Gwyneth Paltrow didn't mean to be a hero on September 11, 2001 -- but, thanks to post-yoga class encounter with a jaywalking pedestrian named Lara Lundstrom Clarke in downtown Manhattan, she became one.
Last month, Clarke recounted her "Sliding Doors moment," in which she had an awkward stand-off with Paltrow (in her Mercedes SUV) on Seventh Avenue -- thereby making her miss her train to work at the World Trade Center. (By the time Clarke arrived, the first tower was already falling.)
Promoting her flick Contagion at the Venice Film Festival, Paltrow, 37, acknowledged receiving a letter from Clarke and recounted her own version of that day.
"Basically, what happened was I had gone to a yoga class very early," Paltrow explained.
"I was on the way home and it was the morning of September 11 -- not that I knew at the time what that meant -- and a girl was jaywalking across the street and we kind of both stopped at the same time and waited a really long time," said Paltrow.
"Ten years later I got a letter from her saying that she had been late for work and we had that thing and she went down to the Christopher Street station to catch her train to go down to the World Trade Center where she worked on the 77th floor of the South Tower and the train was just pulling out," the Oscar winner and mother of two continued.
"It was an extraordinary story and all I could think about is all of the people who had experiences like that that day, but aren't able to reach out because it wasn't a recognizable person," Paltrow pointed out. "I think a lot of fates were changed that day obviously and I am very humbly happy to be a part of her story."