Goldie Hawn interview

Suzy Maloy / 28 March 2017

Back with her first film for 15 years, Goldie Hawn on how Hollywood has changed and whether there will be a reunion with Bette Midler and Diane Keaton.



For 15 years you didn’t do a movie, who persuaded you to do this one?

Amy asked me. She was really hell bent on it. The studio called me and wanted to meet with me. I said I’d do anything to make this work. Because I really wanted to work with Amy Schumer. I think she is funny and charming and one of the new great actresses we have in Hollywood.

Were you done with show business?

I have doing my Foundation MindUp for many years. It’s a Foundation that is helping kids to deal with anxiety and to relax their minds a little. And I was happy doing it. Over two million children are now doing MindUp. It’s the most exciting thing I have ever done.

But you got the itch to act again?

Well, I was wondering if I had missed the bus, if it was too late. It had been over twelve years when I last did a movie. And I did ask myself maybe I am done, and do I really still want to do this.

And it’s not like the roles for older women are manifold in Hollywood?

Exactly. The roles for women in my age group are very rare. And they are not necessarily strong roles either. The ones that are out there for women my age usually don’t pay very well either. They are fun, but that’s about it. Even some of the great female stars out there are not getting paid what they would like to get paid. My point is it has to be funny and great and worthy. Otherwise you go back to work just to go back to work. And I don’t need to do that anymore.

Do you feel you paved the way for the women that followed you?

I think I have come to learn and understand that over the years. The only thing I always went by was my own barometer to my own feelings on how to create product that actually mattered. For me to say Yes to ‘Private Benjamin’ or for me to say Yes to ‘First Wives Club’ and other projects along my career was because I wanted to say something not because I wanted to change the course of women’s lives.

Yet, you have been a strong voice in Hollywood for many years.

Our thoughts are what we put into action. So, what we are thinking is what we do, and what we do is what we create. It’s a step by step process. When somebody tells me I was a trailblazer I can understand it now by looking back on it. But while you are in it, you don’t see it that way. 

Has Hollywood become less personal and more commercial in regards to only stories that will guarantee commercial success will be produced these days?

Sure, Hollywood has become much more corporate. The artfulness shifted back in the days when I was working a lot. It was Warner Brothers that held out the longest. They weren’t part of a big conglomerate that had to answer to a Board of Directors. It’s true though there was a lot of passion about movie making when we started out and did projects like “Private Benjamin”. They cared very much about their movies.

What is Hollywood like today in your opinion?

It’s a lot more like a machine. Product in, product out. It either works and makes money or it doesn’t. I remember in the old days where we could call the studio and discuss the movie if it didn’t work. And I was given permission to go back to the drawing board. Those days are over now. It’s much faster pace. The world has changed.

And the outside scrutiny has changed as well with constant and immediate criticism through Social Media. People are cruel these days, aren’t they?

It’s true, Social Media has its drawbacks. But to me this new kind of criticism didn’t  matter to me. I am already out there. You have a choice, you can say good morning to the Paparazzi out there or you can shun them. But that’s not my nature. I like to talk, I like to be friendly with people. I have always been like this.

So, you are the person who sees the glass half full and not half empty all the time?

Maybe not all the time, but I am definitely more the person that has a positive outlook on life. It’s just better to have a good conversation with people than being angry all the time. Is it trying at times? – Absolutely it is.

What period in your life do you cherish the most?

There are many periods. I am having a hard time to narrow it down. When my mother was very sick I took her out to get her some makeup, and she said something to me that to this day makes me cry. She said honey, look at those young women pushing their babies around. I envy them. And I knew exactly what she was saying, because that is a beautiful time in a woman’s life.

It can be tough though, right?

I know. It’s easier to cherish that time when you have enough money and when your needs are taken care of it’s just a great time of your life. Being with your child, being with your girlfriends that have children, taking care of your kids, cooking for them, being tired at the end of a long day, that’s a great time in a woman’s life. 

What other period do you cherish?

Well, gaining success is an interesting moment in your life. It’s just unusual and not natural. I think when success comes very early in life it’s difficult for these kids to deal with it. I had my own difficulties with my early success. I went to see a psychologist to cope.

Why?

I felt very anxious. I didn’t know why people wanted my autograph. It’s not what I wanted. I never wanted to be a star. I wanted to be a dancer, I wanted a ‘normal life’. Even though my father always told me that I was not normal and that I wasn’t going to have a normal life (laughs).

When did you find out that you were funny?

There were a few things I did in dancing that got laughs. I played the mayor’s wife in “Bye, Bye Birdie” in High School. She had no lines, but she had to keep fainting. And that got a lot of laughs.

How would you describe the private Goldie Hawn?

I am not a big socializer, believe it or not. I am very much into my family, I love to be at home. And I love to wear my workout clothes all the time. I am always ready to work out.

How would you describe “Snatched”?

The movie is an action movie. I felt right at home doing that. That’s what I like to do. And to be able to do that again was a lot of fun. And to do it with Amy was like dancing with the perfect partner. It’s a funny movie.

How much of you as a mother is in the movie?

Somewhat, not a lot though. She is scared and nervous in the beginning. She has cats, I am not like that. It’s more towards the end when she is more confident that she is like me. I still sing a lot. And all my kids were always embarrassed about my singing.

Can you tell us about the reunion with Bette Midler and Diane Keaton?

There is none. Netflix bought the script, but it was not very good. And if you can’t do anything funnier than First Wives Club, you better leave it alone and not do anything.

A movie with Kate, any chance of that?

We think about it a lot, but we don’t always do what we think or talk about. We’ll see. 

Goldie Hawn stars with Amy Schumer in Snatched, in cinemas May 19

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