Hollywood darling Kate Hudson sits down with Buzzine to talk about women in the film industry, as Hilary Swank produces her new romantic dramedy, Something Borrowed. In this movie, Hudson plays the best friend of Ginnifer Goodwin, who is in love with her fiance.
Izumi Hasegawa: Your character is not the most likeable person I've seen on the screen. Were you worried about audiences really hating you?
Kate Hudson: No, not for me. The reason I did this movie and why I was interested in her character was because of what goes in the next one, and I'd never played a character like that before. So for me, that was refreshing. It also lends itself to some good comedy, to be the person who says the things that people don't usually get to say, and I wasn't too afraid of her being too unlikeable. But because of my generation or my friend group and people that I know, I know a lot of girls like Darcy. I feel like there will be a lot of people who will be able to relate to girls like Darcy. I even had a couple of people already come up to me. One was a man, which was a little funny, who said, "I'm Darcy." I was like, "Yes, you are! You are like a Darcy."
IH: What did you like most about playing Darcy?
KH: What I found interesting about her was where she goes in the next movie, where she kind of starts to go. There's a vulnerability to her, and insecurity, which is why she is the way she is. And she's not the smartest person. She's not afraid of who she is, but she's definitely clever, and she knows how to get her way by using certain tools. But those tools aren't around for very long, which she starts to learn as she gets older.
This whole movie is about that age -- what happens when you get into your 30s -- and it's about career, it's about your family, and who were you in your 20s, and where you're going; and Darcy is going to have the real adventure in the next book. She has the real ah-ha moment, and "Oh my God, I don't have any of these tools."
IH: Will there be a sequel then?
KH: Depending on the success of the film, hopefully. These books have quite a devout following, so hopefully all of them will get out to the movies and get into it. They love the books -- me being one of them. I'm into her books. You never know. Who knows these days? Nobody's got a crystal ball.
IH: There's so much chemistry between you and Ginnifer [Goodwin]. What was it like working with her?
KH: It was really easy. We met and we clicked. I think, honestly, what it is is that there are a lot of ambitious women in this town, and with that comes a lot of competitive energy. We all know that women can get quite competitive. I don't have that in me at all. Well, I do in sports. We get on the same volleyball team, I go, "You're playing softer or you're going down." I guess maybe I grew up; I know what the ups and downs are. I know what the industry is and how it works. I've always had that kind of thing where it's like they either want me for a part or they don't. You're either going to succeed in that movie or you're not. For me, I feel like, especially with women, we need each other to make the movies and to make female-driven films, which are very hard to get made. Guys do that well in this industry, and women don't, and that's why, especially, when Hilary [Swank] came to me to do this movie, I loved that she wanted to produce a female-driven film. It's a hard thing to get made. I felt like a good little girls club. I like the girls' club, and Ginnifer does too.
IH: What is Hilary like as a producer?
KH: Hilary wasn't on set. She came and she visited. She was a real part of getting this movie made and getting the people involved and into developing it. Molly [Smith] and her partner on this also were the real producers on the project. They worked together very well. I just like the way girls do things. We really do know how to get things done. Obviously there are some male producers that I've worked with that are just incredible. Watching women multitask I find so intriguing because they're so damn good at it. It was very feminine. They're very feminine. It's not like girls trying to be boys. It was a nice thing to see women as women. I feel like, for them, it's the same thing when you're working with studios and you're working with certain types of movies, trying to allow them to continue to make the film. People want to fit things into a box, especially movies that they want to be successful in this sort of genre, and then they get afraid of making it a certain way. I think Hilary and Molly, when they brought these books, they really wanted it to feel like the book. They didn't want to disappoint the audience. They didn't want to have to compromise with the studio to sort of dumb it down or to water it down. They really wanted it to be about a guy who's cheating on his fiancé with her best friend and what is that and the dilemma on that saga. It makes for a good conversation piece, so I think they did a really good job.
IH: It's not necessarily a happy ending. That's what I appreciate about it. There's such a real quality in this entire cast of characters. Everybody fucked up big time. That's what's real in acting, and an audience can relate to it. You could hate this character, but it's all very contingent on the performances, not the way it was written, because some of the stuff you were doing, you could have been "Ew," but everybody was still charming and appealing and real. Everybody won the audience over...
KH: When people are making choices based on how they feel or who they are, does it make them bad people? I think they did really well. They're not bad people. They're just experiencing their life and finding themselves in a difficult situation and having to learn from it, and that's what everyone is doing at that age. I think it's something that will really resonate with some folks. Our generation, like 20 to 45-50, will really... "Okay, I remember when my best friendin the situation she was in."
IH: What are your thoughts on romantic comedies?
KH: I don't think this is a romantic comedy. Romantic comedies are cute, then you have a situation. Then you have like, how are they going to get together? In what circumstance are they going to end up meeting? Then you have a friend, maybe a side relationship that makes you feel like, "I don't have that in my life," and then you kiss. That is a romantic comedy, like Sleepless in Seattle or You've Got Mail, or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
IH: Do you have to be a business woman in Hollywood? I know your mother was. Your mother was heavy in the business and so are you. Can you just be an actress? Do you have to have your own production company? Do you have to do all that?
KH: It depends on what you want. I have actually not been as active in that department as my mother was, in terms of developing and producing. I've dabbled in it, but it takes a lot of work. There's a stigma that follows you when you go down that road as a woman, which my mother had to deal with very much in her prime. It can be very difficult; at the same time, it shows, in the quality of work, how she fought for a lot of things, and the quality of the types of movies. She took it very seriously. I, in watching that, have fought against it a little bit because it's a lot of work, especially when you have a family. But as I get older -- I'm 30, I'm not that much older yet -- but in the decade I've been working, now you get to a point where you go: I'm not going to apologize to anyone. The work or not working is important if you're a woman in this town, and I think, like I said, women coming together -- Hilary and people -- and actually driving female-driven movies is what will make them happen. If not, they're not going to happen. They just won't. There are very few men who want to get on a female-driven piece.
IH: You do have to do it.
KH: I think so, yeah. I think it would be a shame if you didn't. If women just waited for roles to come to them, they're few and far between, and they're not really that dynamic in terms of the success of movies that people want to go see. There are wonderful pieces that you can do that are very hard to get made that don't make a lot of money, but obviously are things, as an actor, you want to be part of. But in terms of the business, you do need female driving forces to make the big female-driven films. We all know that.
Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Something Borrowed' is released on May 6, 2011.