Kate Hudson has just tumbled into the backseat of her SUV, narrowly escaping the small swarm of paparazzi awaiting her outside the downtown Manhattan spot where she was having lunch. The driver is pulling a series of turns to elude a particularly pesky photographer on a bike, but Hudson has just as quickly shifted her attention to more pressing topics. “You know how, with Martha Stewart, there’s an aesthetic consistency—like you look at it and you know: This is Martha Stewart,” she says, her eyes squinting in concentration and her voice solemn. “That’s how a wedding should be. From the ribbons on the bridal party’s bouquets to the ribbons on the place cards to the ribbons tied around the menus. Will your look be woodsy? Will it be modern? Everything. Must. Be. Consistent.”
It’s jarring to hear such instructions—delivered as they are with OCD–flavored intensity—issued from the mouth of Hudson, hippie chick of Hollywood, she of the peasant blouses and Bob Dylan references. Her mother, Goldie Hawn, has never officially married her partner of 25 years, Kurt Russell, and Hudson’s own wedding, at age 21, was an über relaxed and untraditional affair (“We didn’t even have invitations; we just called people”) in which she married a shaggy, formerly drug-addled rock star, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. Oh, and the marriage ended in divorce last year. She is also a woman who famously neglected to have her son’s hair cut for a full three years after his birth, not caring that he was routinely mistaken for a girl or some sort of street urchin.
Hudson, 29, blames her nuptial mania on having just finished filming Bride Wars, which she produced and stars in opposite Anne Hathaway. “Annie and I would talk about this stuff constantly—we were obsessed with The Knot!” she says, referring to the wedding Web site and magazine.
Not to worry, though. Hudson hasn’t yet morphed into the shrill neurotic she played in her 2003 box office smash, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. The bohemian Kate is still here, still clad in flowy florals (today it’s a Bally chiffon sundress), still interrupting conversation to loudly break into song and sway when a Radiohead tune comes on the speaker system. She has spent the morning making appearances all over town to promote David Babaii for WildAid, the new paraben-, sulfate- and petroleum-free hair-care line she developed in tandem with her hairstylist. “We need to start paying attention,” she says gravely, “to how we’re harming ourselves and our environment.”
It is one of the stickiest days of summer, and not 10 minutes after we sit down to lunch, the environmentally conscious hole-in-the-wall restaurant she’s chosen has a blackout. “We lost power!” Hudson yells out happily to no one in particular and giggles. Feeling sweat beads forming at my temples, I suggest that, if the electricity stays out for longer than a few minutes, we think of a plan B. “Nah, I’m cool,” she says. “As long as the gas in the kitchen is still working, so we can eat our tofu balls!”