In the musical Nine Kate Hudson portrays Stephanie, a flirty journalist from Vogue magazine, attempting to get an interview with the great Italian director, Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) about his new film, which will star Claudia Jenssen (Nicole Kidman) who has graced most of Guido’s productions.
Both Kate Hudson and Nicole Kidman sing and dance in the movie, something we’re not used to seeing them do, and they talked about their experience at the press junket in New York.
This movie, Nine , is about taking your life and turning it into art, can you talk about that process for you.
Kate Hudson: For me I look at everything on a project to project basis, and for this film it was more about my wanting to go sing for Rob Marshall. So that’s the first thing for me, please get me in the room, so I can hit one note and see if he bites. I’m a spontaneous person so when I approach anything I try not to think too much. That’s my gift.
One of my favorite scenes in the film is when Claudia tells Guido, ‘I’d rather play the man.’ What are your thoughts about that line, and do you think that sentiment is felt my most women in acting?
Nicole Kidman: Most of the time the roles are better for men, but I also think the way he’s describing it, to be specific in that scene, that role sounds far more riveting than all the other things he’s presenting to me, and as we know he has no idea anyway, so he’s clutching at straws.
I think that says something about the character of Claudia, even though she’s his actress she knows him in a way where she can speak the truth to him, and she’s not frightened to do that.
In terms of Hollywood, I think they rewrote a role for Angelina, I think it was Wanted, where that was originally a man’s role, and they rewrote it and made it a woman’s role. I think sometimes that can be great. I wish they’d do that more often. I’m also about to play a man (The Danish Girl), so strangely enough that does ring true for me, but it’s a man who undergoes a sex change.
Can you imagine fighting over the attention of a guy like all the ladies do in the movie?
Kate Hudson: I’d rather hang with the ladies. I’d be like, ‘Okay, Guido, whatever.’ ‘Hey ladies, you want to go to lunch?’ Nicole said once through this process that Daniel’s dedication and passion for what he does reminds you of how lucky we are and blessed we are to do this, and I thought that was so wonderful. Daniel’s ability and his process is inspiring.
Nicole Kidman: And it hasn’t waned. He’s been doing it for a long time. He’s won two Academy Awards and he so deserves them, he’s a true actor’s actor.
What’s interesting about being around this cast, because people ask us about the egos, and I think when you’re working egos are not a part of it, because if you love what you do, you’re just so glad to be around other people who love what they do.
I came into the rehearsal room and I saw Kate dancing up a storm, and I went, ‘Wow, that’s amazing, I can’t wait for people to see that part of her, and maybe she’ll do a Broadway show or something out of this,’ because she so deserves a lead in a show.
I understand that Daniel stayed in character throughout the movie, could each of your talk about how he related to you off screen as Guido.
Nicole Kidman: I suppose I didn’t find it odd because I have a little of the same thing with the character, so we didn’t talk that much as Daniel and Nicole. I remember when we shot our scenes we barely spoke, but we would sit in the little room together and I felt comfortable enough to have a nap in front of him.
We were silent around each other, and now we talk. I have to say the way Daniel is able to do that work is the directors that he chooses, because it’s very important that that is not ridiculed, that it’s not made fun of, that it’s not analyzed too much, and Rob was amazing because he allows the process of each actor to blossom and exist, so he creates a space for everybody to do their work.
Kate Hudson: When I first met Daniel I was rehearsing and he was watching and I was like, ‘What’s Daniel doing here?’ He was so kind and generous and I had a scene where we had to get drunk at a bar so we had a blast. The Guido I got was the one that wanted to come out of himself; we were laughing, stools were flying everywhere.
I didn’t get the agonized Guido. But off set, he’s present and sees you, he’s not lost. You never feel like it’s only his [world], you feel a part of it, he brings you into it. He writes notes to you as his character, like after the number he would write, ‘The number was great, love, Guido.’ As anybody would write a note, he would just write it to you as Guido. It was a great keepsake.