Ask Hudson about a particular film, and she’s far more likely to tell you about how much fun she had on set than about her character or process. “I laughed so hard with Jason Lee,” she says of filming Almost Famous. “My connection with him—everything about his sense of humor just got me. And Luke and Owen!” she exclaims, referencing the Wilson brothers, with whom she worked on Alex & Emma and Dupree, respectively. “Man! I can’t get through anything with those two.” Her choice of My Best Friend’s Girl was also driven by her expectation of a good time. “I’ve never laughed so hard,” she says. “I got to film in a strip club and say lots of swear words. I’ve never really gotten to curse in a movie!”
Her approach to acting might leave many of her peers cold. But it’s worth noting that she’s not the first easygoing blond to carve an impressive career out of light comedic fare—some of it good, some of it not, all of it endearing if only because its star appears to have had the time of her life making it. Hawn followed this same formula, and it turned her into an American sweetheart, even if she did subject us to Protocol. So Hudson comes by her take-nothing-too-seriously attitude rightly. “I watched my parents go through ups and downs in their careers,” she says. “At the end of every day, as soon as they walked through the door, it was about us kids. About watching Scooby Doo or The Three Amigos or whatever we were interested in. I guess that’s what you wind up emulating. I love acting, but I can be present on set, and then at the end of the day I come home, and it’s about family.
“Eventually,” she says, again flashing her mother’s smile, “it all goes away. So you just gotta keep enjoying yourself.”