Kathryn Hahn: ‘I was raised to be polite, we can’t afford that now’

Kathryn Hahn has a new Netflix movie streaming now. It’s called Private Life and is about a couple in their 40s trying to have a baby. It costars Paul Giamatti and also features Molly Shannon. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive and the trailer makes it look bittersweet and funny. It’s written and directed by Tamara Jenkins (The Savages, Slums of Beverly Hills). Hahn has a new interview with The Daily Beast. She talked about how she was a fan of Jenkins and was determined to get the role after reading the script.

She also discussed he current take-away-everyone’s-rights climate (my words as “political” doesn’t cut it anymore). And she mentioned women having to chose, in a way, between our careers and fertility. This is due to the subject matter of her film of course and she talked about it thoughtfully without making assumptions. Kathryn, 45, has a son, 12, and a daughter, 9, with her husband of of 13 years, Ethan Sandler. She said that while she didn’t have fertility problems per se she could relate to her character’s struggle in other ways. I came away from this appreciating how outspoken and down to earth she is. Here are some of the best quotes:

On how now is not the time to be polite
“I was raised to be polite. I did all the proper gender and performance classes at Northwestern. I did all the steps to be the proper feminist. The polite feminist. We can’t afford that now. It’s not a time to be polite.”

She is full of rage; we can relate
“I have a lot of rage right now in my belly,” she says, bringing up the fact that the very morning we connect, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault by a second woman. She speaks about her rage in quintessential Hahn-esque terms, which is to say exceptionally earnest and with slightly goofy terminology—“absolutely bonkers,” “completely bananas,” “shitshow times”—but with no doubt of the clarity of her emotion.

“I know where my heart stands and what I’m trying to do and I know how imperative November is. I’m fighting the good fight over here on the ground, for sure.”

On how women sort of have to choose between career or kids
“I think a lot of women are sold a bill of goods about their fertility, where you think you’re in control of your fertility in your thirties. And it sucks that our chief money-making years line up with our most fertile! It really, really sucks. It just sucks! And then when you’re finally ready to have your babies, it’s like, well, it doesn’t happen as easily as maybe you’ve been told. And it costs a shit ton of money. And no one tells you when to stop. And how could anybody tell you when to stop dreaming? For anything!”

On how she can relate to being disappointed in your mid 40s
“How did I connect to that being a mom? I certainly know what it feels like to ache for something or long for something. I certainly know what it feels like to have a dream, and then all of a sudden you turn 40 and look down the barrel and think, oh Jesus, that doesn’t look like what I thought it was going to look like when I was in my twenties. That sucks! Then you readjust. We all do.”

I think the thing about being in my 40s that feels disappointing is not that I’m not rich or wildly successful. Those things would be nice, but I don’t need them to feel fulfilled. It’s that it doesn’t feel that much different from my 30s. I don’t care as much about making a fool of myself and I’m more likely to speak my mind, but I don’t have this relieved feeling like I’m on the other side of anything. Maybe that’s just due to the climate of anxiety now though. This is life and there are still setbacks and bullsh-t and things to do. Most of the time I feel like I’ve forgotten something or need to do about five more things before I can relax. I don’t know if you ever feel like you’ve made it, even if you save plenty for retirement. The fact that someone like Hahn, who is wildly successful by my measure, can say that too just makes me think this feeling is universal. Also I agree with her that the time to be polite has long since passed. We need to be loud and it’s completely understandable that we’re enraged. Some days I wonder why everything seems so “normal.”

Also I’m a fan of hers now.




Photos credit: WENN.com

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20 Responses to “Kathryn Hahn: ‘I was raised to be polite, we can’t afford that now’”

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  1. klutzy_girl says:

    I’ve loved Kathryn since “Crossing Jordan,” and am so thrilled to see she’s become so successful. Love what she says in this interview. Excited to see this movie too!

  2. Astrid says:

    I tried watching this Netlifx movie the other day but couldn’t seem to get any traction. I like her as a person and actor though.

  3. Tania says:

    I used to feel like I’m always “less than” others who are so accomplished. I started sitting back and thinking about everything my People have been through and how just being a semi-functioning adult, practicing my culture, speaking my language, being proud of my ancestral name and using it as an introduction to new people and saying where I’m from and what Indigenous Nation I belong to, it’s enough. In my language there’s a term for, if you advance and move forward, you have a responsibility to reach back and pull everyone forward with you. That’s what we do with our children (well, for me, my nieces and nephews). That each generation will get better.

