KATE HUDSON - GOLDEN SPARKLE
By Jack Wellington
Kate Hudson seems the embodiment of her beautifully effervescent mother, Goldie Hawn, and among her fellow Hollywood peers, she is known to light up a set with her internal spark, most likely passed down from Goldie. Yet Hudson has made her own path in the cinematic industry—though happy to be paired with her mom’s good looks. In fact, the lists are too numerous to mention when it comes to rankings on “the sexiest” “hottest” and “most beautiful women” publication lists.
Part musician, part actor, and wholeheartedly the all-natural hippie, Hudson received musical talent (playing both piano and guitar) from her father, Bill Hudson of the 1970’s band and television show, The Hudson Brothers. But it was her mom’s longtime companion, Kurt Russell, who raised her with Hawn, and whom she considers her father. Kate was only 18 months old when her parents divorced.
Though she indeed landed the part of her first audition at the age of 11 for a lead role in TV show with Howie Mandel (which never made it to production), Hawn turned it down, keeping it a secret for a year before telling her daughter. But by the age of 17, Hudson couldn’t be held back, landing an agent and a guest part on the dramatic TV show, “Party of Five”. One year later, she performed in her first movie role in the independent film, Desert Blue, then with the talented cast of Ben Affleck, Christina Ricci, Paul Rudd and Courtney Love in the ‘99 film, 200 Cigarettes. But it was the year 2000 that put the blonde beauty on the Hollywood map, with her charming role as Penny Lane in Cameron Crowe’s autobiographical film, Almost Famous. Her sparkly, sexy portrayal of the groupie leader of the so-called “Band-Aids” earned her a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress. A couple years later, Hudson once again flirted with audiences in her first big hit romantic comedy, with co-star Matthew McConaughey in 2003’s How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which positioned the lovely actress for a future of hit romantic comedies: You, Me and Dupree, Fool’s Gold and Bride Wars.
The role Hudson has held most dearly is the personal one of “Mom.” Though with one divorce under her belt from The Black Crowes lead singer, Chris Robinson, and an engagement that never made its walk down the wedding aisle with Muse band member, Matthew Bellamy, the 37-year-old actress relishes her time with her two boys, 12-year old Ryder Russell Robinson (with his middle name honoring her dad, Kurt) with Robinson; and five-year-old Bingham Hawn Bellamy with Bellamy.
For her free time, the golden-tressed beauty designs and creates her own jewelry and does yoga, which was the perfect segue to the entrepreneurial life, when she joined business partners, Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler in 2013, to launch her fitness brand, Fabletics, through the online fashion retailer, JustFab.
Hudson took out a moment to talk with us about her newest film, Deepwater Horizon, the real-life story about the 2010 disaster on the offshore drilling rig that exploded and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Her down-to-earth character is apparent, and as she speaks, she glows with an inner beauty that sparkles throughout the room, as her animated hand gestures paint a picture of her words. Opening up about the onscreen chemistry with co-star, Mark Wahlberg, Hudson expressed the ease of the two of them working together because of their common life priorities of kids and families first. She spoke of her strong desire to depict the historical disaster properly for the real-life role of Felicia Williams, and how truly elated she was with joining her inspirational role model, her dad, Kurt Russell, on set, and the incredible respect she has for his talented acting abilities.
STRIPLV: How did you approach playing a character based on the real person, Felicia Williams, who experienced these events?
HUDSON: I think when you’re playing a character that is a real person, that you’re portraying a real life experience—there’s definitely more care put into wanting it to be perceived by them as something that is authentic and truthful. I had the privilege of seeing her watch the movie, and afterwards, connecting with her in Toronto at the Film Festival, and she said to me, and very emotional, she just said: “Way to go!” You know? That was a nice sort of just…alright, well I’m just so happy that she felt like I respected what that was for her. Because it’s really hard obviously to relive those things, for anybody who was a part of this catastrophe, I think it was so traumatic for them. So to relive it is, you know, complex.
STRIPLV: The film was shot on location in New Orleans, amongst the Gulf’s oil industry and communities affected by the spill. What was it like to work where the real life events took place?
HUDSON: I think it just adds that nuance when you’re working in the real place. Nowadays we make movies in so many different places that have nothing to do with where we’re shooting the film. And for us to come down here and to be able to shoot here in New Orleans, in Louisiana, go to the real sort of launching place, like where Mark and I went and shot the driving scene where I say bye to him. You know, we went down there. Coming in over and actually experiencing going on a helicopter, and seeing all the oil rigs out there, when you go out over to the gulf—t’s just a whole other world! And this is their everyday lives—but for me, I’d never seen it and it just adds so much texture to making films and making them as authentic as possible. So it was really wonderful to be here. And I think, too, I think there was a great interest and intrigue when we would say: “Oh, what are you doing here?” and “Oh, you’re working on that.” They were very excited here in New Orleans to see what part of the story we were going to tell. And I think that when this comes out, it will be something that hopefully the city of New Orleans will be proud that we made this movie and made it here. It’s cool.
STRIPLV: This is a first time for you starring in a film alongside Kurt Russell. What was that like?
HUDSON: I mean, it was great, except that we didn’t really have a scene together. (laughing) We had, like, one little moment. But we didn’t have the actual… It’s definitely not On Gold Pond, right? But it is amazing to be here with my dad, to be at the festival with my dad. You know, cause now, as an adult, I say to every other adult: “Like, how often do you get to go sit on an airplane with your dad, alone? Without the whole family, or without it being sort of where everybody’s getting together, where you get to go to work?” It’s just really, very cool! And then to be back on a set with him, sort of reminding me how and where, and how I fell in love with making movies. It was really cool. And just watching him as an actor, it’s just a pleasure. He’s so… You know, I say this as a biased daughter, but I also say it as an observant actor, that he is such a phenomenal talent. Watching his process is really a wonderful thing to watch, as someone who is always wanting to learn. He’s so subtle, and his subtleties are so effective. And some people have that. And it’s just like a dream to watch.
STRIPLV: Your character experiences the uncertainty and worry, experienced by much of America as this news story broke. How did you prepare for this aspect of your role?
HUDSON: I think that to prepare for my part in this film, was really… it was a couple of things: one, that Mark and I, you know, in these kind of movies you want to get to it. You know, it’s important to get to what an audience is sort of like: “What happened?” You know? But you have to set up what I think is telling a story about people’s lives; the sort of everyday man going to work and the rug then pulled out from under your feet. You have to sort of set up the relationship, the family, everything that would be relatable to all of us who have kids and families, to really understand the impact of what this felt like for these workers. And so, Mark and I’s chemistry, the moments in the beginning of the movie, were really important for us because… (chuckling) There was a little bit of pressure. Sort of like, I hope this works! You know, I hope we can get that feeling for people. And the second we started working together, I was relieved, because we had a very easy rapport. And it was just easy for us to just go there with each other, and feel comfortable, and intimate. And I think that, because we’re both parents who really put our children before anything, that was an easy place for us to go together—that being the most important thing, is us, and family. And so that just came very organically, and then, you know, making sure that we were able to, (even though the real Felicia went into survival mode, and it prolonged and prolonged, and prolonged for a long period of time). You know, we had to kind of do it in these moments, and the moments had to be as impactful as the moment when something blows on the rig, to balance the movie out. You do look at that as a filmmaker and as an actor, and you just want to make sure that you can deliver. It’s always a little bit challenging, I guess. —STRIPLV