For many of today’s Hollywood comedic leading ladies, like Reese Witherspoon and Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn was the one who started it all.
They may be onto something there. She was one, in fact, of the first women to start producing her own films, back in a time where a female executive in Hollywood was practically unheard of. The first film she produced and starred in, Private Benjamin, nabbed three Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in 1980. Then, in 2002, after the release of The Banger Sisters in 2002, Hawn went on a hiatus from films. Don’t worry, she stayed busy running a mindUP, an educational program that helps children understand how their brain works and authoring two books, Goldie: A Lotus Grows In The Mud and 10 Mindful Minutes.
Now, after a 15 year hiatus, she’s back and funny as ever co-starring as Amy Schumer’s mom in the mother-daughter adventure comedy, Snatched. I got a chance to talk to the comedic icon while in Las Vegas for CinemaCon in March. Here’s what she had to say about why she decided to get Snatched.
On why she decided to take on the role of Linda Middleton in Snatched.
Well, I wanted the role to take on me, actually because it was really a perfect situation. Actually, I’ve been away from movies for a while, and I really was ready, ripe. The truth is, there’s very little stuff out there for women of a certain age. And when this came about, it was sort of a dream come true, meeting Amy, who had a sensibility, a similar humor, the ability to make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. It’s a gift and it’s a talent. It’s a part of being able to tell a whole story, not just jokes, not just laughs, not just a silly comedy, but something that actually could say something.
I was stimulated by that, and also the process in which it takes to get there. That’s why I was ready for the role to take me over, right, and surrendering to that because this character is nothing like me. I was challenged by the character. Once she (her character)really took over me then I was comfortable in it. But more importantly, the process with Amy was what made it everything for me. It really did. It matters, because the connection and the collaboration is what makes movies good.
On being a working actress in Hollywood
There’s more scrutiny toward women, particularly that have achieved a level of power. When I went off to make and produce movies, I didn’t do it because I wanted to be the greatest producer in the world. I did it for a pragmatic reason: money. The ability to have enough talent and enough people in the room, a deal at Warner Brothers, and line producers that are with you […] Therefore, we made a movie called Private Benjamin. It was really a hit movie, a lot of people [were] involved with that. It wasn’t just me, but I was on the cover of Newsweek. That was not the best thing, because suddenly I became Goldie, ‘dumb as a fox’, and all of this stuff–. Our company was really a real production company. It wasn’t a vanity project for Goldie.
What you had to do during that time period when there weren’t women producing movies, that you have to navigate, as Amy said, though various different challenges in terms of how you pose a problem or how you look at a movie that doesn’t work, or how you have produced a movie that the director’s taken in a completely different direction, and you know that you had the final word on it. Then, if you do have the final word, you better say everything just in the right way, which I didn’t do one time. I mean, I went in there and I hauled off on them. I said I’m going to take my dumb wig that I wore on this movie–off, and I’m putting my producer hat on, okay, and then all that [press] followed. It was literally the studio that called me and said, “You’ve got to do something.” So, I was the fall guy.
On what surprising things they learned from each other while on set.
We learned a lot, not from each other, I think, but we learned about each other. And when you learn about each other, you obviously learn about yourself.
I mean, I look at this and I think, everybody that you meet is some form of a mirror back to yourself. I was very impressed at how she worked with people that she didn’t necessarily agree with, had a very skillful style of being able to approach something with more aplomb. Sometimes, I don’t have that. Sometimes I’m pretty straight. I thought it was a really important quality, and something that one needs to remember. You know, me being a Scorpio, sometimes that tail just comes up. It takes a long time, but I just watched how patient you (to Amy) were when I knew you weren’t feeling it.
Friends don’t let friends get Mom bathroom soaps for Mother’s Day. Go here: SnatchedMovieTickets.com
Snatched opens May 12th.