Gwyneth Paltrow says she had never seen "Glee" before she was asked to appear on the FOX musical sitcom and touts co-creator Ryan Murphy's "demented imagination."
On Tuesday's episode, Paltrow played a substitute teacher named Holly who belted out Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" as well as a mashup of Rihanna's "Umbrella" and the show tune "Singin' in the Rain".
"When Ryan called me and asked me to do the show, I had actually never seen the show," Paltrow said in a video interview provided by the show's studio, FOX. "And so I just thought, yeah, I'm game for anything, but I didn't kind of come to it with any ideas of my own or anything. I just, you know, he just wrote this incredible episode out of his slightly demented imagination."
Murphy directed Paltrow, 38, in the 2006 film "Running With Scissors". She is the latest celebrity guest star to appear on the show, along with John Stamos of "ER" and "Full House" fame, who plays a dentist, and singer Britney Spears, who played herself in an episode that paid tribute to her work.
"Holly is the kind of teacher that just wants to get on everybody's good side, and make it fun," Paltrow said about her character. "And she's a substitute teacher who really doesn't care if anyone learns anything when she's in class. She just wants them to like her. So, she's got a very original teaching style."
Paltrow first heard the song "Forget You", a clean version of one of Cee Lo's biggest hits, while she was driving in the United Kingdom, where she lives with husband Chris Martin of the band Coldplay and their two children, Apple, 6, and Moses, 4.
"I'm in the car every day, dropping young kids off, and picking kids up," she said. "So I had heard it a whole bunch of times in the car. And I would say, 'This is a great song.' I thought it was an unexpected choice for Holly, and I just loved the song. And it really grows on you too, you know? And it's very ironical, as they say. It just cracks me up. So, it was, I thought it was a great choice."
Paltrow, an Oscar winner, also plays a country singer in the upcoming movie "Country Strong", which stars Tim McGraw and "Gossip Girl"'s Leighton Meester, and provides her own vocals on a song by the same name. She performed the title track at the 2010 CMA Awards earlier this month.
Her track "Country Strong", which debuted online in June, is to be featured on the film's soundtrack when it is released on October 26 by RCA Nashville.
In the film, Paltrow plays Kelly Canter, a country singer looking for a comeback and McGraw, a real-life country star, plays her husband and manager. Meester, who plays snotty new York socialite Blair Waldorf in the CW series Gossip Girl and who has also released music, portrays a former beauty queen. The movie was written and directed by Shana Feste and is set to be released on Jan. 7, 2011.