"Gwyneth Paltrow has received a letter from a woman who believes the actress may have inadvertently saved her life on the day of the September 11 attacks on New York nearly 10 years ago.
As the world prepares to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Paltrow has told Reuters she was more closely involved in the events of that day than she had known at the time.
"Basically what happened was I had gone to a yoga class very early," the actress said in an interview in Venice to discuss her new movie Contagion.
"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."
Paltrow said she and the woman did "this stop-start thing" for a time and began to laugh before the woman finally went on her way.
"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 Centre where she worked on the 77th floor of the South Tower, and the train was just pulling out.
"So had we not had that interaction she feels like her life would've taken a much different course.
"She called it her 'Sliding Doors moment'," Paltrow added, referring to one of her movies in which the plot follows different paths based on whether or not she catches a train.
"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," said the 38-year-old Oscar winner.
"She saw it was me so she was able to get me a message, but I think a lot of fates were changed that day, obviously, and I am very humbly happy to be a part in her story."
Contagion, which is not in the main competition at the Venice Film Festival, has been well received in early reviews.
The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, also features Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law and Kate Winslet and tells the story of a deadly disease that quickly spreads around the world causing panic.
Particularly in its examination of how governments react to a crisis, some of the film's themes echo the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers."