Famous as she may be, taking on the role of a country music superstar was more than a little daunting for Gwyneth Paltrow. But it wasn’t the singing that had her worried — Paltrow has belted out a few tunes onscreen previously, after all. “I was nervous about playing somebody that was such a huge star, which is different from playing someone who, you know, has a guitar and sings or is trying to make it,” she says.

Luckily, she had some friends with a little experience in the area. Paltrow turned to Beyonce Knowles and Faith Hill for advice and guidance. “They were both so supportive of me. They were so generous of spirit,” she says. “I obsessively watched Beyonce perform. I just wanted to get a little bit of that incredible self-belief ... that she has on stage.”

As much as she looked to her diva pals, Paltrow did have a music superstar at home to turn to, but she says husband — and Coldplay frontman — Chris Martin wasn’t as much help.

“I mean, he was great,” she says. “But to be totally honest, I kind of picked the brains of my girl singer friends more, because I think it’s a very different thing — to be a male in a band as opposed to a lead.”

If Paltrow had any doubts about pulling off playing a fresh-out-of-rehab singer, they were nothing compared to those of the studio. At least that’s what Screen Gems head Clint Culpepper told her. “When the script came to him, I was already attached, and he’s like, ‘You all are crazy. She is so wrong for this part,’” Paltrow remembers, adding that Culpepper later changed his tune. “But yeah, I think when you think of country superstar, drug-drink addict, you maybe don’t think of me immediately.”