Reflections in a Goldie Hawn, Episodes One Throught Five. Or, Can a Hometown Girl Have Lunch at Mrs. K's Toll House in Silver Spring Without Worrying About Keeping the Limousine Driver Waiting? Episode One: Executive
"I don't plan ahead much," Goldie Hawn was saying. She was, however, at a corner table, in the chair turned away from the other luncheon patrons "But I do hope to do a movie about Washington soon. Should I tell you this? I mean, I'm not a writer or anything, but I have ideas. And since I grew up here, I know about Washington. There's such an active social life. You could make an interesting statement, and people would fall down laughing, too.
"I guess the star might be the chief of protocol? That's one of the craziest jobs there is. Who sits where? How many doughnuts does this person rate? I want to look at women in Washington. Not a soap opera, or who's going to bed with whom. But a real story. But Washington is probably the toughest town for women, at least after Los Angeles. I did some research on this when I was pregnant, and then sort of stopped. This would be something I could executive produce, like "Pvt. Benjamin.'"
"Pvt. Benjamin," Hawn's latest release, is the story of a giddy Jewish-American princess who joins the Army, and leaves it, then joins a French gynecologist, and leaves him, too. Hawn was the executive producer.
"We're drinking champagne," she said. "We're called each other up and acting like 3-year-olds. The movie has grossed $11.4 million in its first 10 days. There's nothing like a hit.
"As executive producer, you need lots of strength and lots of diplomacy. I sold the movie before it was even written . . . There are struggles with the studio. You have to fight for more money. We reshot one scene, and it cost $70,000."
What was $70,000 wrong with the scene?
"Oh, this and that. I wouldn't want to say. It's the part where Robert Webber, as my colonel, tries to rape me in the airplane after I decide not to jump. Remember?He says, 'There are other ways in which you can serve . . .' It was a delicate comedy scene and it had to be done right.I convinced the studio that we could do it over -- better.When you do that, it had better be better. And it was." Episode Two: Image
Goldie Hawn is 35. She looks terrific. It was her idea to have lunch at Mrs. K's Toll House on Colesville Road in Silver Spring. Even though she attended Montgomery Blair High School and American University, she had never been to Mrs. K's before. So far no one has admitted recognizing her. Hawn knows it will not last. It is a fair bet that Silver Spring assumes Hawn is a golden-haired ding-a-ling. It is an image burned by photon across the national television brain 13 years ago by a program called "Laugh-In." Goldie was the cute one who forgot her lines, then broke up on camera.
"I don't mind," she said, lighting a Marlboro. "Really, I don't. If people don't want to find out that there's more than that to me, okay. It would bother me if my peers felt that way, but they don't. I've been around a long time, and they know me. When I joined 'Laugh-In,' I was 24, and I didn't have a character like the others. So when I laughed and broke up, that became my character. Then of course it became studied. I had to do it on cue. Television is a good training ground, but it's very draining. If your character is limited, it's very hard to show any other talent."
Hawn laughed. When she is discussing business, she tends to look directly into your eyes. Hers are blue-green. Her foot taps quietly but constantly under the table.She does interviews alone, not like the scaredy-cat stars who flank themselves with press agents equipped with wristwatches that go ding-a-ling after 45 minutes exactly. Up close, Hawn does not go ding-a-ling at all. Except for her laugh, which is direct from a Tupperware party. Very interesting . . . but a bit bizarre. Heads turned in Mrs. K's. Toward the laugh.
"I don't actually think of myself as a businesswoman," Hawn said. "I mean, math was not my best subject. But I have good creative instincts, and I can work with business people. I'm a diplomat. I'm putting my money away.A good word for me is industrious. If you were to call me industrious, you would be right."
Hawn's image, however may conceivably derive from life. She does occasionally have a funny way of answering questions. For example, she said that she had rececntly purchased 17 acres of land in Oregon.
Q: Oh? Is it on the coast?
A: Oregon? Oh yes, it's on the coast.
Q: No Miss Hawn. The land.
A: Oh. The land is at the foot of Mt. Hood. Episode Three: Politics
Do you want this written down, Miss Hawn?
"Sure. Who cares? I'm not a political figure, but I have opinions. Somebody in San Francisco asked me if I had a preference for president.I said Reagan scares me. Anybody who lives in California knows he's a warmonger. Then I was in Miami the other day, on television, which is even better. A jet plane went over, making a lot of noise, and the interviewer said to me, 'That sounds like a B52.' And I said, 'Oh? Did Ronald Reagan get in already? It's not that I'm afraid of Reagan being elected president. It's just that I'm afraid of dying."
