Kate Hudson arrives at her home office in Pacific Palisades, California, by stepping through the open window. "Why not?" she says, laughing. Outside, her 1-year-old son, Bingham, is running on the grass, squealing with his dad, Kate's fiancé, Muse front man Matthew Bellamy. It's been a big year for Kate, 34. She's a mother of two now (son Ryder, from her previous marriage to Chris Robinson, is 9) and engaged to Bellamy. She's also killing it with a stint on Glee, playing Lea Michele's bitchy dance teacher. In May she'll debut her first fashion line, a capsule collection for Ann Taylor, whose ad campaigns she's been appearing in as well. And her new political thriller, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is a big, grown-up departure from her rom-com past. “I feel like this is a great time in my life,” she says, curling up on the floor and grabbing the phone.
Glamour has organized a chat between Kate and one of her favorite women, filmmaker Mira Nair, director of Fundamentalist. Nair, best known for Monsoon Wedding, lives in Uganda—but continents apart, the two catch up and girl-talk about aging, acting, and dancing through life.
Mira Nair: We worked on The Reluctant Fundamentalist together, so: What are you reluctant about?
Kate Hudson: Not much! If I think about my life, I’m not reluctant about taking chances. I’m definitely not reluctant about relationships. [Laughs.]
Mira Nair: But do you trust people despite being a public person?
Kate Hudson: I choose to. The reason I trust so much is that I don’t feel like I have anything to hide. If somebody betrays that trust, it could never be so bad, because I don’t keep any secrets. I’ve had friends who’ve lied to me, I’ve had friends who’ve done things behind my back, I’ve had people steal from me—and it doesn’t stop me from trusting. The only thing that gets me angry is with [people who invade the privacy of] the kids. It’s the only place where I sort of go, Is this worth it?
Mira Nair: But what’s nice about what we have is when you enter the set, the world of film, it becomes this real cocoon, very different from all the publicity. That’s the fun part.
Kate Hudson: Well, that’s the work. There’s a misconception that if you come from famous parents [Hudson’s mom is Goldie Hawn, and her stepdad is Kurt Russell], you’re seeking fame for the sake of fame. I see it as the opposite: Growing up with parents who were in the spotlight—it was almost like, Wow, if I didn’t love to create characters, I would run as far away from fame as I could get. But I love performing.
Mira Nair: Are you loving Glee?
Kate Hudson: [Cassandra July] is such a wonderfully nasty character. I have so much fun playing her. And singing and dancing makes me so happy.
Mira Nair: How did you get so svelte?
Kate Hudson: Dancing, Pilates, and running after Bing.
Mira Nair: He’s walking?
Kate Hudson: He’s sprinting! And he’s got a natural mullet, which I’m cutting soon. It’s growing only in the back, so we in the family say he takes after my Gogie—you know, Kurt [Russell]—because Kurt was a mullet guy in the eighties. Bing’s been singing too. He loves music.
Mira Nair: That is wonderful.
Kate Hudson: And Ryder is the coolest cat—an amazing big brother, so patient and tolerant. Bing pulls his hair, and Ryder just laughs. He’s such a good person. I couldn’t be a prouder mommy.
Mira Nair: He is what you make him, you see? I think you only have one chance, really, to make a child’s life, and that’s what you’re doing.
Kate Hudson: It’s funny you say that because I always remember my mom saying that there’s only one thing in life she refused to fail at: raising her children. It just shows you it’s very possible to do the thing that makes you happy and still raise a wonderful family.
Mira Nair: You make everything look so easy. What’s hard for you? What’s your Everest?
Kate Hudson: I have always been fiery; I go after things. But what I learned from my mother is to step back and actually experience things that are happening. So for me, it’s about meditating. My Everest is to have that become a real part of my life.
Read the complete interview with Kate Hudson in the April issue of Glamour, on newsstands March 12.
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