Kate Hudson is sitting in a big chair, in a big room, wearing a big smile. Everything about her is easy, warm, and welcoming. And yet, I’m still shaking.
It’s not that celebs are new to the NYLON staff – every month, there’s a steady stream of red carpet kids filing into our offices, our studios, and our parties. It’s just that, to quote Bijoux Phillips in the best movie ever made, “This is Penny Lane
, man! Show some respect!”
But Almost Famous
is almost ten years old, and Kate’s become a mainstream movie star since her breakout groupie role. Besides becoming a chick flick staple in How To Lose a Guy
… and Bride Wars
, the California native managed to make a genuinely creepy horror film – The Skeleton Key
– and create a vegan, fair trade haircare line with her stylist David Babaii.
Now Kate stars in her first movie musical, NINE
, an updated version of Fellini’s classic 8 ½
. In it, she plays a young American journalist named Stephanie who dances, sings, and wears metallic nail polish. After I stopped shaking, I got to ask her about it.You had to ask to audition for this movie?
Oh yeah. Nobody had ever heard me sing before. I told my agent, “I just want to get in a room, and sing for Rob Marshall, and see if he’ll have me.” And that was a really long time ago, like a year and a half before he even cast me.And Rob Marshall runs his film set like a Broadway show, right? He expects you to sing and dance everything like you’re onstage?
Rob really likes it that way. It was really hard for me to do it, because the dancing is very intense, and it doesn’t actually allow you to sing well. There’s one part of my song, right at the very end, and there’s this one big note [sings] at the cinema
… and I do this thing where I kick my head back in the choreography. I’m supposed to be singing, but the dance moves would stop my sound! Fergie says you should do a Broadway show.
I have an amazing admiration for live performers. It’s so difficult. And the thing about this movie is, we didn’t stop. It was like a play. We’d start in a sound studio in London, and it was like, “5, 6, 7, 8!” and then you go until you’re panting. It was so fun. But I’ll admit it, I cried. Like, cried.In the movie, you play a fashion journalist who writes about her favorite Italian designers. Do you have one?
Oh, that’s hard. I mean Valentino’s Valentino, you know? He’s an icon. But I love Giambattista Valli. I’ve worn quite a bit of his things. I love, like, a big ruffle here and there. But honestly, I love all clothes so much. It’s like the best part of the morning, getting dressed. I kind of like all clothes. I just put on what I feel like. Some days I feel really girly, but sometimes I feel masculine. Today I just woke up and was like ‘I want to wear a suit.’ It’s Bottega Venetta, by the way.I know! Do you also have a lot of your mom’s old vintage pieces?
I do. My mom [Goldie Hawn] had a relationship with Bob Mackie, and I remember being in his studio, with all these beads and sequins. It was amazing to watch him build clothing around my mother. A great designer knows how to make a woman’s body look great, not hide it. I have great respect for his work because of that. In the movie, there's a line about favorite pasta…
You really want to know? My favorite pasta is, like, a fetuccini with white truffle. There are a couple places that do it really well. Like the truffle mac and cheese at Waverly Inn?
No, that’s mac and cheese. Mac and cheese is not pasta. “Fettucini” is a pasta. By the way, I make a really mean four cheese mac and cheese. You cook?
Oh yeah, there’s one that I did that’s like a shell mac n cheese? It’s more of a twist on an Italian dish, and its three different cheeses and a pancetta, with onions and breadcrumbs. It’s really, really good. I’ll kill myself if I don’t ask about Penny Lane. I think my readers would kill me, too.
Yeah, girls your age… they really just get it. I had a girl come up to me once with a sunflower, like, she just came running up to me, and she just wanted to say thanks for being in Almost Famous
. I was like, “Thank Cameron Crowe!” And I thank him every day, I do. That experience for me was like growing up. So thank you for asking about it, and feeling so strongly about it, because that film was a huge part of my life, too.
--FARAN KRENTCILSee Kate Hudson's musical number in NINE.