Gwyneth Paltrow Reveals Her Favorite Moment From The Royal Tenenbaums

Gwyneth Paltrow
Photo by Steven Klein

For many actors, watching their own films is an exercise in masochism. Just as most people hate hearing the sound of their own voice, actors cringe when they see their movies, spiraling into self-criticism of their performance and appearance. Gwyneth Paltrow told Harper’s Bazaar about how much she hates seeing her work, putting it bluntly: “I vom. I gag. I hate it.” Still, the semi-retired actress recently shared which movie scene she can stomach watching, and it’s the most iconic scene from Wes Anderson’s beloved 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums.

“I really hate, hate seeing myself in a movie ever,” said Paltrow at the 20th reunion of the movie at the Tribeca Film Festival. She revealed that the bus scene is the one performance of herself that she can watch and appreciate. “That's kind of like the only scene that I can watch of myself, like of my whole career.”

In the movie, Paltrow’s character, Margot Tenenbaum, steps off a bus to greet her adoptive brother Richie Tenebaum (Luke Wilson). The two siblings had not seen each other for years, although they were secretly in love. As she descends the stairs, the scene seagues into slow motion, making Margot appear angelic. Set to “These Days” by Nico, it’s a poignant film scene from both a technical and artistic perspective. As the two characters see each other, Margot coolly says “Well, it’s nice to see you, too.”

The scene also holds special personal significance for Paltrow. Her father, Bruce Paltrow was a guest on the film set the day that scene was shot. “I have a memory of my dad visiting,” she recalled. “He came the day that we did [the bus scene] and Richie's picking me up, and my dad was there. It was a very special day.” Bruce died in 2002 from oral cancer and pneumonia.