KEY POINTS

  • Glenn Close didn't think Gwyneth Paltrow's 1999 Oscar win for "Shakespeare in Love" made sense
  • Close preferred Fernanda Montenegro's performance in "Central Station" over Paltrow's turn as Viola
  •  She said acting skills are only one of the things considered when picking winners at the Oscars

Gwyneth Paltrow's performance in "Shakespeare In Love" two decades ago wasn't worthy of her 1999 best actress Oscar win, according to Glenn Close.

The "Hillbilly Elegy" star shared her thoughts on the Academy Awards when she appeared on ABC News' "Popcorn with Peter Travers" Tuesday. Close, 73, revisited what she believes is a controversial Oscar win, believing that Paltrow's turn as Viola de Lesseps wasn't better than her best actress competitor Fernanda Montenegro's performance in "Central Station."

"I honestly feel that to be nominated by your peers is about as good as it gets," she said. "And then, I’ve never understood how you could honestly compare performances, you know? I remember the year Gwyneth Paltrow won over that incredible actress who was in 'Central Station' [Fernanda Montenegro] and I thought, ‘What?’ It doesn’t make sense."

Close went on to reveal that acting skills are only one of the things considered when picking winners at the Academy Awards.

"So, I think who wins has a lot of things to do with how things have been, you know, whether it has traction or whatever. Publicity, how much money did they have to put it out in front of everybody’s sight. I have to be philosophical about it, if I was upset about it," she shared.

"I’m very proud of the times that my peers have felt that my performance was worthy of attention," she added.

Paltrow beat out Cate Blanchett ("Elizabeth"), Montenegro ("Central Station"), Meryl Streep ("One True Thing") and Emily Watson ("Hilary and Jackie") for the best actress trophy at the 1999 Oscars.

Close has been nominated for an Oscar seven times in her career — most recently for her performances in 2012's "Albert Nobbs" and 2019's "The Wife" — but has yet to nab a statuette.

Meanwhile, Paltrow's best actress win cemented her status as an A-lister, and her teary acceptance speech in a pink Ralph Lauren gown was one of the most memorable in the prestigious awards show's history.

In her speech, she thanked fellow award contenders Watson, Montenegro, Blanchett and Streep, along with "Shakespeare In Love" producer Harvey Weinstein and Miramax Films.

"I don't feel very deserving of this in your presence," Paltrow said at the time. "I would not have been able to play this role had I not understood love of a tremendous magnitude, and for that I thank my family.”

But the "Iron Man" star nearly missed the chance to play one of her most iconic roles as she originally turned down "Shakespeare in Love." Julia Roberts was set to be the lead at one point, but it didn't push through when her pick for Shakespeare, Daniel Day-Lewis, refused to join the cast.

"I was in the middle of a terrible breakup," she told Variety in 2019, alluding to her split from ex-fiancé Brad Pitt. "And the idea of going to England and being far from home just seemed. I didn’t even read it. I was just like, ‘I can’t read anything right now. I’m having a really hard time.’"

However, Paltrow changed her mind after reading the script, revealing that she "couldn't put it down" and that it was "perfect."

Gwyneth Paltrow Gwyneth Paltrow paid Brad Pitt a compliment in reply to an online meme. In Picture: Gwyneth Paltrow attends the Guggenheim International Gala Dinner made possible by Dior at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on November 15, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Getty Images/Nicholas Hunt