Though the New York Times is known for making sense of far more complicated things, the paper of record just can’t make sense of Kate Hudson—the actress/fashion icon who is arguably the least complicated person on the planet.
In a piece published this weekend entitled “Her Films May Flop, but Kate Hudson Remains a Fashion Star,” Ruth La Ferla is unable to get past the “mystifying paradox” that there is no correlation “between Ms. Hudson’s style-world allure and her box-office pull,” despite making reference after reference to the fact that there doesn’t have to be.
But even after the executive editor of Bazaar tells her that “relying on box office is a really old-fashioned way of looking at things” (it is, by the way), La Ferla can’t help but make salty references to Hudson’s string of commercial failures.
She had past successes, to be sure, in particular the comedy, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” which came out 12 years ago. But her latest project, “Rock the Kasbah,” in which she plays a genial hooker opposite Bill Murray, vanished from theaters within weeks of its opening in October.
The fact is, Ms. Hudson has not had an unqualified hit since her star turn as the winsome band promoter Penny Lane in the 2000 coming-of-age story “Almost Famous.”
“With or without a theatrical hit,” writes La Ferla, “Ms. Hudson manages to hold the public eye.” She calls Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Blake Lively, Katie Holmes and Gwyneth Paltrow “professional beauties,” and defines the term as a person who “has risen above the occasional career lull to thrive as fashion billboards and media personalities.”
A potential reason for that desire to seek relevance outside of film stardom—and one that La Ferla never mentions—could be because actresses over 30 prefer not to compete with actresses 10 years younger for the same parts. If a studio is just going to choose Jennifer Lawrence, wouldn’t you want to switch professions—at least temporarily? Some actresses turn to directing, others turn to business, and a few just disappear. But many, like Kate Hudson, are approached by the fashion industry. Why does the Times find that so hard to comprehend?
That someone can be famous or broadly appealing without a hit movie in 2015 is nothing to be fascinated by. Being noticed is easier than its ever been, and when you’re a happy, controversy-free, and Oscar-nominated child of two beloved celebrities who, when not starring in a forgettable-yet-watchable movie, is either being photographed working out in nice clothes or being photographed walking down red carpets in nice clothes, the fashion industry will come knocking.
It really is as simple as that.
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