Kate at the 69th International Venice Film Festival © Joe Seer

In Pursuit of Health and Happiness

6th May 2016

With superstar Goldie Hawn as a mother, and Kurt Russell as her stepfather, Kate Hudson is practically Hollywood royalty –but she has always steered clear of the celebrity lifestyle, setting her path as a free-spirit with a passion for healthy living. Karen Anne Overton finds out more...

It’s been 16 years since she won our hearts as charismatic groupie Penny Lane in the comedy-drama movie Almost Famous, written and directed by Cameron Crowe; but remarkably, Kate Hudson still looks as luminous and vibrant as she did back then. Having long waxed lyrical about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, she is often spotted leaving a yoga studio or out jogging in LA where she lives, and even has her own brand of sportswear called Fabletics. Hudson has now compiled all her fitness knowledge in new book Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body.

“The basic message involves empowering women and inspiring confidence about how we can build our lives in a more positive and healthy way,” she enthuses about this new venture. “There are so many expectations we have to deal with in terms of how we look, how we’re supposed to juggle work and children, and the kind of mom we’re supposed to be. We worry about living up to our own expectations and how our role in society has changed.”

Touching on fitness, nutrition and both mental and physical wellbeing, Pretty Happy is not aimed at telling readers what not to do, but more at offering uplifting and positive advice in a sisterly way. After all, Hudson is asked constantly in interviews how she maintains her youthful glow, and the book is simply a way of expanding on that, adding spiritual and motivational aspects. In fact, the idea of writing the book came to her as she was pondering one simple but crucial question: “What the hell is happiness?”

“And when I started thinking deeply about that I came to the understanding that it doesn’t just come out of nowhere and that you can’t afford to wait around for it to hit you. You have to chase it, or at least have an active attitude and work at thinking creatively and purposefully about your life,” says the bubbly star.

Despite her upbeat exterior, Hudson’s personal life hasn’t always run smoothly. Like her most famous character, she has always fallen for the charms of rock stars, and has two sons – Ryder, 12, from her seven year marriage to Chris Robinson, lead singer of American rock band The Black Crowes, and Bingham, four, with Matt Bellamy, frontman of English rock band, Muse. Rather than fret over her single-mother status Hudson has embraced it, and in spite of the recent rumours that she is dating ex-Disney star Nick Jonas, insists that she is single and loving every minute of it.

”I’m in one of the best places I’ve ever been in my life. I feel finally at peace with myself and the way I approach my world. I’ve been working more than ever lately and I love being a mom and getting to have such a great time with my sons,” she gushes.

Having stepped out of the limelight to focus on family, the actress is back with not just one, but two exciting film projects. The first is voicing flamboyant, ribbon twirling panda Mei Mei, in Kung Fu Panda 3, and the second will see her be co-starring opposite Bill Murray in Rock the Kasbah, a dark comedy set in Afghanistan. Hudson says her son Ryder was ‘thrilled’ at her landing the role as Mei Mei and that as an actress she was happy to forego the 6am call times and hours spent hanging around on set to spend more time at home, even declaring: “I don’t think I’ve ever had a more wonderful time!”

This idea of striking a balance is one that the 37-year-old comes back to time and time again and she admits it has long been a conflict in her thinking, especially when it comes to her work and children. But the scales always tip in favour of those she loves, saying: “My kids are my greatest love and joy in my life and my work has always been secondary to that. I love acting but for me everything revolves around my life with my family and my friends.”

Fitness is another aspect of her life that Hudson will always find time for, no matter her schedule. She admits that the problem is finding the motivation to actually do the exercise, but is equally adamant that once you do, it will always help you find clarity in a mental and spiritual capacity. She insists that ‘being fit is not a question of looking good, it is a requirement for feeling healthy.’ And yet, looking good can certainly help, if her clothing label Fabletics is anything to go by. The brand offers affordable, stylish and durable workout clothes, from colourful print leggings to gym bags and further shows Hudson’s determination to empower and encourage women across the globe.

Without a doubt, Kate Hudson is a ‘girls’ girl’, and in her current single status she thoroughly cherishes her female friends. For her recent 37th birthday she threw a ‘hot mess’ wedding-themed party, and from supermodel Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely to Demi Moore, her celeb gal pals turned out in force. In many ways, Hudson is very much like her mother, Hollywood icon Goldie Hawn; sharing the same incredible beauty and infectious energy, they draw others to their light, and she credits her mother with making her the inspirational life-force she is today.

“My mother has had the greatest influence on me and her spirit was always something that I have admired and tried to embrace. She has taught me so much about life and she encouraged me to be very free-spirited and open in my perspective on things,” says Hudson. “She showed me how much easier it is to smile, laugh a lot, and not take things too seriously. That’s probably the best life lesson I’ve ever been given.”

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