OFFSTAGE: Conversation With Gwyneth Paltrow Made My Top 10 of 2010

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I’m still reflecting on the Top 10 country music moments that made my year so special. But not all of them had to do with good times. In fact, this one had more to do with the worst of times. It was at the Country Strong premiere in Nashville when I was interviewing the stars on the red carpet. When it was my turn with Gwyneth Paltrow, we talked about the movie, obviously, and her love of all things Dierks Bentley, Jim Lauderdale and Nashville’s little Station Inn bluegrass club. And as much as I wanted to keep talking country all night long, the mother in me came out. And I thanked Paltrow for being so open about letting people know about the postpartum depression she suffered when her second baby (son Moses) was born in 2006. It’s one of those taboo topics that people tend to sweep under the rug or just dismiss as “baby blues.” So when a celebrity talks about it, it somehow makes it less taboo. Paltrow had written so candidly about her feelings in her GOOP blog , saying, “I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life. For about five months I had, what I can see in hindsight as postnatal depression, and since that time, I have wanted to know more about it. Not only from a hormonal and scientific standpoint, and why so many of us experience it, but from the perspective of other women who have gone through it.” Since I’d read that, I felt like I had to thank her for her honesty because I’d had it when my second baby was born, too. A red carpet probably wasn’t the place for us to be having the conversation, but she asked me all about it and how I coped and if I was OK now. I said yes, because now he’s a 13-year-old who brings me nothing but joy, and I’ve had plenty of time to overcome that darkness. But the exchange showed me that while she may be a movie star, Paltrow is human, just like the rest of us.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.