To Kate and Oliver Hudson, family is everything.
So much so that the siblings started a podcast together in 2019 called “Sibling Revelry,” which has featured over 100 guests and launched a new season on Wednesday.
The podcast “explores the sibling bond, family dynamics, the human mind, body, and so much more,” according to the website, and the famous pair’s vulnerable and open approach to embracing their own dynamic as siblings – they are the children of Goldie Hawn and estranged father Bill Hudson – has inspired their many podcast guests to share about the inner workings of their own family and sibling dynamics.
“I think we’re both pretty comfortable feeling vulnerable, talking about insecurities,” Kate Hudson told CNN in an interview, adding that “when you can open up with those insecurities or vulnerabilities, it’s actually a strength.”
Kate and Oliver Hudson have spoken with everyone from Mary and Stella McCartney, the daughters of Beatles legend Paul McCartney, to Kate Hudson’s “Almost Famous” co-star Billy Crudup and his brothers Tommy and Brooks. In the new season, they speak with Matthew and Rooster McConaughey, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his brother Suneel, and sisters Barbara Bush and Jenna Hager.
The conversations on “Sibling Revelry” tend to be joyous, insightful and hilarious, and offer a refreshing take on navigating life with a built-in best friend. Read on to learn more about how the Hudsons’ sibling chemistry led to “Sibling Revelry.”
The conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
CNN: What is it about your sibling dynamic that lends itself to some of the more revealing conversations that you have had?
Oliver Hudson: I think it’s honestly how candid we are, and how open we are with our feelings. I feel like we’re unafraid to sort of talk about our relationship and how we view the things that we’ve been through, and it helps people to open up a little bit.
Kate Hudson: Yeah. And vulnerability. I think we’re both pretty comfortable feeling vulnerable, talking about insecurities. When you can open up with those insecurities or vulnerabilities, it’s actually a strength. And that’s how we grew up, being very open with our feelings. I’ve always felt even outside of our podcast that I’ve got nothing to hide. And then I did our podcast and I realized there definitely is things I’d like to hide.
OH: The beauty of podcasts is to say, ‘Well, we’re going to cut that.’
KH: So as open as we are, there are things where I’m like, ‘Oh, we really went a little too far on that one, too revealing.’
OH: But I think most people probably come in with some sort of a guard up, but the minute that they feel comfortable and they see that you are able to tell your truth and not be afraid of it, I think it puts people at ease and allows them to open up a little bit more.
KH: And I think that as hard and as challenging as certain things can be in a family dynamic, when you have laughter, if you’re able to have some self humor, if you’re able to be somewhat self deprecating, if you’re able to face your own shortcomings, you can actually have a better sense of humor about them. And that’s something that’s got Oliver and I through a lot, is laughter. And thinking about where the world is right now, I was thinking about this yesterday when starting to do prep for the podcast. Our world is so unpredictable. There’s so much that’s unpredictable right now. And when you really think about what matters, what’s going to keep you feeling good, it kind of really does start at home with your family and with the connections that you have with the people you love. And we have to nurture that. And I think the more we nurture that the better the world becomes. Like the more we nurture our small community that we have, that we all have, I think the better the larger community becomes.
OH: And it’s hard too, because sometimes you talk to siblings who have had maybe issues with other siblings, and there’s a division there. But depending on the situation, it’s an important relationship to mend, I think. Because at the end of the day, I tell my kids this when they’re all yelling at each other, I’m like, ‘This is all you got!’ You know what I mean? At the end of the day, this is your tribe, you know? So make sure that you nurture this and understand.
CNN: Speaking of kids, have you learned anything from the conversations you’ve had with your guests that have informed you on dynamics you want to apply as parents to your children?
KH: Yes. Oh, completely! Also just the different parenting styles that people have experienced where (I’m) like, ‘God that’s great.’ Like, someone who completely came from a completely different sort of parenting style/background.
OH: And some of the experts that we bring on too are extremely insightful. Ron Howard pops into my mind. With the way he grew up with his family who have a bunch of actors and it’s, like a whole thing.
