Goldie Hawn:

At 71, Goldie Hawn is head­ing back onto the big screen in a rau­cous mother-daugh­ter com­edy. Here, the trail­blaz­ing star talks to Chrissy Iley about beat­ing anx­i­ety, be­ing a mum, find­ing love with Kurt Rus­sell and break­ing through that glass ceil­ing.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

back on the big screen and fun­nier than ever

It was ac­tress and co­me­dian Amy Schumer who de­cided she wanted Goldie Hawn to play her mother in the edgy new com­edy Snatched. She was con­vinced of it, even though Goldie has not ac­tu­ally made a movie in 15 years. This fact is sur­pris­ing be­cause Goldie has al­ways been there, some­how per­me­at­ing the Hol­ly­wood uni­verse even if it was as the mother of ac­tress Kate Hud­son. Also per­haps be­cause some of her clas­sics – Pri­vate Ben­jamin, Sham­poo and The First Wives Club – are al­ways ref­er­enced and Net­flix-ready. Yet, for this past decade-and-a-half, Goldie has been busy with her chil­dren’s foun­da­tion. It’s not that there was ever a mo­ment she gave up act­ing. It wasn’t a de­ci­sion. It’s some­thing that evolved.

“I thought, ‘You know what? It’s time for me to let this baby turn into a teenager and get back to work, and have some fun,’” says Goldie. “So that’s what I did.”

The pair­ing with Amy is per­fect. She is a new-gen­er­a­tion pioneer of “funny lady call­ing the shots”, which is ex­actly what Goldie did in her day.

I meet Goldie Hawn in a grandiose ho­tel in Santa Mon­ica – it’s by the beach with classic Hol­ly­wood blue sky and palm trees. It’s near the home she has just had built for her­self and part­ner of 34 years, Kurt Rus­sell. She has only spent three nights there, but ra­di­ates rest­ful­ness and peace­ful­ness – she’s clearly happy that she’s in a good place and fi­nally feels set­tled. And yet there is that air about her, a need to be calm in or­der to counter an anx­ious­ness that has plagued her all her life. That’s why she’s done a lot of med­i­tat­ing and al­ways has done.>>

Through­out the var­i­ous trau­mas and suc­cesses in her life, med­i­tat­ing is what Goldie has turned to when oth­ers might turn to cock­tails.

A home­maker at heart

Goldie is wear­ing a lit­tle black dress, bare freck­led legs and a heart-shaped tattoo that pokes out of her strappy san­dalled foot. Her hair, at 71, is the same as it’s been most of her life – long, blonde and tou­sled – but there’s no fa­cial sculpt­ing. She’s al­ways been pretty. She was the woman who broke moulds. Be­fore Goldie Hawn, it was im­pos­si­ble to be a pretty, funny woman in the movies. Not that she sees her­self that way. She’s al­ways been in­se­cure about her looks and de­scribes her­self as a comedic ac­tress. “I’ve never done stand-up or any­thing like that,” she says.

Born in 1945 in Wash­ing­ton D.C., she was dis­cov­ered on the pop­u­lar TV sketch show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, ap­pear­ing on it from 1968 to 1970. She came to Los An­ge­les around the age of 25 and made the movie There’s a Girl in My Soup. She main­tains she came with­out any other am­bi­tion ex­cept to get mar­ried, have a fam­ily and run a dance school.

Goldie al­ways thought she would go home to D.C., but she never did. She was al­ways shocked by her huge ap­peal, not be­cause she’s self­dep­re­cat­ing, but be­cause she’s al­ways be­lieved that mak­ing chil­dren happy and home­mak­ing was what she was here for. “I wanted the white picket fence,” she has said. The near­est she got was The Hawn Foun­da­tion for chil­dren – to help them tri­umph over trauma us­ing med­i­ta­tion tech­niques. “A fear­ful child can­not learn.”

