But we're grateful she did. 

By Christopher Luu
Updated Feb 19, 2019 @ 9:15 pm

Shakespeare in Love is celebrating its 20-year anniversary, which means everyone involved is looking back on the film, Gwyneth Paltrow included. According to People, Paltrow wasn't supposed to star in the film at all. In fact, not only was the starring role of Viola supposed to go to a different actor, but when it eventually went to Paltrow, she turned it down.

"The movie had many iterations. Julia Roberts was going to do it for a long time, and then that version fell apart. It ended up in Miramax, and I was the first person they offered it to," Paltrow explained to Variety. She went on to say that the timing wasn't right for her. Why? Two decades ago, she was famously uncoupling from Brad Pitt (they were engaged in 1996 and parted ways in 1997) and wasn't quite ready to head overseas while she was reeling from the breakup.

Gwyneth Paltrow Brad Pitt 'The Devil's Own' Premiere
Credit: Kevin.Mazur/INACTIVE/Getty Images

"I was in the middle of a terrible breakup [with Pitt] and the idea of going to England and being far from home just seemed … I didn't even read it," Paltrow said. "I was just like, 'I can't read anything right now. I'm having a really hard time.'"

Thankfully, Paltrow did get around to reading that script a few months later and the rest is Hollywood history. Not only did the role snag her an Academy Award in 1999, it thrust Paltrow into the mainstream. Without this critically acclaimed hit, there'd be no Goop as we know it today — or characters like Pepper Potts, Holly Holliday, and Marge Sherwood. And wouldn't that be a shame?