After Nearly Four Decades Of Romance, Kurt Russell Knew The Perfect Way To Surprise Goldie Hawn

If you’ve been with your partner for nearly 40 years, you may think there’s little you could do to astonish them. Surely they know you inside out by now? But Kurt Russell – who, let’s not forget, has romanced Goldie Hawn since 1983 – proves you can still leave your other half awestruck after all that time. Yes, in November 2020, the Silkwood star wowed his love with a gesture that, although simple, seemed to make Hawn’s day. No wonder the pair are still total couple goals…

And Russell’s adorable surprise came on the promotional trail for 2020 release The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two. The holiday movie saw Hawn and Russell finally reunited as leading actors in the same production, ending a 33-year hiatus from starring on screen together. Yes, although the actress had enjoyed a brief cameo in the first festive film, now she would be up front and center as the wife to Russell’s Santa Claus.

The couple looked like they were having the time of their lives, too, while promoting The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two. But things got even better for Hawn when Russell shocked her in the most perfect way. And the romantic gesture just went to prove that the spark was very much still alive for the two love birds.

That’s quite some feat, given that Hawn and Russell have one of Hollywood’s most enduring relationships. They’ve been together for nearly four decades, after all. But the couple have known each other for even longer, having first become acquainted on the set of the 1968 Disney film The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. Still, back then, their five-year age difference apparently seemed like a bridge too far.

During a 2012 appearance on the BBC radio show Desert Island Discs, Hawn explained of that initial encounter, “I was 21, and [Kurt] was 16. I thought he was adorable, but he was much too young. Then, years later, we met up again, and I remembered that I liked him very much when I first met him. We both said we would never go out with another actor, so it just shows [that] you never can tell.”

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The pair later reunited to make Swing Shift in 1983. And it was then that romantic sparks began to fly. Russell revealed in a 2017 interview with Conan O’Brien that he had managed to win over the actress by telling her, “Man, you’ve got a great figure.” What a charmer!

Plenty had gone on in Hawn’s personal life in the meantime. Not too long before she hooked up with Russell, she had divorced her second husband, the musician and actor Bill Hudson. The actress had welcomed two children from that marriage, Oliver and Kate, and it was Russell’s response to her kids that seemingly sealed the deal for Hawn.

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Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in November 2020, Hawn explained, “I remember about Kurt – not only being sexy and handsome and all that stuff and fun and a good co-star… I love the way he looked at my children. It was really something special.” She added, “I kind of went, ‘Oh my God, this is amazing.’ He’s good at that. He’s good with kids.”

Russell was already a father at that point, having welcomed a son called Boston with his ex-wife Season Hubley in 1980. Six years later, he and Hawn would have their own child, Wyatt, together. And their brood has only continued to grow. In November 2020 it was announced that the Hollywood power couple were set to become grandparents for the seventh time.

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But why have the pair never married? They seem perfect for each other, after all. Well, it’s not to do with their compatibility, if Hawn is to be believed. In 2007 Hawn explained further in an interview with the Australian magazine Woman’s Day, saying simply, “We have done just perfectly without marrying.”

Hawn continued, “I already feel devoted, and isn’t that what marriage is supposed to do? So, as long as my emotional state is in a state of devotion, honesty, caring, and loving, then we’re fine.” Concluding her thoughts, she added, “There is really no reason to marry.” And it didn’t stop Russell from surprising her in public, either!

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Clearly, Hawn doesn’t think that marriage is necessary for a successful romantic connection. But given how long she and Russell have been together, she knows a thing or two about keeping a relationship alive. And luckily for us all, she revealed one of these pearls of wisdom on a 2016 episode of the British talk show Loose Women. The actress said, “In a healthy, longer-term relationship, I would say it’s great to be together about 68 percent of the time.”

Yet while Hawn may believe that it’s good to be apart from your spouse on occasion, she and Russell have sure spent a lot of time living and even working together over the years. In fact, the pair have appeared in no fewer than five films together over the course of their respective careers. The first, of course, was The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band in 1968, while the most recent is The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two.

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But Hawn and Russell’s best-known movie is probably 1987’s Overboard. The comedy flick sees Hawn play an unpleasant heiress who loses her memory, only to have Russell – a carpenter she’s previously crossed – convince her that they’re married. And while the film was originally a financial flop, it later earned a cult fanbase and prompted two remakes.

Perhaps because of Overboard’s meager box-office takings, another 30 years would pass before Hawn and Russell starred in a film together again. That opportunity arose in 2018 when Russell starred as Santa Claus in the Netflix movie The Christmas Chronicles. And who better to take on the role of Mrs. Claus than Hawn herself?

