6 questions with 'Wish I Was Here' star Kate Hudson

By Dagmar Dunlevy

With Wish I Was Here in theatres, Kate Hudson is busy with promotion, but that hasn’t stopped the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days star, from surfing and keeping in shape – exercises, she stresses, that aid in her physical and mental well-being.

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The film, which debuted in theatres on July 18, follows a struggling actor, father and husband who tries to find his identity and purpose in life by home-schooling his children. Written and directed by Zach Braff, the film raised $3,105,473 on crowd-funding site Kickstarter – well over its initial ask of $2 million.

To get to know more about Goldie Hawn's daughter, we sat down with the seasoned actress and mother of two for a tête-à-tête to see how the themes of the film mimic her Hollywood life.

In which ways did your director, Zach Braff, surprise you?

“I have been friends with Zach for a long time, so I felt like I wasn’t surprised as much as I was so excited to see him doing what I think he is truly best at… Zach has no fear and I think that was a wonderful thing to see. He’s very specific—as to the story, as a writer, that he wanted to tell. More than that, he really hired an incredible crew that he could truly depend on and brought so much to the table.”

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Times change, but ancient beliefs still survive and sometimes even thrive. Judaism, for instance, had a role in your childhood. As it may relate to this film, we certainly live in a different age than our parents and grandparents did, but what aspects have continued through your life? Do you keep cultural customs?

“I think we are a very small percentage of what’s really happening in the world because I think religion is still prominent. Whereas I think in certain Western pockets, obviously people, religion, sometimes don’t play as big of a role, but the truth is, we are still seventy-five per cent evangelical in this country and Judaism is fast growing… Bringing people together to honor each other and love each other and support each other (is the whole point). I think the basis of what religion has, me not being a religious person, is really important, so I try to carry on the traditions, but I let my children have the opportunity to made up their own minds about how they feel about who their God is.”

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What would be a treat that you enjoy getting from your husband? Are you up for a great massage, or do you enjoy shopping?

“It depends. I think that part of what was so nice about [this film] was this is not a family that can really afford these luxuries. [It’s about] a working mother who really carries the burden of financially providing for the family, and so, even a day to herself without the kids is such a nice gesture from a husband! And for me, personally, it’s actually the opposite. For me, being with my kids is trying to take opportunities to myself - a couple of minutes a day to just sort of refocus is really important, but our job is a lot of travel, so with that, for me, being home and with the kids (is wonderful).”

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Do you actually surf?

“I do! I surf now and I can get on a board, yeah. It was funny, because I never surfed before. I paddle-boarded, but I have never surfed. The conditions that we actually surfed in were the worst surfing conditions. The wind was insane. It was freezing cold, but we did it and I got up and it was challenging. I thought it might be a little easier because I dance, so I felt like I can figure this one out. The only thing I have with surfing is that my brain gets the best of me. With my feet dangling in the ocean, I have those moments where I’m like: Jaws! Yep, Jaws comes creeping back into my head. (Laughs.)”

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How do you keep in shape?

“Fitness is a passion of mine, actually, and it’s not just about fitness, it’s actually about mental health. I think that physical health and mental health are a very beautiful marriage. One sort of needs the other. For me, activity, working on your body, the studies in terms of how it affects your brain are so vital to your mental clarity. It’s a difficult thing too… It’s very difficult for people today with all the stress and challenges and work to actually feel motivated. Also, when you are dealing with people who suffer from—whether it be low levels or outright clinical—depression, one of the first things that any doctor will say is to move and to start [getting into action].

One of the highlights of “Wish I Was Here” is the musical aspect and your musical performance, which truly stood out. Is that creative muscle waiting to be exercised?

My singing and dancing? Yes! I do it anyway, but to get out on stage… I haven’t done that since I was eighteen years old, so I think it will be amazing. I would also like to be in New York for a little bit. I have lived here (in Los Angeles) for most of my twenties—all of my twenties, pretty much. It would be a great excuse to bring the family and have to live in New York for six months, but yes, Broadway is definitely (on my agenda). It’s more than an item on a bucket list—it’s a must. I am going to see Zach and I am very excited because he and I went to see Cabaret last night and we had so much fun. When you got it in your blood, you can’t…I just literally want to go and get on stage and you just can’t help but have that (urge) when it’s there.”

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