much talent in their blood, it is not surprising to see that both Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have maximized their considerable talents, but also have found love in equally talented partners.

The reigning king and queen of a more sophisticated and adult version of celebrity, it is important to examine the fascinating lives of these two engaging artists.  While they have achieved great things on their own, it is fascinating to see how much love will impact their already considerable careers.

It almost seemed pre-destined for Gwyneth Paltrow to enter acting.  The daughter of respected film and television director, Bruce Paltrow, and Emmy and Tony award winning actress, Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Katherine Paltrow was born on September 27, 1972.  Raised in the Californian suburb of Santa Monica, Paltrow lived a charmed life that included enjoying a number of different cultural experiences.  She attended the prestigious private girl’s school, Spence School, in New York City when she was younger.  She also lived in Spain as an exchange student where she learned Spanish and became enamored with European culture.  Although she studied art history at the University of California in Santa Barbara, the call of acting was too much for her to resist.  She would drop out and find almost immediate success.

Although she made her professional acting debut as a stage actress in 1990, Gwyneth Paltrow would become renowned for her movie appearances.  She would first be noticed in a small role in the star studded, Steven Spielberg directed movie, “Hook,” which was a family friendly view of what happened to Peter Pan if he left Neverland and became an adult.  From there, Gwyneth Paltrow would successfully accumulate a number of smaller roles in respected movies such as, “Malice,” “Flesh and Bone,” and “Higher Learning.”  It would be in 1995 were Gwyneth Paltrow would enter the mainstream by starring as the only source of light in the irresistibly dark serial killer classic, “Se7en.”  “Se7en” would become a huge hit that helped launch Paltrow and her co-star, Brad Pitt, into stardom.  Additionally, it was on the set of “Se7en” that Gwyneth Paltrow would begin dating Brad Pitt, a fact that would assist in Paltrow’s celebrity status.

After the success of Se7en, Gwyneth Paltrow’s acting career followed a measurable arc that culminated in her winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1998 for her role in “Shakespeare in Love.”  A charming movie that imagined what inspired William Shakespeare to write his classic play, “Romeo and Juliet,” Paltrow’s Oscar victory culminated years of hard work that firmly established Paltrow as one of Hollywood’s most bankable actresses.

With her career success assured, Gwyneth Paltrow would put less emphasis on her career and would switch between independent movie projects (The Royal Tennenbaums, Duets, Proof) and big budget movies (Shallow Hal, View from the Top, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.)  Although Gwyneth Paltrow’s career has cooled off a bit since her late 1990s heyday, her reputation is still excellent and it seems like she is taking a step back from her professional life intentionally.

Although Gwyneth Paltrow is respected by critics for her excellent career choices, she is also well known by the public for her many romantic dalliances.  After breaking a highly publicized engagement to Brad Pitt, Paltrow would soon be romantically linked to such Hollywood royalty as Ben Affleck, Luke Wilson, Aaron Eckhart, and Scott Speedman.  She would also date actual royalty in Prince Albert II and Prince Nicholas.  Despite trying to find love in a number of sources, Gwyneth Paltrow would find love in a very unlikely place – a rock concert. 

It was October 2002 and Coldplay was quickly becoming one of the hottest new bands in music.  Curious about the band’s hype, rumor has it that Paltrow was impressed by the show that she saw but even more impressed with the band’s dynamic and sincere lead singer.  After the show, Gwyneth Paltrow allegedly went backstage to meet Coldplay singer Chris Martin and apparently asked him out on a date.  So what exactly would entice such a big Hollywood star to take the bold step of asking out a relatively new singer for a date?  Well, the  answer lies in the alluring life of Paltrow’s future husband, Chris Martin.

Born in Devon, England on March 2, 1977, nobody could have predicted that when Christopher Anthony John Martin was born that he would grow up to be the singer of one of the world’s most revered bands.  As a child, Chris Martin would attend the famous independent boy’s school, Sherborne School.  A well-educated child, Martin would successfully complete a degree in Ancient World Studies at the prestigious University College London.

Despite his extensive education, Chris Martin lived the dream that many young men and women in England had at the turn of the 1990s.  The 1990s were a particularly lucrative time in British music and many brilliant bands such as Oasis, Blur, Pulp, and especially Radiohead had made being in a successful and important band a major goal for people throughout England.  Dreaming big, Chris Martin would attempt to create a cohesive band while attending University College London.  While at residence, Chris Martin would meet future Coldplay guitarist, Jonny Buckland in September 1996.  From there, the two would create plans for an *NSync inspired boy band called, Pectoralz.  Eventually, the two would meet future Coldplay bandmates Guy Berryman and Will Champion.  The band would discard their plans to form a boy band and would instead follow a more melancholic path that Radiohead had popularized.

By the spring of 1999, Coldplay had signed a recording contract with the prestigious label, Parlophone, which had been the record label for such respected acts as The Beatles, Radiohead, and Blur.  Although most British bands would not even think about succeeding in America due to the extreme difficulty of receiving attention in America, Coldplay made it look easy due to the worldwide success of its breakthrough hit, “Yellow.”

As the band managed to have such a massive hit at such a young stage of their careers, many music industry insiders questioned how the band and its most visible member, Chris Martin, would handle the success.  The band would answer any naysayers and critics that had dismissed the band as a fake Radiohead with the overwhelming success of their sophomore album, “A Rush of Blood to the Head.”  Further cementing their reputations as international hit makers, Coldplay became a band that was respected by hardened music critics and rock neophytes.  Their popularity even extended to the hip hop community where famous rappers like Kanye West and Jay-Z expressed their love of  Coldplay and would later collaborate with Chris Martin.

While Coldplay was quickly becoming one of the biggest bands in the world, stardom was solely given to the band’s charismatic front man, Chris Martin.  Respected for his subtle championing of political causes such as fair trade, Chris Martin was quickly becoming a celebrity in his own right.  PETA named him one of the world’s most sexiest vegetarians in 2005 and the actress Gwyneth Paltrow would soon fall under Martin’s spell after meeting him in 2002.

After a year of dating, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow would marry in a secret wedding ceremony that took place in Southern California.  Although they married in America, the couple would make London their home.  On May 14, 2004, the two would have their first child – Apple Blythe Alison Martin, whose unorthodox name can be attributed to the sweet nature of apples.  The odd name choices would continue when Paltrow would give birth to the couple’s first son, Moses Bruce Anthony Martin, on April 8, 2006.  The son is named after a Coldplay song that Chris Martin had written about the power that Gwyneth Paltrow had over him.

Considering their respected pedigree and their established talents, you can expect that this celebrity marriage would continue to churn out great work.  Coldplay is working on their fourth album and Paltrow continues to star in critically acclaimed and commercially viable movies.  A contrast to the brash nature that defines a lot of celebrity relationships, the celebrity marriage between Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin seems to bring in a dash of European sophistication to Hollywood coupledom!