Her spell away from movies to fo­cus on her foun­da­tion came nat­u­rally, she says. “When you’ve been work­ing for 40 years at be­ing funny, there comes a mo­ment where you look at your life and say, ‘Who am I now and where do I want to go? Do I want to con­tinue to re­peat my­self or do I want to do some­thing dif­fer­ent?’ I want my life to be en­riched by dif­fer­ent ac­tions, not just by one thing. That’s why I have de­vel­oped and pro­duced scripts for chil­dren that can go into schools. It was ex­cit­ing to me.”

By the same to­ken, Goldie feels her new movie was com­pletely or­ganic and not a de­ci­sion to go back into act­ing. “I didn’t know Amy be­fore the movie, although we met on a plane once,” she says. “In my heart, I have adopted her now. I love her.” She beams, a full-on Goldie beam, not a Hol­ly­wood beam.

The movie is a mother and daugh­ter ca­per, a fe­male mix, if you like, of Taken and The Hang­over. Def­i­nitely room for a se­quel and def­i­nitely very, very funny. The Amy/Goldie chem­istry is to­tally nat­u­ral and be­liev­able.

Search for en­light­en­ment

That said, to think of Goldie Hawn as sim­ply funny and light would be a mis­take. As the child of a Pres­by­te­rian fa­ther and Jewish mother, she grew up fas­ci­nated by all re­li­gions. Go­ing to the Catholic Church with her best friend as a lit­tle girl, even then she was look­ing for an­swers when most chil­dren her age hadn’t even thought of the ques­tions. She vividly re­mem­bers the day at school they showed a movie about the Cold War and what could hap­pen if The Bomb was dropped. “It stayed with me,” she says. “It was very im­pact­ful. I re­mem­ber think­ing I’ll never live to kiss a boy. I’ll never be a mom. I was very anx­i­ety rid­den.”

That anx­i­ety stayed with her for her whole life – that’s how the med­i­ta­tion came in. It also helped her get through her divorces, first from Gus Triko­nis and a par­tic­u­larly nasty one with Bill Hud­son, the fa­ther of Kate and Oliver. The di­vorce was gru­elling and seemed to cause much angst. It is per­haps why Goldie and Kurt are one of Hol­ly­wood’s long­est last­ing cou­ples – to­gether now for more than 30 years, but never mar­ried.

“Re­la­tion­ships are hard,” she says. “None of them are easy. Both Kurt and I had got­ten out of a re­la­tion­ship that was ba­si­cally all about money and we both looked at each other and we were like, mar­riage – no way! What’s yours is yours, what’s mine is mine. We’re go­ing to do this thing sep­a­rately and we’re go­ing to be to­gether. We’re go­ing to en­joy each other. There’s no mar­riage here. “Mar­riage binds you law­fully in a way that, sud­denly, you’ve got to give up your money. Kurt was mar­ried for three-and-a-half years and he had to give up all his money, his house and hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars. I was mar­ried and my ex sued me for ev­ery­thing, af­ter four years. The laws are like that.”

Of Bill Hud­son, even to this day, she ad­mits, “He was fun.” It was a pas­sion­ate re­la­tion­ship and the other side of pas­sion is, of course, dark­ness. With Kurt, it was dif­fer­ent from the start. It was in­stant cosi­ness, a slow burn. They met when they co-starred in Swing Shift, which Goldie also pro­duced. “You know when we fell in love? I loved the way he looked at my

chil­dren. Frankly, that was it. That’s what made me fall in love with him. It wasn’t one of those… ” she’s search­ing for the word... “lust at first sight things. No, not that at all. I mean, we were very sex­u­ally at­tracted to each other, but I was at a stage of my life where I had fi­nally ac­cepted my lit­tle white picket fence dream did not work out. I’d had two divorces and I wanted some­thing that was go­ing to be good for my life and my chil­dren.”

Her son, Oliver, has three chil­dren, Wilder, Bodhi and Rio, and ac­tress daugh­ter Kate has sons Ry­der and Bing­ham, and it’s al­ways spe­cial for Goldie to spend time with them. “My grand­chil­dren call me Go-Go. It was my nick­name when I was lit­tle,” she says. “Be­ing a grand­mother is amaz­ing. I love it. It brings un­be­liev­able joy.”

