Academy Award-winning actress, rock-star wife, and cookbook author Gwyneth Paltrow landed not just one cover, but TWO covers, of the September 2011 issue of Elle Magazine, where she talks about getting support and advice from her BFF Beyonce, taking on small roles so that she can spend time with her children, showing the world a different side of herself — aka her “dirty side” — and more.

Read the excerpts (and check out the pics) below:

On getting support from Beyoncé on her surprise duet with Cee Lo Green at the Grammys:
“This story always makes me cry…It’s 10 in the morning and Beyoncé schleps it all the way down to the Staples Center to watch. I mean, She’s Beyoncé !”

On the advice Beyoncé gave her before her performance:
“Beyoncé’s like, ‘Okay. The singing is great. But you’re not having any fun.’ She’s like, ‘Remember when we’re at Jay’s concert and Panjabi MC comes on and you do your crazy Indian dance? Do that. Be you!'”

On her decision to take on other roles like Glee to be able to focus more on family:
“I can do short jobs. If I was still starring in three movies every year, there’s no way that I’d be the person my kids want when they fall down.”

On creating a solo album:
“Beyoncé and Jay—they think that I should just go do it by myself. That I should go…in a studio and see what happens. And if it’s good, do it. And if it’s not, don’t. So that’s probably what I’ll do.”

On her much-talked about appearance on Chelsea Lately:
“Doing Chelsea Handler is like doing Howard Stern: You’ve gotta rise to the occasion. It’s good to shock people who think of me as the prim Gwyneth Paltrow.”

On deciding to take on more upbeat roles:
“I’m sick of doing the crying-in-my-soup part. I want to laugh. I want to sing. The main thing is, I want to have fun.”

On showing the world a different side of herself:
“If you speak to my friends who’ve known me since I was four, they’ll say, ‘That is her.’ They always said to me, ‘You’re the dirtiest person in the world and so funny. Show the world that side of you.’ I felt guarded. I felt like if I really showed people more of me and I was still not accepted, then…Who cares. You just realize it doesn’t matter what people think of you.”

On choosing not to go to her husband, Coldplay’s Chris Martin for advice on music:
“[He’s] a musical genius. It’s like living with Picasso, and being like, ‘Should I make a little something-something?'”

On keeping her marriage out of the spotlight:
“He makes music for his fans, and he doesn’t want people to conjure a lame famous couple when they’re getting into his music. I get it.”

On the false rumors of a split:
“Sometimes it’s hard being with someone for a long time. We go through periods that aren’t all rosy. I always say, life is long and you never know what’s going to happen. If, God forbid, we were ever not to be together, I respect him so much as the father of my children. Like, I made such a good choice. He’s such a good dad. You can never be relaxed or smug and think, I’ve got this thing. That’s also part of it—keeping yourself on your toes. I’m not going to take this for granted.”

For the full interview and the rest of the photo spread, be sure to pick up the September issue of ELLE Magazine when it hits newsstands!