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Hawn’s part in the first Christmas Chronicles movie was small, although she would ultimately return for the sequel to the holiday movie. And in The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two, Hawn took a starring role alongside Russell for the first time since Overboard.

As you may imagine, much was made of Hawn and Russell’s on-screen reunion. It was certainly noted in a November 2020 interview with The New York Times, where the couple were asked why they’d waited so long to appear as leads in a movie again. And the answer was surprisingly simple. Apparently, the opportunity simply hadn’t arisen!

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Hawn explained, “Really, it’s about the material, and it just didn’t come along.” Russell added, “I thought we’d work together much sooner than this, but [Hawn] and I are pretty choosy. And generally, Goldie Hawn movies and movies that Kurt Russell is in are pretty different things.”

That makes sense. And when Hawn and Russell were asked what it was like to work with each other, they handled the query with a good dose of humor. After the subject was broached by an interviewer on a November 2020 episode of E! Daily Pop, the actor quipped, “Do it every 33 years, first of all.” Hawn spoke up, too, adding, “Exactly! It’s not an everyday thing!”

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The famous couple also spoke about acting together in a promotional Netflix clip for The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two. In the video, Hawn jokes, “First of all, you have to forget everything that bugs you about your husband.” This, naturally, causes Russell to erupt into laughter.

Despite her good-natured jibe, Hawn adds, “You know what was great? [It’s] that this will be our third movie.” But Russell stops her there, pointing out, “This is the fifth time we’ve worked together.” He then lists their movies before adding, “I’ve worked now with Goldie Hawn more than anyone else.”

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Then, after having her memory jogged, Hawn reflects on her projects with Russell. She says, “Each experience was different because each period of our lives [is] different. And now we have our own grandchildren, we’ve been through a thousand Christmases together. It’s been so much fun… Now I actually get to play Mrs. Claus to his Santa Claus. It’s sort of like a gift.” We wonder how that gift compares to the one Russell surprised her with…

In any case, the pair still seem to have that spark despite their many years together. In the Netflix promotional video, Hawn confesses to Russell, “Sometimes I would look at you as Santa, and you looked so good that I actually forgot to give you back the line that you needed. I got absorbed in your beard or something.”

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Yes, it seemed as though Hawn and Russell had a whale of a time working together on The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two. And if that wasn’t enough, there was further reason to celebrate when they were on the promotional trail for that movie. You see, in November 2020 Hawn marked her 75th birthday. We know! We can’t believe it, either.

Perhaps Hawn looks so young because she’s still crazy in love? Or maybe it’s got something to do with the tip she shared to the British Radio Times magazine in December 2020. There, she said, “I think the one thing you have to remember [in a relationship] is, ‘Do I want to be here?’ If two people really want to be together, then there’s something to cherish, so keep it fresh by surprising each other.”

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And Russell had obviously taken note, as in November 2020 he startled his beau with an unexpected birthday gift. In fact, he made the lovely gesture a few days early, while he and his beloved were at a press screening of The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two.

The screening – which was held at The Grove in Los Angeles – not only saw Hawn and Russell in attendance, but also The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two director Chris Columbus and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. So, the event was already shaping up to be a night to remember.

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Hawn and Russell certainly looked the part in their winter attire. She was wrapped up in an all-black outfit, complete with puffy jacket and golden boots. He, on the other hand, wore dark denim jeans, loafers and a cream fleece jacket. Needless to say, then, they were both picture-perfect at the moment of the reveal.

So, what was that surprise? Well, as Hawn stood, microphone in hand, at the screening, Russell wowed her with an enormous birthday cake. A photograph captured at that special moment shows the actress looking clearly shocked, as she’s seen covering her open mouth with her spare hand. And Russell seems delighted by his partner’s reaction, appearing to be beaming with pride.

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But the birthday tributes for Hawn didn’t end there. Her daughter, Kate Hudson, also marked the occasion on Instagram a couple of days later. There, the Almost Famous star shared a black-and-white throwback snap of her mom alongside a heartfelt caption professing admiration for the woman who had raised her.

In the Instagram post from November 2020, Hudson wrote, “Tomorrow is a special day for it marks the day my mama was born….” Seemingly describing her mom, she continued, “Goddess, light worker, fire bender, scorpion tailed whirlwind, butterfly mother, love expander, shining star, happy birthday tomorrow.”

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Hudson went on to explain why she was posting her birthday wishes for Hawn a day early. She wrote, “I’m shooting nights so want to get my post in tonight ’cause I will be cross-eyed in the morning. I love you to infinity and beyond. Join me in wishing Mama G a very happy birthday. I love you.”

