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Kate Hudson

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Nicolas Khayat/abaca

Ryder Russell is one lucky little boy – nothing seems to faze the 4-month-old’s mom, Kate Hudson. Lack of sleep? “Beautiful.” Weight gain? “Fun.” Going back to work? “Great.” But unlike most new parents, Hudson got a crash course in motherhood while making her latest movie, Raising Helen (in theaters May 28). In the film she plays a single woman who ends up taking in her sister’s three kids.

Hudson, 25, recently chatted about learning the ropes, losing her baby fat and changing diapers with a rocker, husband Chris Robinson.

Is motherhood all that you thought it would be?
It’s incredible – and then some. … Nobody ever tells you how hard it’s gonna be, you know? It’s like everybody keeps all the hard stuff away from you. But it’s amazing.

What’s been hard?
Well, when you’re nursing and you’re working 18-hour days – that’s pretty hard.

How difficult was it to get back into shape?
I gained 60 lbs.

Proud of it. It was fun. It was great. I kind of figured, you know, why do I need to watch my weight when I’m pregnant? I’m gonna eat whatever the hell I want to eat.

I’m okay being big. It felt like everybody else was more worried about it than I was. I just knew that when I started shooting I didn’t want to get two months into it and then all of a sudden drop my weight drastically from being, you know, 145 lbs. to 118 lbs. So I worked out every day, two hours to three hours a day, for about two and a half months.

Most actresses would freak out.
I had a baby. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when you blow up.

Did doing Raising Helen prepare you at all?
Not really. I learned from my parents (Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell) … they’re my biggest support system right now. … I was saying today I can only hope that when Ryder and then the next kids come, they like me as much as I like my mom, you know?

So how many kids do you think you’ll have?
I need to take a break to, like, go out and have a couple drinks before I go and do this all over again. (With) nursing, you know, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to go out and have a nice night with my husband.

“Already the baby’s almost 4 months old and he’s traveled a lot,” says Hudson (with husband Chris Robinson). “We live out of suitcases. He’s either gonna hate us for it or love us for it.”
Is Chris a good diaper changer?
He’s great. He doesn’t change too many diapers. He says it’s because everybody gets so excited when the baby poops that he doesn’t even get a chance to get close to him. Our whole world is poop right now, you know? “Did he poop?”

In Raising Helen, your love interest is a clergyman. Did that surprise you?
Yeah, but when I found out it was John Corbett I was very happy about it. … He is a sexy man.

You just started filming The Skeleton Key. How was it going back to work?
Great. I grew up in this business so I just kind of look at it and say, “How lucky am I as a working mother that I can have my baby with me, you know?” … (But) it’s been crazy. I’ve got bruises all up and down my body.

And that’s because …
It’s a psychological thriller. Gena Rowlands and John Hurt. (I was) climbing up two-story trellises and running in the mud and knocking myself on crashing cars. It’s fun.

Are you having fun at home? Having a child changes everything, especially marriage.
It takes on a different level of respect. I think it’s the best we’ve ever felt being together. I think the hardest part for me was … realizing that your life shouldn’t change, you know? That you integrate your kids into your life.

Would you and Chris ever star in a reality series?
Are you out of your mind? Oh my goodness.