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Garrett Hedlund on ‘Strong’ Kiss With Gwyneth Paltrow

Jill Johnson,

Love scenes can be awkward for even the most experienced actors, but ‘Country Strong‘ star Garrett Hedlund says he just jumped right in when it came to his kissing scene with co-star Gwyneth Paltrow.

Garrett’s first meeting with Gwyneth was only shortly before their romantic scene. “Me and Gwyneth and [director] Shana Feste went to dinner for like an hour one of the days prior, and that was the first Gwyneth and I met each other,” Garrett tells The Boot.

Shortly thereafter, the 26-year-old actor was in a lip-lock with the Oscar-winning star. “[You] have to jump in and play these tender scenes, but you know what you’re getting in for and you know what you want to do and what you want to show within your character.”

Garrett adds that he had to concentrate on his acting and ignore the fact that he was kissing one of the biggest stars in the world. “You kind of forget about the nerves of it and you focus on the scene and the characters. [Shana] wrote such a tender script filled with a lot of beauty, and you just want to try to show some of that.”

Garrett says he and Gwyneth did no major prep work for the intimate scene. “We didn’t even talk about it beforehand,” he reveals. “The two of you show up, it’s just really another day at work and being professional and mature about it. I’m more focused on the character and the work and not me.”

In the film, Garrett plays Beau Hutton, a talented singer/songwriter who befriends Gwyneth’s character, fallen country superstar Kelly Canter, in rehab. He’s then tapped to go on Kelly’s comeback tour as both an opening act and a watchdog for Kelly, making sure she stays sober on the trek. Garrett sings several tunes in the movie, including ‘Chances Are, which you can watch him perform in the exclusive video clip below.

‘Country Strong’ opens in theaters nationwide on January 7.

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