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Tim McGraw Joins ‘Country Strong’ Costar Gwyneth Paltrow For Star Ceremony

Our Country

Oscar-winning actress Gywneth Paltrow is ending the year on a star-studded note--not only will she be starring in her latest film, Country Strong, which opens in limited release this month, she also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday morning. Paltrow's star marks the 2,427th awarded on the famous boulevard, and it's the final one to be presented in 2010.

Making her star ceremony doubly star-powered was the presence of her Country Strong costar, Tim McGraw, who joined her at the event. McGraw and Paltrow were in Los Angeles over the weekend to promote the film, in which Paltrow plays a fallen country star addicted to alcohol and drugs, with McGraw as her husband and manager attempting to rebuild her career.

During a press junket for the movie, McGraw praised Paltrow's hard work preparing for her role as a Nashville luminary, a persona which she had to learn basically from scratch. He also spoke highly of the authenticity of the film, which includes many scenes filmed in real country-music bars, honky-tonks, and Nashville landmarks.

"It's a movie, so nothing's dead-on, but if you're looking at it as sort of a cross-cut generalization, I think it's very accurate," he said. 

McGraw noted that he was primarily focused on his own role, rather than playing the part of country-music expert on the cast. "I didn't want to have to get into the movie and worry about those things," he explained. "So all of that was cleared up before I even started. I was more concerned about making sure that my character was true, and could handle the heavy lifting that he had to do."

Part of that heavy lifting involved making sure his character rang true with the audience, which inevitably would have to separate his real-life job from his acting role. "For me to put myself in a movie that's based on country music, I thought initially that it would be too much to ask of an audience," he said. "I really thought that there would be no way people would see the movie and see me as a character, and not just constantly think of it being me."

When asked if the movie reflects to some degree his real-life dynamic as the husband of a famous country singer, McGraw simply laughed and said, "It's a totally different relationship than I have with my wife, because she's the boss!"

McGraw's wife Faith Hill was also present at Paltrow's star ceremony. Paltrow noted that Hill was a major influence in shaping her role as an A-list country celebrity, and that she discussed the role with the singer as well as studied her onstage presence.

Interestingly enough, Paltrow also cited pop star Beyonce as another major influence in preparing for the role. Faith plus Bey--sounds like a pretty explosively talented combo, no? Well, you'll have to see the movie for yourself (it opens January 7 nationwide) to see if Gwyneth does those two very different divas justice.

Are you looking forward to the premiere of Country Strong in your local theater? Be sure to let me know what's on your minds.

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