Monday, May 1, 2017

Kate Hudson Interviews Goldie Hawn

Kate Hudson recently interviewed Goldie Hawn for Interview Magazine. Here are some highlights from their conversation:

KATE HUDSON: This is very dangerous. I've never interviewed Mommy. [laughs] I feel like I know everything already. 

GOLDIE HAWN: No! I have some secrets.

HUDSON: As one of the few actresses of your era to produce and star in your own movies, and with women's rights at the political forefront, what advice would you give to a young actress or a young woman in any business? 

HAWN: I believe you have to start with a craft; you don't just start with a dream. You've got to put a lot of work in. If you want to pursue acting, then you go to acting class. If you want to be a dancer, then you learn to dance, which is what I did. If you want to be a ventriloquist or join the circus ... When you're young, you start looking at what you want to do—not just who you want to be, but what you want to do. And I think the tenacity to say, "I'm going to perfect that," is the beginning of a work ethic. It's the beginning of a talent. I would say, "Perfect what you do well. Branch out and learn how to do other things. Dreams sometimes don't work out. But what will carry you through your life is the authenticity of who you are. Start with learning how to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. And be really good at it. Learn what it is to sweat. Learn what it is to fail. Learn how to take rejection. Don't personalize it." I always believed that I could become a dance teacher. I had a realistic dream.

HUDSON: As close as you were with your family, you were always very independent and brave in the stories you've told me about being a young girl. What about the support of Grandpa when you moved to New York and couldn't really afford to live in the city?

HAWN: He would send me 20 bucks now and then, and he would call the Carnegie Deli and say, "I'm sending my daughter over so she can have breakfast." When I started go-go dancing on tables for a living, I didn't want to tell my mom or my dad. I made 25 dollars a night, and I was able to make my rent, with the four girls I lived with. It was a challenge, but I never once said, "One day I'm going to do this and that ..." I never looked at life that way. I just saw where I was and knew that I was going to continue to move on with my career. When I went to go-go dance at the Peppermint Box in New Jersey, I took a Greyhound bus and, believe it or not, I had a go-go agent. I don't know how I got that. I was slow dancing on a table to "Everybody Loves Somebody" by Dean Martin with my little outfit on. But when some guy in a suit showed me his penis, I said, "I need to get home." The bartender was like, "You won't get a Greyhound now. It's too late." I went, "Where's your owner? I want to get paid." She said, "Oh, he passed out a long time ago." And then I went to every guy at the bar—it was a truck stop—until finally two guys said, "Okay, we'll take you home." And I went home in an 18-wheeler. [both laugh] This was 1965 or something like that.

HUDSON: I think a lot of women can relate to the idea that you're supposed to fit into some kind of box—that you're supposed to behave a certain way. What consequences have come with your "watch me" mentality? 

HAWN: After I did Private Benjamin, suddenly the reputation was that Goldie Hawn calls her own shots. And directors said, "Is she hard to work with?" Because I didn't lie down. I said what I wanted to say. And I believed in the project. When we were casting Wildcats, studios were already giving us a delivery date. So I called the head of the studio and said, "This movie is not working. It needs to be rewritten. There is a tremendous amount of work yet to do. It's not a finished product." I was succinct, I wasn't angry, and I made sense. And he said, "Let's postpone it for six weeks, and we'll rewrite the movie." The same thing happened when I called Jeffrey Katzenberg on a movie we were doing with very green producers. I said, "Look, we're going to go over time and budget. We need to have a seasoned producer on this movie." He sent one. So I felt supported in areas in which I had to deal with studios. The problems were usually in the directorial area. They didn't want their vision to be changed. So that is where, as an actor, I found more pushback. 

HUDSON: Your choices say so much about your knowledge or your instinct. How do you think the business has most changed?

HAWN: The business was changing while I was in it. Conglomerates were coming in, starting to buy studios. Now it's all about being on the stock market, building amusement parks. Videotapes started back then, and I remember Jack Nicholson saying, "I'm never going to be on one of those small screens!" And I thought, "Dude, I don't think we have a choice!" Movies and movie stars are changing dramatically. There are so many areas of distribution now that, in some ways, it's gotten great. What hasn't changed is the importance of the story-writing, emotion, and really documenting the time and the era in which we live. 

Read the full interview at Interview.

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