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Leading Lights: Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, and Baz Luhrmann Share Insights on Acting Careers and Motivation at RSIFF

Looking back at this powerful panel.

Gwyneth Paltrow, an Oscar winner and the founder of Goop, was the featured guest in three prominent In Conversation panels held at the Red Sea International Film Festival on Wednesday night. The panels also included Australian director Baz Luhrmann and US actress Halle Berry, who participated in discussions on the same day. Paltrow engaged in reflective discussions moderated by Saudi Research and Media Group CEO Jomana Al-Rashed. Al-Rashed, expressing admiration, introduced Paltrow as a personal role model as she delved into her illustrious career as both a successful movie star and the entrepreneur behind the wellness company Goop, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.

Paltrow drew parallels between entrepreneurship and acting, emphasizing the shared energy required for both pursuits. Reflecting on the challenges of building Goop, she expressed satisfaction in the learning process, tackling issues like inventory management and financial statements. Touching on her involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Paltrow admitted to not watching some films, including "Avengers: Endgame," in which she had a major part. She shared insights into the unique experience of filming the first MCU movie, "Iron Man," highlighting its improvisational nature.

Addressing her future in Hollywood, Paltrow remained open to possibilities, stating that while she is content with her current pursuits, she cannot predict the future.

Halle Berry, the first African-American actress to win the Academy Award for Best Actress, captivated the audience with her empowering journey as an actress, filmmaker, and producer. Berry discussed her production company, HalleHolly, and revealed that she was hit with inspiration for a new project incorporating a love romance, time travel, and the paranormal while travelling to Jeddah. She reminisced about her unexpected Oscar win for "Monster's Ball" and shared details about her impending work with Angelina Jolie on the action-com comedy "Maude v. Maude." She is thrilled to collaborate with another woman, crafting a narrative that reflects their sensibilities. In the realm of cinema, male writers frequently influence the portrayal of female characters. However, collaborating with Angelina, she emphasizes the opportunity to convey a distinctly female perspective.

Meanwhile, Baz Luhrmann, the acclaimed Australian filmmaker known for hits like "Romeo + Juliet" and "Moulin Rouge," engaged in a retrospective discussion with Raya Abirached. Luhrmann detailed the challenges faced during the production of "Elvis" amid the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted lead actor Austin Butler's dedication. In a candid moment, Luhrmann mentioned considering retirement, expressing a desire to contribute meaningfully to the cinematic landscape rather than adding to the noise with unworthy projects.

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