Comedian Chelsea Handler joined in, too, commenting beneath Hudson’s tribute to her mom, “I love Mama G to the moon and back because of how much fun she is to be around. Always fun fun fun fun fun fun fun and lots of joy.” Awww.

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And actress Amy Schumer also got in on the act by sharing her own birthday tribute to Hawn. The pair had worked together in the movie Snatched in 2017, and it seemed that Schumer had plenty of admiration for her one-time co-star. She wrote, “Happy birthday mama… You are pure magic, and I so love you. I hope you dance today. I know you will.”

Yet while Hawn herself didn’t comment about her birthday on social media, she has addressed the topic of aging in the past. In her interview with Woman’s Day, the actress was asked how she maintains her youthful looks, and to this she replied, “I really don’t know. I do work out, but not like a crazy person. I drink a lot of juices. But the bottom line is that I honestly think a lot of it is genetic.”

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In fact, it seemed that Hawn was content with how she looked now. She explained, “God was good to me. I didn’t get any light skin, although I am an absolute blonde. Even now, I don’t have to color my hair at all because I don’t have any gray in it. It’s just amazing. And I am not afraid of getting older. As long as everything holds up, I am fine.”

But what about Hawn’s career? Did she still have dreams left unfulfilled? Apparently not. When talking to The New York Times, the star revealed that she was pretty much happy with her achievements. Hawn explained, “I really don’t have anything that I’m dying to do. I want to live a happy life, and I have that. If a movie comes along and it’s great, that could be fun. Other than that, I want to be with the grandkids.”

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Yes, even Hollywood veterans like to spend retirement with their nearest and dearest! And to top off 2020, Hawn and Russell were planning a big Christmas celebration alongside their children and grandchildren. Russell revealed the family’s ritual, telling The New York Times, “After we have Christmas Eve dinner, we always have somebody read The Night Before Christmas, and then we track Santa’s movements on the app.”

On the face of things, then, Hawn and Russell seem to have it all. But if they could have just one wish in life, it may be to star in at least one more film together – this time with their wider brood. Their children Kate, Oliver and Wyatt have all ventured into acting, after all, and perhaps their grandchildren will follow suit.

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That seems to be what Hawn wants, anyway. In December 2020 she told Hello! magazine that she’d love to make a movie with the “whole family,” adding, “We have actually thought about it, and the idea makes us laugh. I’d love to do something with my kids – and then there’s the grandchildren, too.”

So, perhaps there’ll be a proper Hawn-Russell acting dynasty in the future? And the clan look to be close, too. That’s judging from the front cover of the special 30th-anniversary edition of People, which featured Hawn together with Hudson and Hudson’s daughter, Rani Rose. And in the so-called “Beautiful Issue,” the mother and daughter opened up about relationships – with Hawn revealing the secret behind her enduring relationship with Russell.

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The special People cover was a first for the magazine. Never before had they featured three generations of the same family. Hawn and Hudson, however, have both featured on the magazine’s cover solo. But this was a first for them, too, since it was the only time they’ve been featured on a magazine cover with a third generation of their family.

People’s editor-in-chief Dan Wakeford described why he chose Hawn, Hudson and her daughter for the cover shoot. He said, “The palpable joy of seeing this trio together made them the perfect choice for the 30th anniversary of our ‘Beautiful Issue.’ These women illustrate what is important to us right now: positivity, kindness, laughter and family.”

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In an accompanying interview filmed in L.A. in February 2020, Hawn and Hudson spoke at length about parenting and relationships, including their own. Indeed, mother and daughter have a particularly close connection. Hudson spoke warmly of how grateful she was for the opportunity to share the magazine cover with her mom.

Hudson described the moment she received the email about the family cover shoot. As she recalled, “When I got the email I was like… immediately I didn’t quite know what it was talking about. And then I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ And I called Mom and I said, ‘Mom, they want us to be on the cover.’”

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The request prompted Hawn to recall earlier photo shoots for magazine covers. She admitted, “I got nostalgic. Because you’ve done [a cover shoot for People]. And I did that. And now we get to do it together.” The actress acknowledged that the occasion was made all the more special for including her granddaughter.

However, the “Beautiful Issue” shoot wasn’t the first time Hawn and Hudson had shared a cover. For all the magazine front pages each has graced in their own right, Hudson recalled her very first. And, as she told the story, it appeared to happen by accident when she was a teenager and arrived home from school one day.

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“I thought on the way [to the shoot]…” Hudson recalled. “It reminded me of the first time that I ever did a cover and it… actually ended up being with Mom. I was 15 or 16 and we were [both wearing jeans and a white tank top]. I [arrived] home from school and Mom was like, ‘Come take a picture,’ and it ended up being on a cover.”

