Gwyneth Paltrow Turned To Robert Downey Jr. For ‘Country Strong’ Insight

Paltrow asked her 'Iron Man' co-star for help understanding her drug-addicted character.

For her role in “Country Strong” (in theaters this week), Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t just face the challenge of singing and recording country music. In order to embody her character — fallen Nashville star Kelly Canter — she also tapped into some dark elements that are unfortunately tied to the pitfalls of being a celebrity: addiction and drug use.

When MTV News caught up with the Oscar winner, we asked her how she was able to harness a dark side for the film.

“I’m a very dark person,” she joked. “Don’t let me fool you.

“I think we all have darkness, don’t we?” she said, seriously. “I certainly do. I’ve been through a lot. I know people who have been through a lot, and there’s always a lot to draw from. You see things, I think, when you’re an actor. You notice behavior and you notice stuff. It all kind of goes into the computer.”

Interestingly enough, Paltrow ended up reaching out to her “Iron Man” co-star and friend Robert Downey Jr. — who has been through his share of career ups and downs — for his insight into what leads a person into that addictive, self-destructive behavior.

“[I reached out to him] because I understood addiction, I used to be very addicted to cigarettes,” Paltrow revealed. “I understood that, ‘This is bad for me. My father has throat cancer, but I’m going to smoke this,’ but I couldn’t understand in terms of wrecking other people’s lives in your wake and just being so altered and so drunk or on pills that you embarrass yourself and you wreck people’s lives and you cheat on people. All that stuff … it was a whole other level.

“He really helped me understand how you get there,” she said of Downey. “He wrote me this amazing e-mail. I was like, ‘OK, I get it now.’ ”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Country Strong.”

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