Kate Hudson is luminous on and off the screen. Wearing a loose fitting brown dress with sleeves flared at elbow, tan knee-high boots, and her hair loosely strewn, the perennially good humoured star clearly relishes her latest, sometimes sexy, comic role. Paul Fischer reports.
Question: Can you begin by talking about the fantasy sequence where you’re wearing bathing suit …
Hudson: (interrupting) That was so funny by the way. Don’t even say it. Let me tell you. The guys had me try on like four different types of bathing suits. So the Russo brothers would come in and be like — and Owen — “Ummm, maybe you should put on the other one again. And turn around. That’s nice. What about the other one?” Oh, God. We were laughing so hard. That whole experience was so much fun because we were all — it was ridiculous. You know, so it was pretty fun.
Question: So did you …?
Hudson: Oh, wait! I have a great story I haven’t told this whole time! So we’re shooting in San Pedro by an Army reserve, or Marine, I don’t know which one. But all of a sudden this chopper, comes. It’s like this crazy noise, we hear this, and I’m all, you know — I’ve got like the diamond collar and everything and the heels. My hair’s all (indicates it teased out). All of a sudden we hear this huge crash. We’re like, “Holy shit.” I walk outside and I’m like, “Oh my God.” I walk out and I’m in the outfit. It turns out that my car, of all the cars and all the trailers that are there, this chopper came so low that a whole sort of big, huge, big plywood thing came falling onto my car from a rooftop. I’m walking out there, and the cops are there, the Marines are there, and I’m in my outfit. They’re like, (looking down) “Hi Ms. Hudson, uhhh …” And I’m like, “What happened?” Then all of sudden I realize, and I’m like, “Oh my God. I’m sorry. Can somebody get me a robe?” It was really funny. It was one of those stories out of a movie where everybody’s like, “Oh God, it had to happen that day, you know?”
Question: Did the chopper come down to get a closer look at you?
Hudson: I don’t know why. I don’t know what they were doing, but whatever it was, it definitely caused an issue. And the government still hasn’t paid me back.
Question: Do you have body issues?
Hudson: I never had body [issues]. I never had that. I remember when “Almost Famous” and before that I did “About Adam.” And as long as it’s not totally exploitive, and as long as I feel it could either be funny or fun or is appropriate. I really have no problems with it.
Question: Did you ask for extra scenes, like in a bathtub?
Hudson: No, that was good enough me. Plus, licking Owen’s face all day, it got really salty and weird. The whole experience, it was fun and then it was over. You know.
Question: You were substantially clothed compared to Owen in the film.
Hudson: That’s true. Oh yeah, Owen. There’s a lot of like, naked in this movie. I remember that when I read the script for the first time, I was like, “God, I’m kind of half-naked throughout the whole movie.” So I wasn’t too surprised. I didn’t come to set and Joe and Ant were like, “You’re going to be in your underwear for this scene.” It was actually written in the thing. But I think Owen probably had it worse than I did.
Question: What are some of the secrets you learned about your husband when you first were married?
Hudson: Like things about him? No, I knew what I was getting into with Chris. I knew the first week. I remember one of the first things I said to him was, “Tell me everything that you think I’m not going to like about you.” And he went on for about an hour and a half. Then I still married him. So he was always really totally up front with all that. As far as the vagabond musician friends that wander in and out of our house all the time, there’s two in particular, they’re twins believe it or not, who I’ve seen their genitals one too many times. And it’s very harmless. It’s actually more just they’re comfortable with themselves. But you know, I’m okay with it. I can deal.
Question: Were there any annoying habits you had to tell?
Hudson: No, but there is one that he has of me that it’s actually pretty funny. It’s I can sip on a coffee all day long. Like, I can have a coffee that’s cold and I’ll still take a sip of it and it just drives him nuts. And same with my dad. It drives Kurt nuts too, ’cause my mom actually does the same thing. And they’re both like, “I don’t know how you guys can sip on cold coffee all day, the same coffee.” I don’t know. I like it.
Question: Did Kurt ever give Chris a hard time at first like Michael did in the movie?
Hudson: No. Pa was actually pretty good. I think people — someone asked me a similar question. Someone asked me if people found him intimidating, and I’ve never thought about the fact that my dad is actually like, you know, Snake Plissken. Oh my God, that must have been really difficult for certain guys to come in and go, “Oh Kate, that’s her dad. And he’s going to kick my ass.” But you know Pa, I remember he was doing a press junket and he came back from the press junket right after I married Chris. He said that he got asked a lot about if he was nervous or worried that I got married too young. Pa said it was so funny, because I said, “I’m never worried about Kate. I’m worried about the guy who marries Kate.” Which I love because that shows that he’s got confidence in his daughter. So he’s always be pretty good. My parents let us make our mistakes.
