Gwyneth Paltrow May Be Beautiful, but Did Disney Buy the Designation as 'Iron Man 3' Promo?

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As might have been heard uttered by Shakespeare back when Gwyneth Paltrow beautifully co-starred in 1998's "Shakespeare in Love": "Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold." That quote wasn't in the film, but it gives compelling linkage to how People Magazine perhaps goes about choosing celebrities as the most beautiful. And had we still been back in the days when Paltrow was making Oscar-caliber movies, there wouldn't be as much subjectivity about the choice of most beautiful (or suspicion of promotion) as there is now.

Not that this article will argue against Gwyneth Paltrow perpetually being physically and personally beautiful. What isn't arguable is that Paltrow has gone much more commercial to keep her film career going at the level it once was without having to go indie. Playing a comic book character named Pepper Potts more than once on the big screen isn't something she would have gone anywhere near when her film career was a train ride of one magnificent performance after another.

What happened to Paltrow not taking on myriad character roles as she once did with aplomb? Commercial success is obviously hard to resist, and the studios backing that can easily pay into creative promo ideas. It's why Disney could have paid People Magazine to promote Paltrow as the most beautiful woman to bring even more unneeded clout to "Iron Man 3."

Considering Pepper Potts isn't exactly want for beauty either, it's perhaps more a subliminal nod to the character than Paltrow herself. Paltrow has always had a sense of self-deprecation that might bother some people who find personal put-downs a neurotic gesture. Nevertheless, nobody can say it isn't refreshing when most of the beautiful people chosen by People make it clear they know they're beautiful.

So if Disney bought into the People Magazine designation as promo, does it mean Paltrow will be stuck in the role of Pepper Potts for years to come? She's mostly hovered around that role for the last five years. Only the somewhat maligned "Country Strong" and recent rom-com "Thanks for Sharing" took her away to different movie territory that she still hasn't completely re-claimed.

Fortunately, she'll finally get away from Pepper Potts by playing a different muse to a playboy: Dora Maar. In a Spanish film called "33 dias", Paltrow plays the famous lover to Pablo Picasso, portrayed by Antonio Banderas. This one might be the project that finally takes her far away from the "Iron Man" world, much like Robert Downey, Jr. is trying to do with his future multi-starred project "The Judge."

The "Iron Man" universe is a massive gravitational force, though. If Paltrow wants to stay commercial, it may mean playing in more superhero movies to stay consistently visible. Movies where she can prove her dialect and character acting ability (as she will as Maar) may end up in half-filled art houses that were seen by many more eyes 15 years ago.

In that regard, Disney and People should still be thanked for keeping Paltrow up front. It's a reminder of how good she still is as an actress and how it shouldn't be wasted while it's available.

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