Pure Goldie: Comedy Fest honors comedienne | AspenTimes.com

Pure Goldie: Comedy Fest honors comedienne

Madeleine OsbergerSnowmass Village correspondent
The American Film Institute honored Goldie Hawn on Saturday at the Wheeler Opera House as part of the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)

Goldie Hawn never doubted herself even when she made an audience laugh during a production of “Romeo and Juliet.””I liked myself … and trusted in the universe,” she said Saturday after receiving the American Film Institute’s Star Award during the 12th U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.The 60-year-old cover girl for this month’s American Association of Retired People’s magazine wore furry boots, an off-the-shoulder sweater and snug jeans.

“She has an incredible body … of work,” quipped Jonathan Estrin, executive vice president of the American Film Institute, in a nod to Hawn’s early acclaim as the body-painted go-go girl on TVs “Laugh-In.” While it was her physique that initially caught the public’s eye, Hawn was recognized soon after for her role as a flighty girl from Greenwich Village in the 1969 film “Cactus Flower.” She never even picked up the statue.”I really felt even then that it was just a drop in the bucket, that I got an award for something I didn’t have to work for. That I got an award for being kind of cute, and new on the scene. And I thought that it was a lovely role, but I didn’t think it was anywhere near what I had in my heart and soul and my gut.”

She doesn’t dispute that comedy isn’t easy. “To receive something like this really, really matters,” she said. “Comedy is like catching lightning in a bottle. You’re trying to catch that moment, and it’s all about timing, It’s a music, it’s a dance, it’s a song, it’s energy. It’s obviously story and it’s words and it’s character. But it’s those magical moments.”From her early ingenue roles Hawn took on more challenging parts in “Sugarland Express,” “Private Benjamin” and “The First Wives Club.” The toughest work was producing herself.”It was not fun,” Hawn said. “I didn’t want that power.” She would “walk on eggshells” with cast and crew.

The woman born Goldie Jeanne Hawn in Washington, D.C., said she struggled early on with school, and reading in particular. “I didn’t finish anything, but I signed [papers and tests] with ‘Love, Goldie,’ with two XXs,” she said with her signature giggle.In second grade, Hawn was placed in a group called the Purple Balls that she initially assumed was for smart children but was for kids who couldn’t read.Hawn wrote the script for her next project, “Ashes to Ashes,” which focuses on an aging woman who is questioning her life choices. In today’s Hollywood, “Its not easy” getting financing for smaller, thoughtful films, she said adding, “I like the model of raising money independently because you don’t have a studio telling you what to do.”

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