LE DIVORCE - Q&A with Kate Hudson
How was it to go to Paris and shoot LE DIVORCE?
For me, my experience of Paris was probably the most exciting I've had so far in my life. I felt like I was in the centre of everything. Except for a few sexual escapades I had, I was experiencing Paris parallel to my character. As I was enjoying and being as wide-eyed and wondrous in the real-life, I was doing the same thing in the film. Paris was incredible. Everything about it for me, from spending hours eating, drinking and talking to walking through the streets...at that time I hadn't seen that sort of political passion in the youth, and I got to experience that first hand.
When was your first time in Paris?
I don't remember my first time in Paris. My mother was quite a single Mom, and everywhere she went, she just packed up her two kids and took us wherever she was going. So I was travelling with her all the time. I do remember being a little girl, and my only memory of being that age - I must have been 5 years old - was looking at all these clothes and fabrics. She bought this big blue dress. I just remembered that!
Was your mother (Goldie Hawn) living in France at the time?
My mother was dating this Frenchman. I was two years old, and we were living in Ibiza. I remember the way he was with his daughter, and it was so beautiful. It was cultural. The way he would brush her hair, the way he would speak to her in French. It was quite beautiful...he would take us to fig trees in Ibiza. I was very little. I never experienced details like that in America now.
Was it very different to the US?
Yeah, people are running around naked, not afraid to show their bodies. I think America is very different. I remember running around in Ibiza as a little girl, not being fazed by all these naked people, or people smoking and drinking. Nobody stopped to think there was a child in the room when they were having a cigarette. It was just the way it was. To me, that's the way it should be. People should do what they do. If you don't like it, you don't have to be there. It's a very different attitude in Europe to the States.
Aside from Paris, what was the chief attraction of making the film?
Really, the reason I came to do this film was to work with James [Ivory, director] and Ismail [Merchant, producer], and be a part of their body of work. To be able to say I could be a little sliver in their world.
Apparently, you were scared of going up the Eiffel Tower, to shoot the film's finale...
Yeah. There were crewmembers that didn't go up. I had to...well, I didn't have to, as it wasn't written in the script. I took a little thing for vertigo, an anti-anxiety drug. My knees buckled, my head started spinning. It's funny. I'm not afraid of heights. I rock climb. I can repel off the side of a building. It was being in a very small space - it was very bizarre. I went into a cold sweat. It was the first time I realised what vertigo was like. It was scary. And heavy! You can't do anything about it.
How did you get on creating a sisterly bond with your co-star Naomi Watts?
It was very easy. We were two girls who really liked each other. I started working three weeks before Naomi came. When she showed up, I was really excited to have a girl with me. Usually I work with guys! Naomi is a very hard worker, and very interested in the character. I am too. I think when you are doing a picture, you know it's important for the role and for the characters and the story to be able to tell that story. And part of that is that these two women are very close and in each other's lives at times.
Your character is an American who goes to Paris - but do you see the trend in reverse too?
I think that there's a lot of European people, and Latin and African people who come to America in search of the American Dream, to be able to make money, to send money home to their families and be able to really prosper at something. All these people who say 'I've lived in New York for thirty years!' and they're from Pakistan or wherever. And I think there are people who do fall in love with what our ideals are. The American Dream is a romantic notion but it's newer - not as pretty. You go to Europe, and it says something about the type of person you are. You're in search of something more intimate and more about yourself.
And you're pregnant now...
I'm 20lbs bigger already, and my feet just swelled up today! Fortunately for me, I'm loving every second of it. What makes you feel beautiful is that you're creating something.
Will you raise your child in L.A.?
We're always talking about where we want to raise our children. We know it's not Los Angeles - not that I have anything against it but it's too much in the midst of everything, and it would be nice to be able to have our kids come in for doses of it. Next time you see me here, there will be children. I will be like my mother. My mother took us everywhere. They treated us like people, like human beings. Right now, there's this style of parenting that I experienced with my generation, which was not to embarrass your children. They run the house! I grew up in a house where I got spanked every once in a while. I was disciplined. At the same time, I was completely free to be my own person, and to dress in my own clothes, and be naked if I wanted to. My parents were very open about sex. We didn't really hide much in our family. I think I will probably be very similar.
Have the recent world troubles stopped you travelling as much?
I'm not interested in being fearful. I'm not a good flyer, but that doesn't stop me. As far as politics, and SARS, if you're gonna go, you're gonna go. I'd like to be able to experience things. That's the best thing for my work - to be somebody who does get to travel and observe people. It would be a shame if things that made me afraid stopped me from doing those things.
How competitive are you as an actress?
The only things I'm competitive in are backgammon and poker. It would be horrible if there was no competition. It's what people want to see - they either like you or they don't. Not everybody likes Van Gogh. Or Bob Dylan! So you have Neil Young...or Ozzy Osbourne.
What is your relationship to critics and journalists?
I'm not going to generalise because I think there are wonderful journalists and I think I respect what everybody chooses to do. I don't like mediocrity. As somebody who likes to read, and considers myself somewhat well read, when I read things from journalists that I find in bad taste, I just tune out and never read that person again. What I don't like is when people put people down, no matter what they are or what they do. I just think it's uninteresting. I don't want to hear about someone's bad boob job when they're talking about a film. The best writers are those who are not judgemental.
Do you believe in using your public image as a soapbox?
I believe if you make that choice to use your public image, because you want to be a political activist, I think absolutely. That's what makes people interesting. In many years, I think people will say of Susan [Sarandon] and Tim [Robbins] 'That took a lot of guts' I appreciate them for that. They're passionate about our country, and what it's based on. What I don't like is when you hear that Tim cannot go to the Baseball Hall of Fame for BULL DURHAM. To me, if my child can't grow up in a country where they can express themselves - which is what our country is based on, the freedom of speech - if they can't do that without being ostracised, then we are following a very destructive path. That's what I'm more concerned with. My politics are like a lot of other people's. I will vote the way I want to vote, and believe in things I want to believe in. What I don't believe in is that - things should never be based on hatred. Nothing - especially a country. That's my personal opinion. I do think it's important to use their fame and celebrity in any way they wish to. If you're passionate about it, I say 'Go f***in' do it!' It's important to you, it's important to people...there's a lot of people out there who want to have people to look up to.
Your career took off after ALMOST FAMOUS. How did you cope with that?
For me, I just love doing it. That's all I ever cared about. I knew what to expect but then again, I had no idea what I was getting myself prepared for. I thought I knew and then I didn't. I just want to work and keep working.
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