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Gwyneth Paltrow explains her low-key new look

Winning an Oscar made the ”Talented Mr. Ripley” star rethink her life

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Gwyneth Paltrow
Stephen Trupp/Star Max, Inc.

Not all blonds have more fun. Gwyneth Paltrow kept her golden tresses for ”The Talented Mr. Ripley” (opening Dec. 25), but when it came time for her to film the upcoming ”Bounce,” director Don Roos (”The Opposite of Sex”) asked to see her dark side. ”I think he was sick of the whole blond Gwyneth Paltrow person, as was I,” says the 26-year-old actress. ”So I made my hair brown, and I’m keeping it for a while. People don’t know who I am, which is great because I can get around much easier. I’m in New York City with my parka on and a pair of sunglasses and nobody has a clue who I am. It’s nice to feel I can observe humanity and not be so isolated and stared at.”

Paltrow says her celebrity status began spiraling out of control after she won an Academy Award for ”Shakespeare in Love” last March. ”After the Oscars, it was very dicey,” she says. ”I felt like I wanted to go hide somewhere. I felt like I couldn’t sustain all of the energy that comes with all that attention. The stress level was so high for me it was just incredibly surreal. I couldn’t make sense of it all, and I was just trying to get through it.”

To help ease her stress, these days the new brunet has turned to that increasingly popular celebrity pursuit: yoga. ”Now I’m content a lot of the time, more so than I’ve ever been,” Paltrow says. ”I think it comes from taking the time to be with myself, meditating, doing yoga, connecting with what’s real.” For the sake of her sanity, let’s hope Oscar decides to overlook her turn in ”Mr. Ripley.”