Hudson credits the cover, for fashion magazine InStyle in 1996, as a springboard for her own career. “I thought to myself later in life what an interesting foreshadowing that was to my career,” she explained. But more than that, she pays tribute to her mother for not only opening the door to her own acting career, but also the support to make a success of it.

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“The fact that I was able to accomplish the things that I’ve been able to accomplish,” Hudson continued. “My mom gave me the floor and the opening to be able to feel confident enough to go out and feel like my life could be my own life.” However, that’s just one aspect of Hudson’s relationship with her mom.

As Hudson described, “Mom was definitely… You were strict when you needed to be strict. You were honest. And you were incredibly supportive.” And, as Hawn described it, her parenting style was seemingly focused more on developing her children’s characters than dwelling on any slips or blunders they made along the way.

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“I got angry over bad behaviour, unkindness, [being a] smart alec,” Hawn explained. “I didn’t get mad over mistakes and those kinds of things.” What’s more, as Hudson described, her mother had a somewhat relaxed attitude towards her kids’ education, perhaps preferring to focus on her children’s passions and creativity as much as book smarts.

However, learning was a two-way street for Hawn. “I mean, listen, our children teach us, too. You know?” she explained. “Your children teach you; they’re your greatest teachers. So you learn a lot from your children, you know? And you should be, as a parent, available to them because you don’t know everything.”

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Furthermore, Hudson described how conversations between her and her mother are far more often centered around family than work. She said, “People always ask me, ‘What advice has your mom given you?’ My whole career. And it was always like, ‘We don’t talk about career stuff really.’ But kids, that was really the most powerful, memorable thing you’ve ever said to me. Because it’s true.”

As Hudson recalled, “The best advice [Mom] ever gave me was when I was pregnant with [first child] Ryder and I was getting sad. Remember? And I [said], ‘Why am I so sad?’ And Mom was like, ‘Because you’re about to give birth.’” Hawn then imparted to her daughter something that has stuck with her for 16 years.

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As Hudson described, “[When you give birth] it becomes his life and you have to remember that. [Mom] said, ‘The second that they leave your body they don’t belong to you any more. This is your last time with him that he actually belongs to you.’” Ryder was the first of Hudson’s three children and he came along in 2004, with second son Bingham born in 2011 and daughter Rani arriving in 2018.

“It’s true. It’s like letting go,” Hawn elaborated. “It’s learning to let go, and know that we don’t own each other. We just don’t. And as much as we like to think we do, one of the areas I think that a lot of mothers have is that they feel helpless. Because you don’t feel needed. You don’t feel like you’re needed. And there’s a weakness in your arms.”

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Perhaps it’s recognizing that lack of ownership between people that is the root of Hawn’s success in her relationship with Kurt Russell. They have, of course, been together for 37 years, but, famously, the couple have never married. As the actress explained to British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mirror in May 2017, she prefers it that way.

Hawn said, “I like the idea of being his girlfriend and vice versa. I think you don’t demand things. I think we have independence, but two pillars hold up the house.” What’s more, the lack of ownership the actress described to People gives the couple freedom to be attracted to others without feelings of guilt.

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As Hawn elaborated, “I’m sure I’ve been party to it, and Kurt’s been – we’re all normal this way. It’s like, ‘You really liked that guy, didn’t you?’ Or the woman says, ‘You were looking at her.’ My answer would be, ‘Of course. Why not? She’s beautiful.’ Would you want a man who doesn’t look?” She added, “I mean, come on. We’re human beings.”

Hawn had already been married twice before she met Russell. Her first marriage, to dancer and director Gus Tikonis, lasted seven years before ending in a $61,000 divorce. Her second, to singer Bill Hudson, bore her daughter and a son, Oliver. And yet, while Hawn is effectively stepmother to Russell’s son, Boston, from a previous marriage and the couple have their own son, Wyatt, their relationship remains informal.

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Nevertheless, the Hawn-Russell relationship is so strong that Hudson affectionately refers to him as “Pa.” What’s more, the couple have become the benchmark for what the daughter strives for with her own family. In her case, Hudson’s three children came from her first marriage to singer Chris Robinson, a later engagement to musician Matt Bellamy and her current relationship with musician and actor Danny Fujikawa.

However, that’s not to say every day is sunshine and roses for Hawn and Russell. They’ve just learned how to iron out imperfections. As the actress explained to the Daily Mirror, “You have to learn how to work your way through an argument and be skillful about it and resolve it.” So how do the couple do it?

