July 12, 2006

Actress Hudson finds success fun, but hard earned

By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Kate Hudson is lucky, and
she knows it. But the 27-year-old's success in her relatively
short Hollywood career has been hard earned, even for the
daughter of a popular Hollywood star.

She appears onscreen again on Friday in romantic comedy,
"You, Me and Dupree," starring opposite Owen Wilson and Matt

Hudson is the daughter of "Private Benjamin" Goldie Hawn
who raised her with long-time companion Kurt Russell, a veteran
of more than 40 years in show biz.

She also earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting
actress in her first big role in a major film, playing rock 'n'
roll groupie Penny Lane in "Almost Famous."

If it all sounds like it came too easy, it didn't.

"I didn't want to be associated with my parents, didn't
want the perception that I rode on somebody's coattails, and I
had to be very conscious of that," she said. "I feel pretty
lucky. I feel pretty blessed, but I'm a real hard worker.

Six years after "Almost Famous," Hudson has more than eight
movies on her resume ranging from period dramas like "The Four
Feathers" to supernatural thriller "The Skeleton Key."

None have brought her the acclaim of "Almost Famous," and
only one has been a box office hit, romantic comedy "How to
Lose a Guy in 10 Days" co-starring Matthew McConaughey.

After "Almost Famous," one-time teen idol Russell told
Hudson that throughout her career she might perform in perhaps
four movies in which she would have a quality role like Penny
Lane if, that is, she were lucky.

Hudson, who is married to rocker Chris Robinson of The
Black Crowes, said she is happy to have had at least one.


"You, Me and Dupree" will not likely win awards during
Hollywood's trophy season this winter. It is a light comedy in
which Hudson portrays a newlywed whose home becomes the
temporary domicile of her husband's best friend, Dupree.

Hudson's character Molly marries Carl (Dillon) in a
romantic Hawaiian wedding, and after a love-filled honeymoon,
the pair returns home to a new life together. But close behind
them is Carl's out-of-work friend, the deadbeat Dupree

Dupree sleeps on their couch, eats their food and has sex
in their living room. He's a nuisance to the newlyweds, but he
is not the only one complicating Carl's life.

Molly's dad, Mr. Thompson, also is Carl's boss and a real
pain in Carl's posterior. Frankly, he hates Carl.

All the conflict in their newlywed life leads to a strained
marriage that is ripe for comic situations.

Although Hudson seems to have adopted her mom's flair for
comedy, the daughter plays against that type in "You, Me and
Dupree." Molly is the earnest, straightforward wife to the
comic antics of Dupree and Carl, but playing against her type
is just what Hudson said made her want to take the role.

"I've always known how frustrating it is when people don't
understand how important the straight role is, because
grounding comedy is the most important dynamic," she said.

"I thought, 'I can't wait to do this and we'll see if it is
going to be challenging for me,' and it was the most
challenging thing I've done."


Beyond the on-screen jokes, Hudson said "You, Me and
Dupree" has several sweet messages to deliver about friends,
family, love and growing up.

Hudson has grown up a lot on her own in recent years. She
married Robinson in 2000, and they had a son, Ryder, in 2004.

The family travels together when dad is on tour or mom is
shooting a movie. Hudson said it is hard juggling work and
motherhood, but in a way, she, Robinson and Ryder are lucky
because they have a lot of time together between jobs.

"You kind of do the best you can as long as priorities are
set straight, and for me that's just Ryder," she said.

When she was growing up, Hawn and Russell raised her and
her brothers in Colorado. Her father is former musician and TV
comedian Bill Hudson, but he and Hawn divorced when she was 18
months old. She often refers to Russell as her "Pa."

Hudson said that similar to her own upbringing, she expects
to raise Ryder outside Hollywood circles.

She opted out of college despite being accepted to New York
University and started acting at 18.

Hudson credits her early, low-budget movies like "200
Cigarettes" and the summer's Williamstown Theater Festival in
Massachusetts with giving her a sense that a good career is
something that is earned and not simply given to you --
especially when your parents are already stars.