    I understand the rage of feeling your government is against you. You will survive. My People have since columbus got lost and we’re still here. We’re still moving forward. Because everything that could be done, has been done to us but we still exist. We still fight. We still move forward. It’s only taken 240+ years for others to feel what we’ve felt since Europeans found the “new world”.

    As an aside, I went for a jog yesterday after work. I saw a Yoder sign a couple of blocks away from my house and felt rage and used that as fuel to keep going. I now associate anyone with the republican party as racist entitled white people. I wanted to get so angry. On my way back I decided to run by the house to see who it may have been and my heart was lifted. The house beside it had a Sharice Davids sign AND the two houses across the street had Laura Kelly and Sharice Davids sign. To me, it shows there are more of us than them and we’re growing in numbers while they shrink. It was a good day.

  4. Ms Lib says:

    I loved her character in Parks and Rec. Glad to see she is still working and she is right on track with her comments!

    • lucy2 says:

      I loved her on P&R too, she’s pretty great in everything she does.

    • Lala says:

      Yes! Her P&R character was great. I never had an opinion on her one way or another but this interview made me a fan.

  5. ValiantlyVarnished says:

    I watched the film on Saturday and I loved it. It was real and honest and raw. Kathryn Hahn is one of those actors thaf is just good in whatever they are in and Private Life was no exception. I’ve been a fan of hers for years. Also – can we talk about her legs? Because…DAMN! Her legs are insane!

  6. Tiffany says:

    PONCHO !!!!

    Jen Barkley is my spirit animal and I love Kathryn as well.

  7. MarcelMarcel says:

    I loved her in various roles. And it isn’t the time to be polite (I think we should have with politeness a long time ago but maybe that’s because misogyny and biphobia has had a negative impact on my life for decades.).

    It’s great seeing successful women like her discuss how they are no longer willing to be polite. I also find heartening that more and more women are publicly discussing the work they are undertaking to push against the rising tide of fascism.

  8. Susannah says:

    I understand what she’s saying. I rarely talked about politics until Trump won the New Hampshire Primary. Politics is something that can cause a lot of arguments and I never liked the idea of confrontation and would just prefer to smooth things over, agree to disagree. When I realized that Trump was a serious candidate and how dangerous that was for our country, all my inhibitions regarding politics went out the window. I’d be the one to bring up politics in conversations, ask people who they were voting for, give my opinion on politics and Hillary, without asking, etc. It made me much more outspoken and a fighter about everything.

  9. Electric Tuba says:

    Big ole crush one her for real!

  10. tealily says:

    I’m approaching 40 and I relate to everything she’s saying so much. When you’re young, life is full of possibilities, but as time goes on you start to realize that life is finite and there’s no possible way you’ll do everything you thought you would. You need to start making choices about what your priorities are, and it’s kind of scary and sad. I just try to never put myself in a position where I’m doing something I don’t want to. I guess that’s the best we can do.

  11. NeoCleo says:

    I wish I had legs like that!!!

  12. Giddy says:

    There are very few commercials that I always watch, but hers for Chrysler kill me. She is a fabulous comedic actress, and I enjoyed this interview. Ever since November 2016 I’ve had my rage building, and I completely agree that now isn’t the time to be polite. I have found myself doing and saying things I would have never done before, and I’m not feeling apologetic. I was disappointed and angry to receive an email from a good friend with erroneous and insulting material about Beto. I replied…Bullshit! These are lies spread by the human weasel known as Ted Cruz! I then added a link to a Houston Chronicle article refuting the material he had sent.
    He was pretty shocked and mentioned to my husband that he must have caught me in a bad mood. My husband replied that he agreed completely with what I had written, and that we both felt that anyone who voted for Trump and voting Republican should take ownership of the resulting horrors like forcibly separating children from parents and approving a man accused of sexual assault for the Supreme Court. This is definitely not the time to be polite.

  13. ladida says:

    She was amazing in afternoon delight, I love D*ck, and transparent. I will watch her in anything!

  14. holly hobby says:

    Loved her in Bad Moms! She was hysterical and the interview with her mom at the end of the credits was sweet. Her mom looks just like her.

  15. Ann says:

    This show looks so good!!! She is freaking awesome!