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Gwyneth Paltrow: How Robert Downey Jr. Helped Me Prepare for 'Country Strong'

Country Strong
Screen Gems

The actress says she turned to her "Iron Man" co-star while researching her country-singing character.

Gwyneth Paltrow says she sought advice from her Iron Man co-star Robert Downey Jr. when preparing for her Country Strong role.

In the movie, Paltrow plays a country singer who is attempting to make a comeback while struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

"I asked Robert, 'How does this work?'" Paltrow said of Downey, who has overcome his own addictions to stage a career comeback, in an interview with Reuters. "He was really articulate about addiction and the psychology behind it. He really helped me a lot."

In fact, it wasn't the singing that gave Paltrow, who has sung onscreen before in Duets, the most difficulty -- although she did admit that it was harder learning to sing for a character who plays major arenas in front of tens of thousands of fans.

No, it was getting inside the head of an addict that posed the biggest challenge, the actress said.

"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 actress. "I struggled with that."

Country Strong opens Jan. 7.