This film is a blast; people can look forward to laughing a lot,’ says Goldie Hawn of her new movie, Snatched, with comedian Amy Schumer.
It’s a buddy movie about a trip to Ecuador that goes disastrously awry. Schumer’s character, Emily, is about to set off with her boyfriend on an adventure holiday of a lifetime – but is dumped at the 11th hour. The tickets are non-refundable and she has to find a new travel companion.
‘When my boyfriend breaks up with me, I ask everyone: friends, acquaintances, friends of friends on Facebook and no-one will go,’ says Schumer over coffee at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica.
Impetuous Emily eventually persuades Linda, her extremely nervous mother (played by Goldie Hawn), to join her on the trip. Linda isn’t exactly enthusiastic: ‘Everyone knows you need two years to plan a vacation,’ she says.
Snatched is Hawn’s first film in 15 years. Returning to acting ‘was interesting and familiar’, she says. ‘It was like coming home and walking back into the house you grew up in.’ Snatched is the second starring role for Schumer – the highest-paid female comedian in the world – after 2015’s Trainwreck.
‘We get kidnapped, “taken” like in one of those Liam Neeson movies,’ Schumer says. Waylaid by armed bandits, Schumer and Hawn find themselves on a chase through the jungle, leaping over buildings, battling the bad guys. The film is full of Schumer’s stock-in-trade jokes about sex and bodily substances, as well as slapstick humour. ‘There was one scene – I’ll just say my character is very sick; something needs to be expelled from me and it is crazy; Goldie and I end up running around a table,’ says the comedian.
The film deals with family dynamics: mother and daughter learn to accept each other and bond closely as the plot unfolds. But at heart, Snatched is sheer escapism, a laugh-out-loud holiday caper.
Neither Amy nor Goldie has so far been kidnapped in South America on their travels. But they’ve still clocked up some lively experiences.
Travels with Amy
Snatched was shot in Hawaii. Was there any time to relax?
Filming in Hawaii was hard because I got very sick, but I did have fun when Kate [Hudson, Goldie Hawn’s daughter] visited. We gossiped and had drinks. I love vacations and travelling all over the world. I haven’t been to South America yet. I can’t wait to go – it’s going to be my next destination.
You do some impressive capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) routines in the film. Did you learn?
I did my very best and I worked hard to learn it. I wasn’t good at all, but my stunt double was great.
What’s your favourite South American cocktail?
You are a New Yorker. Would you move to LA?
No, I wouldn’t want to live in LA. I love beach volleyball, surfing and hiking. I love everything that would make sense for someone who would enjoy living in LA but it is the people – there is such a cultural difference. Here in LA, people are like, ‘everything is great,’ and I’m just like, ‘ugh, shut up!’ In New York if you ask someone how they’re doing, they say, ‘awful.’ I just love New York and New Yorkers.
What is your most memorable holiday?
My favourite trip ever was with my sister. We travelled all over Europe. In Italy, we landed in Milan and then we found out it was Oktoberfest, so we got straight on a train to Munich. We would go somewhere and then we would take another night train to somewhere else. We went to Venice and Cinque Terre and Florence. We had no plan, we just had our backpacks. There were some awful situations during that trip. One morning we got into Rome at 6am and a guy said: ‘I can take you to a place where you could stay for 100 dollars a night’, and we got in a stranger’s car! We were really careless, but we made it out okay.
Any other trips that stand out?
In England I saw beautiful historical buildings, but the best part was the people; going to bars and talking to people who live there. France was great – Ben [Hanisch, her ex-boyfriend] and I went to Paris, but we got horrible food poisoning…
What is your favourite kind of holiday?
My favourite holidays now are with my high-school girlfriends. We go on a big trip once or twice a year. We all just love to drink and hang out together and make fun of each other. My friends have different jobs – they are teachers and nurses and we are very close. We went to Martha’s Vineyard two years ago and then a year ago we went to The Hamptons.
What would be a perfect Sunday morning for you in New York?
Sleeping in, then getting bagels and fish, having my family come over for a lazy day and maybe going for a walk.
Travels with Goldie
The film is about a mother-daughter trip. Do you have any memorable travel experiences with your own mother?
Millions. I used to take her on trips when I was making my movies and we would laugh so much. Back in the day, in my early 30s, we went to Europe together. It was such fun. I took her to San Francisco for a little holiday, but I forgot that she was afraid of heights. I took her up Lombard Street [one of the steepest streets in America], which winds up and up and she went, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ We started to laugh, and we just couldn’t stop. I had to pull over in the street. A woman peeked into the car and asked, ‘Are you mother and daughter?’ And she said, ‘I wish I could laugh with my mother the way you two are laughing together.’
Do you and Kate take mother-daughter holidays together like Linda and Emily do in the film?
We have done some. We want to go away together somewhere in Asia, the two of us. I took my sons to India and I would like to take Kate to India.
When the kids were younger we would backpack through Europe. We still love travelling together as a family. More recently, we were on a boat in the Mediterranean. We had a lot of fun. The paparazzi were trying to take pictures of us and the whole family mooned them. We had so much fun on that boat.
I know you’ve been to India and studied Buddhism and meditation. How important is India to you and the Buddhist way of life?
I love India. When I was 22, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was in vogue, I learned to meditate. Then I studied psychology and started to explore different philosophies and went to what I call The University of Goldie Hawn. In 1988, I went to Lhasa in Tibet. I had been reading some books on Buddhism at that time, and that sold me. That particular path seemed to resonate with me and what I stand for, and what I love about life. I’ve always been very spiritual. I meditate every day. Meditation creates peace and calm and contentment, which are extremely important.