January 3rd, 2011
10:39 AM ET
"Country Strong" star Gwyneth Paltrow didn't look to Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift as inspiration for her role as guitar-strumming singer Kelly Canter. Instead, she sought advice from an unlikely source: Robert Downey Jr.
In the film, Paltrow plays a country singer who attempts to stage a comeback after being treated in rehab for drugs and alcohol. "I just couldn't understand how you could be so drunk that you could wreck people's lives and then wake up the next day and pretend everything was fine," the 38-year-old Oscar winner says. "I struggled with that."
So, she turned to "Iron Man" costar Downey, who has worked his way back onto the top of Hollywood's A-list after conquering his own demons. "I asked Robert, 'How does this work?'" Paltrow says. "He was really articulate about addiction and the psychology behind it. He really helped me a lot."
One thing Downey didn't help Paltrow with was warbling. "I could always sing a bit and I have good pitch, but my singing teacher really kicked my butt," says the actress. "She was like, 'There's a big voice in there, we're gonna get it out!'"
See for yourself when "Country Strong" arrives in theaters January 7.
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