Question: Do you know a male or female Dupree in your life?
Hudson: I’ve got some female Duprees. And like I said with all the musician guys that I’ve been lucky to know. For me, my girlfriends, I’ve got I would say two Duprees. One of them just sort of squatted in my house for over a year. I liked it because I could go into the guest room and be like, “So anyway, and then she said, and then he said.” Chris was the one who was like, “When is she getting out of our house?” And then I have another one who was probably be the Dupree who would light the house on fire with a stick of butter. And if you’re out there baby, you know who you are.
Question: Are you still friends with them?
Hudson: Oh I love Duprees. I’m not like Molly at all. I’m totally available for weird, interesting, bizarre characters. I love it.
Question: So you’re fine with those musicians walking around with everything swinging?
Hudson: It’s hysterical. Are you kidding? That actually happened when these guys were living with us in Paris. I’d literally go to work every morning like at 5:30 in the morning. And I’d be stepping over them. And you know they were just passed out. I guess that’s part of what I enjoy about life is that there are these people that you can just write stories about. And I must say, and this sounds crazy, but you know for what I do or actors or anybody who works in the movie industry, I always think that understanding human behavior no matter what kind of human behavior, is the best lesson and the best acting class you could possibly have. So I’ve always been very open with people’s stuff.
Question: Your line about “Love not being enough to sustain a relationship.” Believe in it? How do couples compromise?
Hudson: I actually don’t agree with that line. I think a lot of people do, but for me, i feel that love is everything. That’s a really difficult question. Marriage, relationships, no matter if you’re married or not, are never, ever easy. I think that there is a — my mom and my dad are a really good template on how to keep a relationship through everything good. And theirs, they just have a blast together. No matter what, through everything they play. They really play and they play really hard and they have a great time. That always keeps them passionate and enjoying each other as sort of these two playful people. I mean, they’re off in Amsterdam right now. You’re just going, “God, you guys have been together for 24 years.” They’re calling me and going, “We took a bike ride in Amsterdam. It was so much fun. What are you guys doing?” And I’m like, “I’m at a press junket.” They just know how to do it. I think where people go wrong in relationships is you start to get really comfortable. That happens all the time. You know each other so well, it’s scary. You don’t even have to say anything to each other to know what the other person’s thinking. But it’s when you stop saying it that it becomes a real, when you have to start reevaluating your relationship. Relationships are so hard. They’re crazy. But you just have to respect and love and have a good one. I feel really lucky. I got a really good one. I got one that keeps me on my toes.
Question: How do you balance your serious and comedic work?
Hudson: Actually it’s funny because when I saw the movie, we shot so much, you never know how it’s going to come out. You never know. Obviously, we leave set, and the product is in everybody else’s hands. When I first saw the movie, not only was I laughing, but I was so impressed by the fact the Russo brothers really made a point to maintain some kind of ground and accessibility to how insane some of the comedy is and actually try to have a point of view of the way it is when your best friend has a new best friend and when your marriage maybe isn’t necessarily what you thought it was going to be. I actually got kind of emotional. But while we were shooting it, the one thing for me, I had to be very conscious of is I love to laugh. And it was really hard for me to get through a lot of these scenes. Even when I had to cry, and Owen — I had to do that scene where I say, “Maybe sometimes love isn’t enough.” I had to try to be emotional, and I was really focused, but the second I saw Owen’s face, I was just like [cracks up]. I couldn’t help it. He had that neck brace on, and I was like, “God, this is the hardest thing I ever had to do.” But the Russo brothers were really very adamant about keeping it grounded, which I think the movie would be not as good of a movie if it wasn’t. And for me, I just had to play straight. Everything just had to be totally straight, and that was very challenging for me because I’m used to having sort of a cover up of being able to be so energetic and not totally grounded, just completely spontaneous. Whereas it was the opposite. I had to watch Owen do what is spontaneous and go for it, and I had to stay rooted. And my God, it was such a challenge. And then working with Matt was — it was the first time I played a married woman. It was the first time I had to be somewhat intimate and feel close to somebody like that. And Matt made it very easy, easy comfortable. He loves, he’s a very different style actor than Owen. And it was just working with two completely different types of people. And it was really amazing how it was just all sort of came together and we all enjoyed it.
