Kate Hudson reveals 'the number one misconception' about herself: 'I am not always happy'

Elise Solé
·4 min read

Kate Hudson is busting “the number one misconception” about her personality: Eternal optimism.

The 41-year-old actress tapped into her darker side during a Tuesday podcast with InStyle’s Ladies First with Laura Brown insisting, “I’m actually quite dramatic.” Despite her fizzy persona, “I’ve been through a lot of my own stuff and I am not always happy. But I do have an optimistic gene, I think I must have gotten that from my mom [actress Goldie Hawn]. For me, it’s like a survival mechanism.”

Now the mom of three, who admits she was “really headstrong” as a child, is raising her own children, daughter Rani Rose, 2 (whom she shares with partner Danny Fujikawa), son Bingham, 9 (with Muse’s Matthew Bellamy) and son Ryder, 17 (with Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson).

“I was reading this really interesting article about words you should never call kids, and one of them was calling girls ‘bossy,’” shared Kate, who appears on the cover of the publication’s March issue (available Feb. 12). “Because it’s implying that their leadership skill or their need to assert themselves is negative, that they’re therefore bossy. Well, I was called bossy all the time.”

Kate Hudson, depicted with her two-year-old daughter Rani Rose, appears on the March cover of "InStyle." (Photo: InStyle)
Kate Hudson, depicted with her two-year-old daughter Rani Rose, appears on the March cover of InStyle. (Photo: InStyle)

However, as Kate entered adulthood, she learned to “stay in my lane, do hard work” and tone down her assertion.

She later added, “My nature is to — even when I’m going through the hard stuff — is to just kind of, work at the good stuff. And as I get older, people are like, ‘How are you so happy?’ and I’m like, ‘You know what, actually? The answer is, is that I work at it. It’s not something that just happens. It’s actually something that I’ve had to actively pursue.’”

Referencing her fraught relationship with father Bill Hudson, who divorced Hawn in 1982 after a brief marriage, Kate reflected, “When things did feel really negative....especially when you’re dealing with...a challenging parental relationship, there are moments you feel very unloved and not happy at all.”

Those periods, she said, present choices. “What am I going to choose here? Am I going to choose to feel, to carry unworthiness and a lack of feeling loved with me, or am I going to choose to understand it and go there and figure out what my insecurities are?” she said. “And it takes work to feel good.”

Kate and her brother Oliver were raised by Hawn and her long-term partner, actor Kurt Russell. Both siblings have talked openly about their estranged relationship with Bill, the most recent example occurring last week when she described the “41-year-old issue” to Today. Though grateful for her family, she said, “it doesn’t take away from the fact that we didn't know our dad.”

The relationship between Bill and his children spiraled publicly when Kate and Oliver celebrated Russell on Father’s Day. Oliver’s sarcastic Instagram tribute (“Happy Abandonment Day”) and Kate’s praise of Russell as “Pa” angered Bill, who called his son’s actions “malicious” and challenged Kate to change her last name to Russell during an interview with Inside Edition.

During her fragile moments, Kate channels her artistry, with her latest project the film Music, written by Sia, in which she plays a woman struggling to get sober while learning she is legally responsible for her half-sister Music, a young woman with autism. (Music is played by former Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler, a neurotypical actor, a casting Sia defended after the November trailer created backlash over ableism).

And, she’s focused on parenting her three children, a real-life part for which Kate is not naturally suited. “I am not meant to be a domestic mother. I’m not built for it,” she said, laughing. “I’m built for it in moments.” However, being forced to slow down during quarantine has helped her reexamine what matters. “I think it's a positive thing,” Kate told InStyle. “What do you really need, and what makes you happy?”

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