She loves all chil­dren, not just those who are re­lated to her – hence her foun­da­tion. And there’s also some­thing about Goldie that is cel­e­bra­tory of her own in­ner child, a play­ful­ness and in­no­cence that’s with her still.

Ahead of the times

Goldie’s phone rings with an In­dian gong ring­tone. She laughs at her­self. She’s drink­ing green juice, but swears she was drink­ing it for 20 years be­fore the rest of Hol­ly­wood, then the world, em­braced it as the healthy must-have.

Look­ing back at her life, she was the first of so many more things, not just green juice. When she pro­duced and starred in Pri­vate Ben­jamin in 1980, it was a ground-break­ing mo­ment for her and for women in gen­eral. She was al­lowed to be a fe­male lead – that was still a rar­ity – hi­lar­i­ous and still the exquisitely pretty, blonde Goldie.

Yet what we didn’t know is that she was study­ing neu­ro­science, how the brain works, and she still does. “I don’t look at my­self as some­one who has to be funny, who has to en­ter­tain peo­ple,” she says. “I’m an ac­tress who can be comedic and I started off as a dancer.” Her legs are still long, slim, shapely and toned, and Snatched di­rec­tor Jonathan Levine ad­mits she was the fittest per­son on the set. There was lots of run­ning, lots of ac­tion and Goldie’s never minded that.

In 1996, she, Bette Mi­dler and Diane Keaton starred in what be­came a mas­sive hit movie, The First Wives Club. “It was a time when movies were be­ing tai­lored to the ado­les­cent male,” Goldie says. “No one wanted to make movies with women of a cer­tain age, ac­tu­ally in their 50s. We all did it for min­i­mal money just to get it made.”

When the stu­dio wanted a se­quel, they were ex­pected to do it for the same low fees. “I couldn’t be­lieve it,” she says. “I thought to my­self, no. Ev­ery­one ne­go­ti­ates for a se­quel be­cause peo­ple love your char­ac­ters. You can’t put any­one else in that movie.”

Does she think they would have treated men like that? “No, not at all,” she says, with ab­so­lutely cer­tainty. Have things changed now? She pauses, smiles as if she wants to be the op­ti­mist and chooses her words care­fully. “We keep inch­ing along, two steps for­ward and one step back,” she says. “I feel that young men today are dif­fer­ent to some of those old dogs who have a lack of re­gard for a woman who’s – how can I put it – got some power.”

Goldie has never been the type of woman who stamped her stilet­toed feet and made diva-ish de­mands, but she al­ways spoke her mind care­fully. “I can tell you I did frus­trate a lot of peo­ple,” she says. “I was not happy about the way First Wives Club was han­dled.”

While Bette Mi­dler and Diane Keaton held back, “I was more con­fronting. When I look back, I feel ex­tremely proud that I used my voice.”

Does she think that now it’s pos­si­ble for a woman to be blonde, pretty, funny and call the shots? In my head, I’m think­ing Amy Schumer. “Per­haps, but I never felt pretty and nei­ther did Amy. We both grew up doubt­ing our­selves.”

Goldie Hawn in her Pri­vate Ben­jamin and Sham­poo pe­riod was un­doubt­edly gor­geous, but per­haps part of the rea­son she con­nects so well with other women is that she never be­lieved that her­self. “I still think there’s no such thing as a sexy clown,” she says, “but I like the idea that there’s been a paving of the way for more women to get out there and pro­duce movies.”

“It wasn’t lust at first sight with Kurt.

Goldie Hawn with (from left) grand­sons Wilder and Bodhi, and grand­daugh­ter Rio play in one of the five bed­rooms of her re­cently sold Pa­cific Pal­isades home.

Goldie and her co-star, Amy Schumer, in their new movie, Snatched.

Goldie has said that if she and Kurt Rus­sell had mar­ried, they would be di­vorced by now. RIGHT: Kurt and Goldie with (from left) her son Oliver Hud­son, their son Wyatt Rus­sell, her daugh­ter Kate Hud­son and grand­chil­dren Ry­der, Rio, Bing­ham, Wilder and Bodhi.

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