Question: Compare and contrast working with the Wilson brothers.
Hudson: I’m a Wilson aficionado. Compare and contrast? I wonder if they hate this. You know what I mean? I wonder if they’re like, “What is Kate saying?” Well, first of all, I’ve gotten to know all of the brothers now, Andrew included. I would say that first of all, they’re all hilarious. And their humor isn’t — it’s not wacky as much as it is based in intelligence, referenced humor. Owen is a beautiful writer. He’s a great writer. He’s always thinking in terms of writing. Andrew and Luke write as well. So their sense of humor — I think their similarities are the core of them, obviously coming from the same parents, the core of them is very similar. Their senses of humor are similar, but to me they’re all different. I should ask Owen what he thinks, but to me, I would say that Owen’s the weirdest. I don’t know. I think that Luke is the baby, and he is definitely a sure baby. You can tell that he was the youngest brother.
Question: He’s shy?
Hudson: No, I think he’s sensitive. Aww, they’re so cute. I think they’re all pretty sensitive. I don’t know about Andrew, but I think they’re all pretty sensitive. And then Owen, Owen I think has a — Owen’s more quiet. Owen’s definitely more quiet than Luke. I know that sounds weird, but that would be my … Yeah.
Question: How was it to be the only female whose face was actually shown in the movie?
Hudson: I’m so flattered. First of all, it was a boys’ club movie. It was one of those things where I was the girl, the little sister. It was like, “Hey, what are you guys doing? You going out? Can I come?” But I’m pretty comfortable with boys. You know I have all brothers. There’s four boys and then me and my mom, so I’ve been surrounded by boys my whole life. So I didn’t even think about it. Although when I saw the movie, I did think, “Wow, poor Molly. She’s literally the only girl and all these dudes.” I don’t know. It kind of felt a little like “Almost Famous.” In “Almost Famous,” even though there were the girls, like the other Band Aids, it was always just me and all the boys every day. And that’s kind of what it felt like in this movie. But it was fun. It was fun.
Question: How about working with Michael Douglas? And is there any moral to the movie?
Hudson: Michael is the first person I’ve worked with that I’ve known since I was a baby. So it was the first time I had worked with a friend of my parents that I’ve known. You know, I’m friends with Cameron, his son. So I think it was sort of one of those experiences maybe for both of us where it was kind of just one of those wow things. What a cool — How great is this? For me, just the opportunity to work with someone like Michael anyway is always a joy. And just the fact that he was playing my dad. For us it just had a little bit more meaning and what would normally happen in that circumstance. In terms of the moral of the story, I actually felt like it hit on a couple of things. I love that Dupree is sort of this free spirit and sort of has this idea of “I am who I am. And I’m proud to be who I am. And eventually it will work out for you.” I don’t know if I agree with it. But I do like the concept of people being okay with being who it is they are. And I do love the idea that in marriage that no matter what through everything, even when it feels so bad and so wrong, that you do work at it. And you know, the Russos are married and they have amazing women in their lives. And I think that’s kind of a wonderful ode to their wives because I think it shows that their women are their ground. Their women are their everything. It’s what keeps them going. And I think it also shows that their women is that their women are strong. They stick through it and are demanding of them to stick with it. I do love that idea. But all in all, look, we’re not talking about an Academy Award film. We’re talking about a summer comedy that’s a lot of fun and actually has a really sweet, emotional undertone to it that made me feel really good when I walked out of it, which is really — for me at least. I mean, I’m such a cynic. I can’t watch myself on screen. I never have a good time watching the first half — I’ve only seen this movie once, and it wasn’t even done. I had a great time. I walked out and can’t wait to see it fully done. So, it’s pretty cool.
Question: What’s next?
Hudson: Isn’t it crazy? I can’t talk about it. I’m going to be working this fall on something and it’s going to take me overseas and that’ll be really fun.
Question: How’s Ryder?
Hudson: He’s great. He’s two and a half. He’s talking up a storm. It’s amazing because at this age, it’s like he’s starting to create his own ideas and taking — Like he’s obsessed with “Peter Pan” right now. He watches “Peter Pan” and you watch him assimilate it and use. The other day my girlfriend and I were talking to each other, and he goes, “Girls talk too much.” And that’s what Peter Pan says to Mary (does she mean Wendy?). I looked at him, and he picked up on it, and I was like, “You’re two and a half years old — ” I mean, God damn it, if this isn’t what life is about right there, I don’t know what there would be a reason to live. That, just watching him discover every part of himself, and especially his mind is just fantastic.