The news broke Wednesday that Gwyneth Paltrow, that golden wounded swan of an actress, is in talks to play chef Gabrielle Hamilton in the film adaptation of Hamilton's memoir Blood Bones & Butter. There is so much wrong with this casting decision I don't even know where to begin.
First, I've met Hamilton and there's only one way to describe her: bad ass. Even without meeting her, just reading her book, or eating at her restaurant for that matter, you can't help but be struck by the bad assness of this woman. A woman who practically raised herself; who opened a restaurant in New York almost single-handed and was one of the very first chefs in that city to turn regular diners on to offal and sardines; who worked the line two days before giving birth to a child and simultaneously wrote one of the most engaging, weird, honest food memoirs in recent years. Bad. Ass.
Now I've got nothing against old Gwynnie, but there's one phrase she never EVER brings to mind and that's "bad ass." She is golden and light and all things slender and pert, but she's not tough. She is, however, a "foodie," repugnant word that that is, and I fear that it's this distinction that is guiding her interest in the part.
Gwyneth, we get it. You have managed to do things in the food world that most food professionals can only dream of: write a cookbook, host a food and travel television show. You're pals with Mario Batali. You have a wood fired pizza oven in your yard. I'm sure you're a very nice person and love food very very much and sincerely want to do Gabrielle Hamilton justice in this film, but please please just don't.