The last time we were treated to the vocal stylings of Kate Hudson — really more of a warbled rendition of You’re So Vain in 2003’s How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days — we didn’t necessarily want more. But the actress executes an impressive double play as she shimmies and croons (soulfully, might we add) in Rob Marshall’s latest film, Nine.
As one of the seven big-name beauties gracing Marshall’s epic musical about the mid-life crisis of a prolific 1960s Italian film director, Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), Hudson shares the limelight with a constellation of muses: Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Stacy (Fergie) Ferguson and Sophia Loren. She plays Stephanie, a sultry American, Vogue journalist, smitten with all things Italian — Contini included.
But even though Hudson certainly exudes mystique during her catchy, pop-tinged number, Cinema Italiano, it didn’t necessarily come naturally.
“I’ve come out of a contemporary jazz background but there are no flexed feet or pirouettes here,” she admits. “It’s a very difficult song to sing — fast, articulate and belty. It took Rob (Marshall) to sort of push that out of me … and I wasn’t going to let him down.”
While growing up in Colorado, Hudson spent many an afternoon reenacting a slew of musicals, including Meet Me in St. Louis, Bye Bye Birdie, and her all-time favorite, Annie.
“I didn’t want to be Annie as much as I wanted to play Annie,” she says. As to whether she’s passed the performer genes on to her six-year-old son, Ryder, she’s not sure, though he did insist on dressing up as a one-man Mariachi band this past Halloween. “He wanted to wear the big sombrero,” she says sheepishly. “And he still wears the outfit.”
A day’s work
When describing a scene where her character unabashedly fawns over Guido at a bar, Hudson admits it wasn’t love at first site. “We got to get drunk. We were laughing, with stools flying all over the place. I didn’t get the agonized Guido,” she shares, almost relieved. “I think Stephanie is just intrigued by his mystique.”