03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jake Paltrow On Writing And Directing Sister Gwyneth

Halfway through the new bittersweet romantic comedy The Good Night, you start to think, "Wow, Gwyneth Paltrow is a real pain." As Dora, the difficult wife of Martin Freeman's everyman hero Gary, she mooches about their Manhattan apartment in a long dirty brown fright wig, with her pale, morose features pinched into a permanent frown, stopping only to berate her luckless beau about his lack of ambition, his mediocrity and his unhealthy sexual appetites (he likes it, she doesn't). Yet when you discover that this unsparing portrait was written and directed by Gwyneth's younger brother Jake Paltrow, you begin to wonder if there are any Freudian tensions bubbling to the surface here, or if it's a lifetime's big-sis/ little-bro rivalry encapsulated in a single savage character?

"That would be as wrong an interpretation as is humanly possible," chuckles the 32-year-old New York-based film-maker and former TV tyro (he directed on seven seasons of NYPD Blue). "Only because we're very good friends, and the part wasn't written for her in any way." Instead, Paltrow explains that he was initially reluctant to cast his superstar sister, fearing that the film would be perceived as a nepotistic family experiment.

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