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Well, as Hawn admitted, “Things happen during a marriage or a union. Things that are said that shouldn’t have been said, or things that are done that shouldn’t have been done. Or you feel neglected.” However, she and her partner overcome these obstacles by keeping a high appreciation of each other. In fact, Russell often reminds Hawn how beautiful she is.

“The other night we were going to go have dinner,” Hawn described to People. “[Russell] looks at me and goes, ‘You’re unbelievable.’ He said, ‘I cannot believe how [beautiful] you look.’” The actress paused to contemplate the moment. “Because I’m… old?” she asked jokingly. But the 74-year-old quickly brought the point back into focus.

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“No,” Hawn stressed. “It was kind of like… he does make me feel [beautiful]. He does. And he really appreciates that.” Indeed, Hudson looks at her mom and pa as a relationship goal for herself and her family. She said, “I look at it and I’m like, ‘How do you guys do it?’ You know, I’m still working on that.”

Furthermore, Russell described his relationship with Hawn as “destined” to flourish. He told talk show host Graham Norton in 2019, “It’s been spectacular. But at the same time we live a normal life and have all the same issues that other people with four kids have.” Nevertheless, those kids look to their parents as a source of inspiration.

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“All of us kids talk about it all the time,” Hudson confessed to People. “To live up to [their relationship] is really the goal… Just the fact that they have been able to maintain a unit for everybody. For us in times of turmoil or all of their grandkids or all of our kids, they really are the center of all our lives.”

Then Hudson spoke of her current relationship with Fujikawa. She explained, “Danny makes me feel… honestly he makes me feel beautiful every single moment of the day. Even when we have fought I still feel loved. His devotion to the family and to the unit… makes me feel safe and confident and secure.”

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“It’s very important when you want to raise a family,” Hawn stressed. “And that is the first and foremost thing that you feel about your life. And it’s a decision that you make when you have your children and you have a man that loves your children, even the children that you may have had with someone else. That’s a very tough bond to break.”

And on the subject of being supportive, Hudson added, “Mom always said to me, ‘Don’t you ever let a man dim your light. Don’t ever let that happen, no matter what it is that’s going on in the relationship.’” However, Hawn has also offered her daughter advice for when things start to go wrong.

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Hudson continued, “The second [the relationship] starts to dim your light you need to go inward and try to, like, really, in the most loving way, look at the choices that you’re making. Not blaming anybody else, just looking inward.” It’s a philosophy the 41-year-old has applied to her own relationships, including the failed ones.

“I have to say that I have zero regrets in my life,” Hudson declared. “I don’t have a very traditional set-up. But inside of that I’ve never defined myself through the way that a man sees me. But I can define myself in the unit that we can create together, you know? And I think that that is kind of what Mom gave to me.”

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For Hawn, however, it’s as much about leading by example. She said, “It’s not what you say, it’s what you do, right? As a parent, as long as we actually behave the way that we’re actually speaking about, what we expect [from children], then we’re showing them. Because showing them is much more important than telling.”

And yet, despite all of Hawn’s advice, Hudson admitted to having a very different character to her mom. She described a childhood of following Hawn around, trying to get her attention simply because she couldn’t sit still. Hudson learned that the best time to engage with her mom was when she was on the treadmill.

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By this evaluation, Hudson admits that Hawn and Russell couldn’t be more different. Nevertheless they “complement each other so well.” She explained, “Mom is kinetic and she is a butterfly. And Pa likes his family and his home. But when they’re together, it’s so powerful.” It’s an assessment with which Hawn agrees.

“He can sit and watch his games,” Hawn said of Russell. “He loves to golf you know, he loves his home. In the meantime, I say, ‘So no bike ride?’” But, by all appearances, the actress has an irrepressible energy flowing through her veins which her loved ones find captivating. It’s also a source of amusement for the Oscar-winner.

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As Hawn recalled, “Granddaddy said to me once, ‘Girl, could you just sit down and smell the roses? Could you just sit down?’” It seems, then, as though the actress has always been full of energy, and there’s little sign of it dimming into her 70s. She continued, “I’ve gotta remind myself it’s time to just sit down.”

Despite this contrast in energy, then, Hawn and Russell have proven over nearly four decades that such differences can be overcome. She told the Daily Mirror, “If two people really want to be together there’s something to cherish, so you keep it fresh by surprising each other. Go to a hotel room, go take a hike. Make something happen that’s unusual.”

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The couple have forged a partnership that’s endured for 37 years. As Hawn explained to People, “You want to stay in your power, but you also want to be forgiving. And you want to understand and have compassion for the other person. If you cannot do that, then you’re not giving yourself a real fair chance at a long-term relationship. And that’s a lesson that we all have to learn.”

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