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Goldie Hawn Finally Reveals the Surprising Reason She Stepped Away From Hollywood

A tragic event led to the star's semi-retirement.

After getting her start in the late 1960s, Goldie Hawn acted regularly throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s. But, in the early 2000s, she stepped back from Hollywood and took a 15-year break from the screen. She starred alongside Susan Sarandon in the 2002 comedy The Banger Sisters, and then didn't appear in another film until 2017's Snatched, in which she plays the mother of Amy Schumer's character. Since then, Hawn has only taken on three more movie roles: She plays Mrs. Claus opposite real-life partner Kurt Russell in two installments of Netflix's The Christmas Chronicles, and she was also the narrator of the coming-of-age movie SPF-18.

Now, in a new interview with Variety, Hawn has explained why she put her acting career on pause for all those years and what she focused on instead. Read on to see what the Oscar-winning actor shared.

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Hawn made a change because of 9/11.

Goldie Hawn at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

In her Variety interview, Hawn shared that it was the September 11th attacks that made her want to step back from her career.

"I'd been making a lot of movies for a long time. And when 9/11 happened, the world turned upside down, and I wasn't feeling very happy," the 77-year-old said. "But what I realized is that children were actually going to be suffering a silent distress on account of 9/11 … It shook me to the core, and I said, 'Am I going to make movies, or am I going to do something?'"

She took action.

Goldie Hawn at the Goldie's Love In For Kids in 2017
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Hawn did decide to do something about what she was feeling. Through her Goldie Hawn Foundation, she created a program called MindUP that is used in schools around the world to help children manage stress.

As reported by CNN, after 9/11, Hawn was reminded of her own childhood experience during the Cold War of watching a "duck-and-cover" atomic bomb preparation film in school. She wanted to create something that would support children who were now dealing with similar feelings of anxiety.

"These life skills have been something I've been interested in since I was a kid," she told CNN of learning mindfulness and breathing techniques.

"Life can have many chapters and I can say this may be the greatest of my life. To see our children use these tools in their lives brings tears of joy to my eyes," reads Hawn's statement on the MindUP website.

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She also wanted to try something new.

Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn at the premiere of "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" in 2022
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

In 2017, her daughter Kate Hudson spoke with Hawn for Interview magazine. Hudson asked her mother why she took such a long break from making movies.

"Because I believe that life is about doing," Hawn said. "It's about changing. It's about transitioning. I can't imagine, as a human being, not being able to grow. When I turned 50, I asked some of my girlfriends, all actresses of the same age, 'What are we going to do now?' I wanted to go live somewhere for a while, learn archaeology, or take part in healing the world on some level."

She continued and said of MindUP, "I started learning about the brain, psychology. And after 9/11, I decided, 'I know what I'm going to do.' I ended up writing two books and creating MindUP. It's now in Jordan, Serbia, the U.K., America, Canada, Hong Kong. I never looked back. I never wished to be acting again. I was so engaged."

The books Hawn wrote during her acting hiatus are the 2005 Memoir A Lotus Grows in the Mud and the 2011 self-help book 10 Mindful Minutes.

You may catch her on the big screen again, however.

Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn at An Unforgettable Evening in 2019
DFree / Shutterstock

Now that Hawn is back to acting, she's open to continuing. She told Variety that she'd take on more projects if it's the right role, like a "wild, crazy character" in a Marvel movie or a potential First Wives Club sequel. Of her Netflix franchise with Russell, she said, "I'd love to do Mrs. Claus one more time."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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