Several more heads turned in Mrs. K's. That laugh again.Very characteristic laugh.
Miss Hawn, are you supporting any particular candidate over Mr. Reagan? Or is President Carter a . . .
". . . jerk? Yes."
These are of course talk-show politics. Part of the American democratic system. No offense to the incumbent or the challenger. Now Ed, with a message from Alpo. And now back to you, Johnny. Episode Four: Private Goldie
Now for the tough questions: Do blondes really have more fun, can an attractive woman survive on talent in Hollywood, what's your family life like, and what are you doing tonight?
"I have a very big, very wonderful family. My mom and dad have moved out to L.A., but there are lots of relatives left here in Silver Spring. I work really hard making sure that Katie and Oliver, my children, will have roots. On the coast, I take Oliver fishing every weekend.We go to Troutdale."
"Yes. He's only 4. It's a hatchery or something. All you have to do is put your line in. You're just about assured of getting a fish . . . I'm in the process of a divorce with Bill Hudson [a member of the Hudson Brothers rock comedy group], but we're determined to remain friends. I love his family, we're very close.
"Yes, I think it is harder on the West Coast.The East Coast is different. In Washington, you have separations more than divorces. The ego in our industry is what kills us. Everybody has such a need to be gah-hahed at, and it's destructive. I'm not talking necessarily about myself. But two people go to a party, and one is greeted big, and the other just stands there. Then what? Eventually, you stop going out. If the two of you have something to preserve, you stay home. And even that doesn't work. o
"And when women are getting all the attention, maybe they're taking care of children, too, trying to be a normal mother. Yet today, you don't want to be overprotected. Men are still mixed up on this, you know. Sometimes a woman wants to be cuddled, and held, and have her back rubbed -- that's just normal. But a guy should also realize that she has ambitions. Ideally, both parties would recognize each other's ambitions. Then you wouldn't mind bringing your husband his slippers. If you thought that sometime he would bring your husband his slippers. If you thought that sometime he would bring you yours.
"And then there are the people who want to drag you through the muck. The rumors that are just so untrue that Bill and I both have to go around denying them. That I had been going out with Chevy Chase, or had secretly married him, or things like that."
Hawn has just completed filming a new comedy, "Seems Like Old Times," with Chase and with Charles Grodin.
"Quite aside from the fact that you have no personal life -- and I have known people who had private investigators after them for gossip stories -- it can be completely untrue. It's so infuriating. For example, not only haven't I gone out with Chevy Chase, but I have never even gone to dinner with the man."
Hawn, however, seems able to rise above such talk. She is not a worrier, even when the going was rough.She likes comedy. It makes her laugh. Now the first autograph seeker has mustered his courage, and appears at her table. She signs. He knows her father. Then the next. Then the next, holding pens and paper out. She signs. Then approximately five waitresses at Mrs. K's, seeing the dam break, arrive. None of them bears the check,; however.
"Oh," the last waitress says. She is already embarrassed enough by her autograph request, and stammers out the explanation of the check. "There is no check. I thought you knew. We didn't tell you? Compliments of Mrs. K's." Episode Five: Fame
Goldie Hawn, as a matter of fact, seems much more the executive producer nowadays than the alumna of "Laugh-In." When she walks into a studio, as she may be doing with her ideas for a Washington movie, people decide how many millions to invest. Nobody invests in a ding-a-ling. On the other hand, that is what charms the public.
"I don't mind autographs," she said, signing one for the photographer.Also posing for a picture with the photographer's son. Signing some more on the way out of Mrs. K's garden. "but you have to go blank when people greet you on the street like a long-lost friend. They don't know you and they don't want to know you. They're reacting to an image. The best thing to do is to go blank.
"On the other hand, when I'm home I always think it will be different." She giggled at the memory. It's really a very nice giggle, or hoot, or effervescence, or whatever. Just very, very unmistakable. "I went to the Sears at White Oak this morning to buy Oliver a coat. It's getting cold, the kid needs a coat. Also, he was screaming a lot. Well, everything went okay for about a half an hour, and I got the coat, and I got up to the counter. It was handing over my charge plate that did it."
"I thought I'd never get out of there," she said with a giggle.
But a passerby had the last laugh.
"Hey Goldie! " he called."I knew your father."