Gwyneth Paltrow gave a gutsy performance at the Country Music Awards, but Nashville, supposedly known for country hospitality, was downright rude to the talented star. Yes you Carrie Underwood.
Paltrow was understandably nervous to stand in front of a crowd of country stars to sing. After all, she’s an actress, not a singer.
Earlier this week, she said she was so nervous she lost her appetite and couldn’t sleep. “If I can keep my nerves under control I can survive it,” she told People.
The show got off to an awkward, if not downright rude start, when hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood made Paltrow the butt of some opening monologue jokes.
First Underwood and Paisley sang a short song about how Nashville wasn’t Hollywood, although everyone knows deep down it wishes it was. So chalk that one up to envy.
Then Paisley chimed in: “Gwyneth, I’ve always wanted to ask you something. Can you get me two Coldplay tickets?”
The remark drew guffaws from the audience and Paltrow smiled, but franky, it was a total diss, as if there was nothing else remarkable about her except being the wife of Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin.
Nothing else remarkable that is, except she’s an talented Academy Award winning actress, with a stellar career in her own right.
But it didn’t end there.
Country sweetheart Underwood, showed she can talk cheap, too.
“It takes a lot to come to our town and get up here and sing on our stage,” Underwood said.
“None of us country singers would ever have the nerve to just go to Hollywood and think for a second that we could become a major motion picture star, right, Tim?” Paisley added, taking a dig at Paltrow’s “Country Strong” co-star Tim McGraw.
The camera did not pan to Paltrow a second time, suggesting she was a little less than amused by the jokes.
Nonetheless, when the time came for Paltrow to go on at the end of the show, she gamely took the stage.
In fact, a number of country stars have tried to make their way in Hollywood over the years. And, Paltrow is far from the first actress or actor to play a country singer on the big screen.
Sissy Spacek, who was greet warmly by the crowd, gave a special tribute to Loretta Lynn, whom she played in the 1980 bio-pick “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
Jessica Lang played singer Patsy Cline in the 1985 movie, ‘Sweet Dreams,” and more recently Joaquin Phoenix play Johnny Cash in the 2005 movie “Walk the Line.” He also sang his own songs to raves.
So why the hostility to Paltrow? Hard to fathom, but it was clearly palpable.
One report suggests that ABC demanded to put her on for ratings purposes, at the expense of a nominated group or an up-and-coming act. Artists kill to get air time before a national audience.
But still, why get rude about it.
The “Country Strong” star received singer Miranda Lambert’s death stare following her live singing debut, according to the New York Daily News.
Fortunately the audience was far more courteous, and gave Paltrow a standing ovation.
But for Underwood, Paisley, Lambert and undoubtedly others, it was a trailer trash moment.