"I look at everything on a project-to-project basis," said the actress, "but, for this film, it was simply that I wanted to go sing for Rob Marshall. The first thing for me in this was 'Please get me in the room so I can just hit one note and see if he bites.'"
"And I bit," Marshall admitted. "When Kate walked in, it was one of those moments that happen rarely. It was such a great experience because she has this hidden talent that none of us knew about. She opens her mouth to sing, and there was this incredible singer. Then, we got in a room and we started to move, and I saw this real dancer. The truth is: we created a character for her. Specifically, it's nice to have an American voice in the film because it's a European film. She's a knockout, and it was thrilling to discover that. I'm so proud of what she did in this film."
She plays Stephanie, an American correspondent for Vogue living in Rome. The character is a total film invention whose plot function is to celebrate how la dolce vita it was in Rome of the '60s in terms of style and cinema and giddy exuberance. For this, Maury Yeston chipped in a big production number, "Cinema Italiano," for Hudson to bump and grind her way through in a skimpy, glitzy outfit.
Of the seven film stars in "Nine," Hudson is the only one who does not have an Academy Award, but she was a nominee once upon a time ("Almost Famous" in 2001) and she does come from Oscar stock (Goldie Hawn is her mom).
Read all about Hudon and her "Nine" co-creators in Playbill.com's December Stage to Screens column.