When reflecting on movies of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, it’s nearly impossible not to think of Goldie Hawn.
Having won an Oscar at just 24 years old and navigating Hollywood for decades afterward, it may come as a shock that Hawn’s meteoric rise to fame wasn’t very easy for her to cope with.
The 74-year-old actress recently spoke with The Guardian, sharing her humble beginnings as a go-go dancer that led to a historic turn in Tinseltown.
“It was a very strange ride, a quick rise to stardom,” Hawn said. “I was unsettled. I didn’t know where I was going. I went to the psychologist when I was 21 and I continued for about eight years to try to understand more about my mind, my psyche, how I could return back to my sense of joy.”
In the ’70s, when “meditation was really happening,” as Hawn put it, she was initiated at a Transcendental Meditation center, leading to a “visceral” and “amazing” experience.
“I rediscovered something in that one sitting. I can’t explain the joy that was brought back to me. It was a transformational ‘Aha!’ moment for me,” the “Overboard” star recalled. “It stabilized my mind and gave me a piece of my interior that was all mine. No one could touch it. It was my internal universe and it’s something I’ve been doing ever since.”
Hawn noted that her background as a dancer helped her to achieve mindfulness as well.
“Starting out as a dancer gave me an aspect of mindfulness that I didn’t even realize that I was getting because to dance is to be aware of every piece of your body while you’re moving,” she explained. “It’s like a meditation unto itself.”
Since then, Hawn has carved out a nice career for herself in front of the camera and behind it, working as a producer. Hawn has produced a number of movies she starred in, but also vessels for the likes of Julia Roberts and Holly Hunter — all with a specific goal in mind.
“Women were my obvious focus,” Hawn said, “because it is not always easy having power and being female. … That’s the way it was. It wasn’t that all men were terrible or that the situation was unbearable. It was a cultural problem.”
While the actress believes that the #MeToo movement has made headway in terms of remedying such a situation, she also remembers when women “had to make our way around the patriarchal society, how men, the culture and the world, looked at women.”
“A lot of it could be sleazy. I went through that,” she recounted to The Guardian. “A lot of it could be: ‘You’re powerful now; who do you think you are?’ Some of it is stopping women from doing the things they want to do, and in relationships, making women feel bad about themselves.”
Hawn took a break from Hollywood for 15 years, starring in “The Banger Sisters” and producing “The Matthew Shepard Story” in 2002, then not returning to her craft until she lent her voice to a 2013 episode of “Phineas and Ferb.”
“I wasn’t going to wait for a phone to ring,” Hawn explained. “And I certainly wasn’t going to continue to produce, because I produced for like 25 years and I didn’t want to do that anymore. I’d done it, I did it, it was done. Great, but now it’s time to move on.”
During her time off, Hawn has kept busy with various projects, such as the development of Mind Up, an organization dedicated to “helping children develop the mental fitness necessary to thrive in school and throughout their lives,” according to its website
“My interests are vast and I’m fascinated with the human condition, spirituality and religiosity,” she said.
Her interest in the Mind Up cause began as she was doing research for a documentary on happiness, surprised by the high suicide rates of young people. Following 9/11, she “went vigilante” and developed the organization in 18 months.
After conducting research with the University of British Columbia, Hawn found positive results stemming from her curriculum.
“These children had changed in a matter of four months, and had a whole new way of being,” she recalled. “They understood their emotional systems in the brain, that the hippocampus is where they remember, the amygdala, which is fight-or-flight.”
The iconic star also offered a tip for those stuck inside during the coronavirus quarantine.
“Before you go to bed, think of three things that went well today,” she advised. “I don’t care if it’s a little crazy thing – it doesn’t matter.”