Kate Hudson: Relationships Are About Playing Together

"There's a time and a place for everything." That's Kate Hudson's response to a question about being boyfriend Alex Rodriguez's biggest cheerleader in the stands when the Yankees third baseman played during the World Series. The 30-year-old actress's relationship with the baseball star is the most-discussed topic when it comes to her life, but by Christmas, Hudson fans should have something else to talk about: her singing-and-dancing role in the movie musical Nine, in which Hudson plays a Vogue editor who falls for Italian director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis).

iVillage spoke with the actress about A-Rod, her philosophy for parenting her son Ryder, 5, with her musician ex-husband Chris Robinson and what she's learned from her mom Goldie Hawn and partner Kurt Russell's long relationship.

Nine stars Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Sophia Loren, Fergie and Marion Cotillard. What was it like working with such a great cast of women?

So cool. Well I had a really great perspective because I was up top (of the stage) shooting it and I got to look down and get an objective point of view of what was happening. It was so cool. It was like an Australian goddess coming out over here and then you have the French angel sort of walking down the stairs and then you had Penelope who's (got) the Spanish cute, quirky, feisty thing and then Dame Judi Dench and the iconic Sophia Loren and then it was me and I'm like, "Uh, I'm in this movie?" Watching the movie for me was so great too because I hadn't seen a lot of it because we didn't work together. So to see everybody and what they represented and their own sensuality and their costumes and the world that was created around each character was so well done to me.

Did you know they were going to include footage of the movie's rehearsals in the credits?

No. [laughs] Of course, my hair... My mother and my dad are going to look at that and say, "It looks like you when you were 5-years-old." It did! That was the best. The rehearsals.

There's a scene where you put the key to your hotel room in Guido's pocket. It was a very bold move. Are you like that in real life?

Am I that bold? Yes, but I don't usually put keys in men's pockets. I am bold, but not that bold. It was free love. It was the time of free love. It was the '60s.

What have you learned from your parents' relationship?

Well, it's unconventional. They're not married. And my dad still refers to her as his girlfriend, which I love. I learned that honesty is the best route. And respect. If you really respect somebody and are honest with them, you can kind of get through anything. At least that's what I watch them do. And then it's different for everybody. Everyone connects differently. Some people connect in the fun department and they need to play together. And some people connect intellectually. I watch my parents play. They're playful people. They're fun. They laugh a lot. As an adult I'll call home and my brother will be back at my parents' house because he travels all over the world playing hockey, and I'll call and be like, "Hey, is Mom there?" and he'll be like, "No, Ma and Pa just went to Tahiti." And you go, "They went there? Where in Tahiti?" And he's like, "They're staying in some treehouse." They'll go and stay in some treehouse in some far-off place and they'll play, which I think at 27 years (together) you're like, "Okay, they've figured it out." There's a secret to whatever it is they're doing and it works. It just seems to work.

Did you learn anything from your parents about how to raise a child with famous parents?

Yeah, my parents' greatest fun is with their kids and even when they were busy, we always knew that it bummed them out that it took them away from us. At the same time it was their job. They loved it. To see my mom, who's a very hard worker -- she still to this day is a traveling woman -- but she's so present and she's so happy and she was such a good mom that it wasn't about her. It was about her family. It was about what we were, what we represented as a family. How comfortable you felt. Being honest. And so all the other stuff goes away. We had a really nice perspective of what's real and what's not. What's real is the effort and your job. What's real is to come home and be a present parent. What's real is my brother flunking a test. What's not real is people coming up to you and admiring you and thinking that means anything, other than to them. But to our family, knowing what's important to us is not that sort of self-importance. That's actually a real blessing to recognize what's real and what's not. So my parents were just adamant about us not being swept up in the faux importance of it all.

That's a really great lesson.

For anybody, really. I mean the weird thing is that people who aren't in the public eye, families that aren't in the public eye, look at our family and go, "Gosh, you guys really love hanging out with each other." It has nothing to do with anything except that we had such great, great parents who were honest. We're about family. That's huge. I think my son will have it figured out. I think he's got good tools already.

What's your secret to parenting Ryder as a team with your ex-husband Chris Robinson?

I love that question. You have to co-parent even in divorce. The key is communication. For me and for Chris it's just to be able to communicate and to be able to continue to respect what kind of parents we are. We fell in love for a reason because we loved each other. We brought a child into that love and we need to continue to nurture that love even though we couldn't live together and be together. So that's what we want to teach Ryder. And also, Ryder needs to know that sometimes things don't work out and Daddy and Mommy didn't work out and that's okay. And that's kind of how we handle it. He's very close with my family and his wife -- Chris is now remarried -- so it's like you make it work. I just don't find any reason to reject things or people from your life because it's more about teaching people to love. I sound like a crazy person.

No, it seems very mature.

It's funny because you get a lot of criticism from people, but I just think it's very important that Ryder has both parents. Chris will always be his father and I will always be his mother. If we can do that together and that's your priority, everything's going to work out okay. So thank God I have that relationship with him.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed as a working mother?


What do you do to help yourself overcome that?

I try to prioritize my time in the best way I can and accept that this is just my life. And that everybody's lives are different. And mine, unfortunately, sometimes has to take me away from my son, and I have to make sure that when I am away that he's flourishing and that he's confident. And that he's aware of what his mom is doing. I also think it's important for kids to have some structure. It's hard, because you want to take them everywhere but you can't, so you just end up being really tired and doing a lot of traveling. Like, "Oh, I'm going to go to London for a day and a half and then come home." And now my son's in school. It's just a balancing act. I don't think anybody really has it totally figured out. Whether you're a stay-at-home mom or a politician who's constantly gone, it's such a difficult balance.

You went to the World Series to support your boyfriend. Did you hesitate about going since you being there causes such a stir?


You're looking at me like I'm crazy.

No, I know what you're trying to say. I think that there's a time and a place for everything. [laughs] I'm being cryptic.

You know I have to ask it.

I know [asking these questions] has got to suck a little bit. You have to, and then of course everybody always scoffs it off. It's crazy when people actually answer them.

Plus: Check out Kate Hudson's moves in the Nine trailer.

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