Kate & Owen: Keeping Their Distance

With Hudson in L.A., Wilson heads to London – but a pal says they're "smitten"

For Owen Wilson, the Aug. 22 London premiere of You, Me and Dupree was more like you, me and no Kate Hudson in sight. Where was his co-star? Home in Los Angeles, where she was photographed Aug. 20 with estranged husband Chris Robinson, 39, and their son Ryder, 2.

Hudson, 27, had originally planned to go to the London premiere, a close source tells PEOPLE, but she backed out after her separation from Robinson was announced Aug. 14, PEOPLE reports in its new issue.

An ocean is certainly bigger than the several feet Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie always kept between them while promoting their film, Mr. & Mrs. Smith – but evidence linking Hudson and Wilson, 37, continues to mount.

The pair, who have been seen recently with friends at L.A. hot spots Hyde Lounge and Tropicana Bar, “became the best of friends (while filming Dupree),” says a source who knows both actors. “They are smitten with each other.”

Hudson’s rep had no comment; Wilson’s spokesperson called reports of a romance “all untrue.” (Hudson and Robinson told PEOPLE in a joint statement that “our reasons for separating have nothing to do with any third party.”)

Still, some friends are pulling for a love match. “(When Kate and Owen met) it was perfect timing,” says a pal of Hudson’s. “She was ripe for some real companionship and fun. They are comedians and have a naturally upbeat view of life, which Chris did not have. She’s a free spirit. And Owen is also a free bird.”

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