Hudson. It‘s a cruel joke. How do you get to know anyone in less than half an hour? How does Hudson — who comes across as friendly. easy-going and down-to-earth. casually dressed in a baggy wool sweater without make-up and with a recently picked spot on her chin but looking gorgeous anyway — project the real her to four strangers eager to question her about everything from her then impending marriage to Chris Robinson (frontman to retro-rockers The Black Crowes) to appearing semi-naked in Almost Famous? We can't. she can’t: we’re all mere cogs in the film industry publicity machine.
Nevertheless. we all play along; it's in Hudson’s contract. no doubt. and it provides us hacks with pay cheques. An eager young journalist kicks off the proceedings with: ‘lt‘s ironic that you play a band aid in this film and now you have a relationship with a rock star.’ ‘I met Chris after the movie.’ says Hudson. ‘lt was like: “I‘ve done this. I‘ve just finished the movie“. ljust met somebody and fell in love. It’s what it was. In terms of the movie. it‘s totally ironic.’
‘Does Chris think the portrayal of the sex. drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle in the film is accurate?’ asks an older journalist from the other side of the round table. ‘Chris hates admitting it.’ says Hudson. ‘He was so ready when he saw the movie to go. “That's not it at all". and he went. “Yep. that’s about it".‘
A woman who seems to write for a glossy society magazine changes the topic of conversation to shopping for Christmas presents. after which I ask Hudson if she can draw parallels between her experiences as an actor and those of her character in the film Penny Lane? ‘No. Uh uh. I don‘t feel that way at all. I'm not a prostitute. I'm an actor. Well. I
suppose it is kind of prostitution in a way. But no. I can't compare the two. I‘m not smart enoughf
I begin to feel frustrated as talk turns to marriage plans (Hudson and Robinson tied the knot on New Year's Eve at the Aspen ranch belonging to her mom: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were reportedly on the guest list. for those interested). Now it‘s how mom feels. ‘Goldie loves him.” says Hudson. ‘She’s found her lost son.‘
In the space of minutes. the conversation turns from professional advice from Goldie (‘We kept work out of the house. because it wasn't as important as family") to having famous parents (‘These questions are hard because they’re famous. but they're my
parents") to Hudson‘s taste in music (‘Big Stones fan. Zeppelin of course. Bob Dylan: music used to be important') to nudity in the film (‘It was real. it wasn‘t gratuitous; there were many more tits than that in 1973'). I begin to see how daunting. or maybe just tedious. Hudson’s promotional chores must be. She's fielding questions from left and right: someone unused to this business would blow their top. Hudson doesn't.
Someone asks: ‘A line in the film: “Famous people are more interesting": do you agree?‘ ‘Definitely not.’ says Hudson. ‘Interesting people are people who go out and get dirty for a living. People who really love what they do.’ Like builders?’ says the society columnist. ‘No. that'sjust a figure of speech.’
‘You met the real Penny Lane?‘ I inquire. ‘That was a real trip. She was exactly what
Cameron described to me as the essence of Penny Lane. She could look right into your soul. Behind those eyes is “I've done so many things. and you will never know.”
Again. the interview switches from the film to gossip: what will Hudson wear to tonight's gala? Then it changes to something more interesting: being famous. ‘lt's really intrusive.’ says Hudson. ‘Sometimes it gets really ugly. press fabrication. everything‘s a lie. No. my parents aren’t getting divorced. We’ve got respectable magazines trying to figure out where we live. Are you supposed to share yourself with people that want to know where you live?’
Hudson seems to handle the pressures of stardom pretty well. ‘lt comes and it goes.‘ she
'l'm not a prostitute, I'm an actor. Well, I suppose it is kind of prostitution in a way.’
says philosophically. We finish our 25-minute intrusion. pack up our recording devices and say our thanks. ‘Good film. Kate.’ It is. and so is Hudson in her first leading role. You‘ll be seeing plenty more of her this year. in the Irish drama About Adam. Shakur Kapoor's remake of the Four Feathers. Barry Sonnenfeld‘s Big Trouble and Robert Altman's [)r T. Am] The Women. But the film that‘s made a star of Hudson is called Almost Famous. That's another of this day‘s many ironies.
Almost Famous opens Fri 9 Feb. See review next issue. The List has four soundtracks (DreamWorks) and four screenplays (Faber) to give away to the first four correct answers received to the following question: What is the name of the rock band Penny Lane goes on tour with in Almost Famous?
SIX MORE FAMOUS DAUGHTERS AND THEIR PARENTAL UNITS
It’s not just Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn (above) who’ve made acting a family business. When Gwyneth Paltrow wept buckets during her Oscar speech for her Shakespeare
18 THE “81' 18 Jan—l Feb 2001
In Love win, her actor mother Blythe Danner (Meet The Parents) did not follow suit. Dad Bruce Paltrow did sing her praises though, and then as director he made Gwyneth sing on film in the karoke road
Angelina Jolie don’t shed no tears; she’s too busy kicking ass as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider movie, in which she appears in spandex briefs alongside
dad Jon Voight (Midnight Cowboy) who naturally plays Lord Croft.
Jamie Lee Curtis also shared the screen with a parent, mother Janet Leigh, in Halloween H20. A nice reference to one of Leigh’s most famous films (Psycho) underlines the daughter’s adoption of her mother’s venerated mantle, ’Scream Queen.’ No sign of father Tony Curtis though.
Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini's
famous parents, actor Ingrid Bergman and director Roberto Rossellini, also split. As did Isabella and her first husband, Martin Scorsese. Hey, that’s the showbiz lifestyle.
Jane Fonda and brother
Peter, those stars of transgressive 70s cinema, grew up With a famously tyrannical father who everyone adored on screen as the easy-going Everyman Henry Fonda.
Liza Minnelli was the
offspring of Hollywood’s most glamorous and troubled stars, Judy Garland, who met Liza’s father director Vincente Minnelli while filming the 1944 musical Meet Me In St LouB.