Skip to content By the time you read this, parents Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell will have moved to British Columbia. Their son, Wyatt, is a budding hockey player, and Canada is the best training ground.
Hawn isn't leaving Hollywood for good. Hollywood isn't telling her to take a hike. She's just following the path that has guided her in a nearly 40-year career. Explaining her longevity, she said, "It could be my destiny or it could be the fact that I didn't do a lot of films. I've made choices, and I balanced my life with other things like family and motherhood."
Hawn has left a temporary calling card in "The Banger Sisters," opening Friday. Ditching her goofball persona, she plays a groupie who never grew up. One day she loses her job as a bartender at a Sunset Strip club and seeks out her former pal in rock 'n' roll worship, a conservative mom played by Susan Sarandon.
The coincidence of portraying a rock chick after her daughter, Kate Hudson, earned a best-supporting Academy Award for her groupie Penny Lane in "Almost Famous" (2000) is remarkable enough. That her son, Oliver Hudson, was preparing for a television series called "My Guide To Becoming a Rock Star" put the situation over the top. "It was just all bell-bottoms around our house," Hawn said.
"The Banger Sisters" contemplates what could have happened to someone like Penny Lane 40 years later.
"My character is hanging on to youth by a thread, is living in a dream world and is unwilling to wake up," Hawn said. "That's what this movie helped her do."
Hawn has had no such problem off-screen. She acknowledges that at age 56 the parts are not pouring in. Talk of a sequel for "The First Wives Club," a 1996 hit in which she played a vengeful divorcee at middle-age, has died. Recent outings such as "The Out of Towners" and "Town and Country" fizzled.
And early successes now seem a distant blur on her résumé. Hawn won the best-supporting Oscar for 1969's "Cactus Flower" while she slept in a London hotel. With ditsy charm and surprising dramatic chops, she blazed through a string of critical hits, including "Butterflies Are Free" (1972), "The Sugarland Express" (1974) and "Shampoo" (1975). She earned a second Oscar nomination for "Private Benjamin" (1980) as a Jewish princess who joins the military.
Hawn has other plans now. She will direct again. She finished a script about women and death. The road paved with Goldie does not always lead to Hollywood.
"I have other lofty goals, like seeking out what the meaning of joy is," she said, "and traveling the world and speaking to people from scientists to Zulu tribespeople to aborigines to find out what joy is to them and how we can learn to access it."
Hawn was New Age before there was a new age. Sarandon said the two of them are cut from the same hippie cloth. Even when Hawn was making America giggle as the go-go girl on television's "Laugh-In" in the late 1960s, she was into transcendental meditation. Unlike her "Banger Sisters" alter ego, she was not into drugs. She was married. She was working. She was tired.
Celebrity would eventually play a part in failed marriages to dancer-director Gus Trikonis and entertainer Bill Hudson before Hawn met her longtime companion, Russell. Hawn likened her Hollywood romances to being pummeled by a wave and trying to emerge onshore holding hands.
"The hardest thing was having a relationship," she said. "I was never given the opportunity to know what it was like to be a young girl with stars in her eyes that could have a relationship and work on one without the infiltration of fame."
Kate Hudson now has a celebrity relationship of her own in her marriage to Black Crowes' rocker Chris Robinson. Hawn is a classical-music buff. It seems living to her own beat always has been her way.
"She's the most positive person I've ever met," said Bob Dolman, writer-director of "The Banger Sisters." "When she comes to the set and walks into the room you get that positive energy from her and it is sincere. She drives her life by thinking only the best thoughts."
Sarandon said that behind Hawn's optimism is a calculator and three-piece suit.
"You wouldn't assume that she's a really sharp businesswoman," Sarandon said. "I will never get to the point where I have the business acumen she has."
Hawn turned down a part in the film adaptation of "Chicago." Script problems, she explained. She's rooting for the musical to succeed. She didn't need another movie anyway.
Taking a lesson from an African tribeswoman she once photographed and then was stoned by, Hawn said, "After enough people shoot enough film of you, you feel somebody is stealing your soul."