KH: He’s so great. We had Dr. Shefali on who did a book called “The Conscious Parent.” And that was really insightful. I left that podcast really taking a lot from her about how we actually heal our own wounds as we raise our children, by looking deeper into ourselves and our reactivity towards the things that our children are doing.
OH: It’s also about respecting the way that everyone does it because everyone does it differently, even including my sister and I. Kate and I parent differently.
KH: Super different.
OH: But we respect the way that we do it. And when my kids are with Kate, she does it one way and they come home and they’re like, ‘Auntie Kate did this, this and this…’ And then I’m like, ‘Well, don’t go over there!’ It’s her rules man, if you’re not feeling it, then I don’t know what to do. And then her kids come to my house and I get yelled at by Kate like, ‘What are you doing?!’
CNN: What conversations have you both had with each other and with your guests that have surprised you?
OH: There’s a surprise in every show really, honestly. Everyone’s story is so unique. And you may go in there thinking you’re going to hear the same thing over and over again, but that’s just never the case. There’s always something that’s extremely relatable. The overall surprise for me is how this podcast and the decision to do it has brought my sister and I closer together in that we’re more expressive, we’re able to talk about things that you don’t really talk about around a dinner table or in your everyday world. So it sparks a lot of interesting conversation between us and we’re able to even get into it on the air, just about some of the issues that the guests bring up that are relatable to us. So for me, that’s what it is.
KH: For me, moving forward, it’s no longer a surprise because now we really understand it. Because by now, we’ve interviewed over I think 100. But it is how perception plays such a part in challenging relationships in the home, that everybody has a different perception of how something happened in their life, or even a circumstance that a sibling can remember in a completely different way. And how that can create conflict or how that informs how you resolve conflict. Now we know there is not one perception of anything. Like we all grow up with a different way of perceiving things.
OH: It’s so interesting. It’s based on age and where you are in the pecking order of the siblings status. Taye Diggs, on one of the early ones, he and his brother growing up had completely different perspectives on how they were raised and who their father was to them. Like night and day. It’s really amazing. It’s a good point, you know, just that filter.
KH: And in the beginning that really surprised me. And now I’m like, oh, the center of most conflict usually does come down to when people argue about how something was or how something went down versus the overall experience.
CNN: How do you prep for your interviews? Do you talk beforehand and decide who’s going to ask questions based on who’s better at a certain topic, or who’s friendlier with the guests that you have? How do you map it all out?
OH: It’s actually a good question because, again, it’s a night and day thing. Kate’s got the prep and—
KH: My notes, I like to read stuff.
OH: And I read over but I’m more off the cuff like, let’s just fly.
KH: He’s like, what’s your name again?
OH: But no, I like the spontaneity of it and then Kate brings us back on the tracks. I make hard left and right turns.
KH: It’s a really good dynamic actually because Oliver is hilarious and witty and lovable and does make the hard left, hard right. And I usually have fun with it and then bring it back on the road.
OH: I think authentically, Kate and I are who we are on this show. It really is, otherwise it would just sound sort of false if it was more structured, I think. She’s got her structure, I’m a little nutty. We sort of see where it takes us.
KH: Oliver loves to challenge experts.
KH: And I’m like, ‘Ollie, they’re an expert. Yeah, you don’t know what you’re talking about.’
CNN: It looks like you have some exciting guests lined up for the season. What or who are you most excited about?
KH: I mean, honestly, just being back on the air and our listeners. I’m excited to come back and kind of re-engage with our audience. And we really love our audience, they’re so loyal. Anytime someone comes up to me and they talk about loving the podcast, it always ends in a great conversation about which one they loved and why and their own experience. And I’m really excited about that. We get letters, emails come in that inspire Oliver and I and really move us.
OH: Yeah, and I think these episodes and the seasons are a reflection of what we’re interested in too. So when you’re hearing a guest, it’s not just pulling a guest out of thin air. It’s like ooh, we’re into this. We’re into all of the things and all the guests, it’s a reflection of what we want to learn as well.