Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, one of Hollywood’s most famous couples, entertained Cairo with their sniggers, kisses and little arguments in a press conference that, at one point, transformed into a seminar about successful partnership.
Dressed in a spaghetti-strap grey dress, Oscar winner Hawn is not worlds apart from “Cactus Flower’s Toni Simmons or “Private Benjamin’s Judy; ditzy, effervescent and carefree. On the other hand, Russell, dressed in a stripped grey button-down shirt and jeans, is charismatic, easygoing yet professional.
Unlike most critics, left dissatisfied with the festival’s opening ceremony’s lack of organization and numerous glitches, Hawn was quite delighted with what she referred to as “the spontaneity of the whole thing.
“I loved that. You never know what was going to happen. I prefer a little chaos, Hawn said, before Russell immediately replied, “That’s why we have a perfect relationship.
Responding to a question from Daily News Egypt regarding his highly acclaimed performance of a former stuntman turned serial killer in Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof (2007), a role that is essentially the antithesis of his previous signature characters, Russell said, “I wasn’t afraid of taking the role. The role was layered, and I was just excited about working with Quentin.
“I did five movies with John Carpenter, ‘Escape from New York,’ ‘The Thing,’ ‘Escape from LA,’ ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ and ‘Elvis;’ and Quentin wanted to make a movie that’s a throwback to low-budget 70s’ B-movies, the kind John and I did. It was great, one of the best experiences of my life.
“Death Proof was one of two films released by Miramax under one title: “Grindhouse. The other was Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror. Coupled with fake trailers, intentional shabby editing and an intermission for reel changing, “Grindhouse attempted to capture 70s’ exploitation trash double bills. Despite the critical acclaim, especially for Tarantino’s film, “Grindhouse underperformed at the box-office.
“I gotta tell you, no one expected the film would crash. Quentin didn’t expect that at all. It was quite a shock for both Robert and Quentin that the film didn’t work out. I personally think it’s a great film and in 30 years time, the film will be more appreciated.
As a an established female star in Hollywood, Hawn was asked whether she’s getting the roles she wants to play and her thoughts on the current standards for casting.
“Well, there’s always pressure on all actors not to get old and fat, and if [American] society learns to accept old people and appreciate them, that wouldn’t happen. But unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. I mean I honestly believe I look much better now than in ‘Cactus Tree.’
“I’ve recently written a film, with the help of Kurt, set in India that we’re hoping to produce soon, and it poses this question: Can you find love and happiness before it’s too late?
Midway through, the conference turned into a marriage seminar with questions such as “What do you think of Kate Hudson? “How can you find inner peace? and, most memorable of all, “What is your curriculum of love?
The pair was quite gracious, sharing their wisdom and experience with the Cairo audience, with Russell saying “one day we can be yelling at each other on the Nile, and after Hawn’s objection, he added, “hopefully we’ll be making love on the Nile.
A considerable chunk of the conference was dominated by politics. Several reporters – oblivious to the fact that Russell is long-time republican who voted for former presidential candidate John McCain – bombarded the pair with queries regarding their thoughts on Obama.
“Politics is all about perception, Russell said. “And the media can create false perceptions. Our industry is all about false perceptions.
“My perception of Obama is of a good man and I think he’s cut out for the job. One of the things I love about our country is that we’re not afraid to shake things up and we look forward for Obama to get the country back on track.
One question near the end of the discussion – on whether American films will be affected by the Obama reign – not only divided the pair but drove Russell to indirectly express his frustration towards the bias of the American media.
“I think it’s yet to be seen how the age of Obama will be reflected on film, Hawn said. “I think it’s going to take time. I think comedies will still reign though, because people will need comedy in such difficult time. The recent political films, which attempted to reflect the current political situation, didn’t fare well with the audience. The audience are looking for escape now.
“I think all current political films are slanting, Russell responded. “All these films lack the entertainment value. What you get 90 percent of the time is somebody having their own opinion up on screen and it doesn’t say anything about what’s happening now.
“I think the media has been harassed not to reveal the truth, Hawn commented, before an angry Russell responded: “The media has been harassed? Ha, I’ve been harassed.