Kate Hudson and Glen Powell are paired together for Variety’s Actors on Actors series this award season and one of the reasons is because they’ve known each other for a while as Glen worked with both Kate’s brothers, Oliver Hudson and Wyatt Russell, on previous projects.


They’re featured this round because Glen, of course, is in Top Gun: Maverick which is in play for several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and he stars in and also co-produced Devotion. Kate is part of the Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery cast – the film starts streaming on Netflix on December 23 so we can talk more about it in January, once everyone has seen it four times and it takes over social media because for sure, for sure, for sure, this movie will be memed and referenced and hyped through the holiday period. I LOVE Glass Onion, I love it just as much, if not more, than Knives Out. It’s so f-cking good and smart and funny and this is Kate Hudson at her best, her finest performance in years. She’s hilarious in this movie, a real showcase for her comedic timing.


Kate and Glen discuss how they approached their respective characters, Birdie and Hangman, and they actually share some common traits. They’re not playing wallflowers – these two are heatscores, extra AF, always demanding to be the center of attention. Kate plays Birdie with both the experience and inside knowledge of someone born into the spotlight and the performative awareness of an influencer and she’s fearless about it, there’s actually no vanity in her portrayal of a super vain person…which is what makes it so effective.

Similarly Glen approaches Hangman by “leaning into the douchebaggery” – this is how he describes it, and it was on the advice of Tom Cruise.

“Sometimes you can fall into the trap of wanting to be liked on camera. And in a movie like this, where you know there’s going to be a lot of eyes on it, you don’t want to be Draco Malfoy. But Tom gave me this advice: “For the ending to work, you have to completely lean into that. Everybody else in the movie is questioning their own ability. You’re the only guy that’s not questioning it. So if there’s any sort of apology in anything you say, the movie doesn’t work. Lean into the douchebaggery of it all.”


That’s what made Hangman such a fun watch - he WAS the guy who never questioned himself, he was consistent in his self-confidence, reliable in his douchebaggery. This was not the character Glen wanted to play in the movie, but as we all know now, Tom convinced him to take on the role …and Tom was right, Glen made that role his own, even if it wasn’t the lead role. You don’t always win from the front.  

Tom comes up again though because Kate is obsessed with Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick and, it sounds like, Tom Cruise too. As a fan and, I guess, a friend. Friendly enough that when her son Ryder wanted to go skydiving, she called Tom to make it happen.

And the takeaway for me here is that not only is this insightful about the Hollywood relationships that we don’t see publicly, it might also tell us something about award season. Sarah wondered last week about how the industry feels about Tom Cruise and Scientology and what impact that might make on the Top Gun: Maverick Oscar campaign. There are definitely a lot of people who aren’t going to be voting for Tom Cruise because of all that messiness. But there are probably also a lot of people who know Tom personally – and don’t broadcast it – and who are supportive of him and the movie… and it’ll be interesting to see how much of a factor that might be on the ballot. 


Attached - Kate Hudson making promotional rounds this morning in New York and Glen Powell taking part in a Q&A for Devotion earlier this week.