Why You Need To Watch Everything Kathryn Hahn Is In Right Now

A Detacher top and skirt.
If you're searching for the most candid person on the planet, look no further than Kathryn Hahn. Indeed, you'd have trouble missing her: She's starring in Happyish. She's guest-starring on Transparent. And today, her new film The D Train hits theaters. Hahn is clearly having a moment.

We couldn't be happier about that — she's been a favorite of ours ever since she got Matthew McConaughey to believe she was a therapist in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Since then she's shown off her chops, both comedic and dramatic, much to our delight.

The D Train is a movie about who you were in high school and the person you've become today. It's about identifying what's important to you. And, it's about honesty. That makes Hahn, ever unabashed about how she feels about style, beauty, and career, the perfect fit. 

The D Train feels like a mix of comedy, drama, and coming-of-age all in one. How would you describe it?
"I would say it’s all three. First and foremost it’s a comedy, but it’s definitely got some real questions to it and some depth. Dramedy? Comedy dramedy?”

What will surprise audiences most about the film?
“I mean, besides how hot James Marsden is? And what an incredible actor he is? So is Jack Black. He’s like a shapeshifter. What would be amazing is if all the kids and young men that have traditionally been their demographic — especially Jack’s — walk away a little more open and changed. That would be great.”

You and Jack Black also have a very open discussion about sex with your son in the movie. Is that how you’re going to be with your kids?
“My eldest is eight, so we haven’t had a threesome conversation just yet. But, my husband and I think it’s imperative that they feel as comfortable and safe with us as possible. I do not want anything to become a secret or something they can’t — I mean, some things are private and that’s life. And same with me. I don’t tell him everything. He’s eight. But, I think there’s a way. It just became very confusing all of a sudden when he was like, ‘Santa’s bringing presents,’ but also, ‘Where do babies come from?’ So, we did a lot of research and apparently the best thing to do at this age is just give them the facts — nothing about love or emotion. Explain it biologically, like animals. ‘This is what happens. Do you have any questions?’ And he was like, 'I have a question: Can I go play Minecraft now?’ We were both like, ‘Thank god he’s so not that excited.'"

In the movie, there’s an emphasis on using Facebook, keeping in touch with old friends, and revisiting your high school years. Do you use Facebook to keep up with classmates? Did you go to your reunion?

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“I’m not on any social media, but I did go to my 10-year high school reunion. I grew up in Ohio and went to an all-girls Catholic high school. So, it was some bad white wine in plastic cups, some really awesome ladies, and some elderly nuns. Then, very quiet, sheepish husbands standing around with white wine, because that was all they served. But, it was as hilarious and awful as possible. I think we were at the high school in the gym and then some bar we were never able to go to. One of my friends from high school owns an amazing restaurant and we went there. It was so fun. You just cannot help but go immediately back to those feelings you had when you were 15 — and they’re never great.  Anyone that says they had a great [time in high school], I’m like, ‘Li-ar.’ Our brains aren’t formed enough. I just think it’s a really hard time in the life span of a human being.”

What were you like in high school?
“I was kind of a floater, except for the athletes. I never connected with them because I couldn’t stand sports of any kind. Any kind of underground or nerd group was awesome. And also the cool ladies. I was kind of a part of them, but not really. I was with them and I could hang with them and make them laugh, but I always felt much more at home with the drama nerds, for sure.”

You also talked about how when you were first starting out, you were ready to be a game supporting-character actress, and how being cast is linked so much to an actor’s appearance. Do you think this has changed for women?
“I do. I don’t know, it feels like we’re entering a really exciting, fluid time, creatively. Everyone is looking on the binary: sexuality, gender, appearance. It just feels like culturally we’re ready and hungry for something that isn’t so perfect and polished and clean. We’re excited about humans that are messy, complicated, real-looking, and beautiful because they are exactly who they are. Individual, authentic voices rather than just blank slates that we kind of put our own aspirations on. I don’t know. I’ve certainly felt like the level of work has been much more interesting in the last five, six years. It might be because of my life post-children and post-letting go of all those feelings, and just saying this is who I am. I wish I could take that high school girl and shake her and say, ‘It’s gonna be fine! Let it go!’ Know what I mean? 'I’m so grateful you didn’t change your nose when you were 15,' which I wanted to do so badly.”

Really?
“Yeah. You get fixated on one thing, and I come from a line of strong lady noses. I’m so glad I didn’t.”

You’ve said recently that some of your roles, like in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, were part of your “best friend chapter,” and not so satisfying. Why is that?
“There are a lot of parts — especially that kind of trope in a romantic comedy — that literally are there as a plot device to shine light on the struggles of the main character. In this case, the leading woman. Sometimes the good ones will give those parts quirks or some edge, but it’s kind of slapped on a device. Like, ‘I should call him.’ ‘You should call him!’ It’s almost like when you shoot a commercial and the angel’s on the shoulder of the person. It’s like that, but externalized. Usually those parts are not born of it being an integral, dynamic part of the story. You’re another way in for the audience to have the plot moved around for them. So, totally not satisfying. But, I learned a ton, and I was so starstruck. I couldn’t believe i was in the same movie as Kate Hudson.”

Would you do a rom com now?
“There’s some really awesome ones coming up that I’m not in. Trainwreck, for example, looks amazing and fresh and from her perspective. Amy Schumer’s mind is beautiful and Judd Apatow’s mind is beautiful. So, I think there’s places for it to go, and there will always be an audience for those movies. That feels like something you go to the theater to see. It’s aspirational. I don’t know, though. I don’t know that I would play the best friend. Unless there’s one that’s with an awesome older actress and actor. I love farces and comedy.”

It feels like we’re in the golden age of female buddy comedy right now. I could see you doing that. Like a Paul Feig movie.

“Even the term 'female comedy' is so tricky because you never hear anybody say ‘male comedy.’ But, I totally agree that there’s a shift almost in which having two big male comedy stars feels a little dated now. And we’re tired. Those movies are doing fine and those men are geniuses, but for me there’s something when you see a group of women — and maybe it’s because I’m a woman — I’m always thrilled. I was talking to Jill Soloway about how when you make a piece of anything filmwise it’s a piece of propaganda, whether you want it to be or not. That’s a message you’re sending to the planet.  So, there is something about putting in as many women as you can [into a film] that feels in and of itself political.”

It seems like you’ve formed a really solid collaboration with Jill Soloway.
“I love her and I love [Transparent]. I worked as a guest star in Season One. But, as a fan of that show and of Jill, every single performance felt like it was magic. It all crystallized in the most perfect [way.] She’s a goddess.”

You’ve done some amazing guest starring, like on Parks and Rec.
“That was another one where I really lucked out. That set the bar high, for sure. I couldn’t believe that that could exist in a network comedy construct. It all trickled down from the call sheet, the vibe. Amy Poehler is like…you never want anybody else as your number one. The vibe on that set was so loving and fun and safe and welcoming. They had institutionalized a dance party in the hair-and-makeup trailer every single day after lunch. They’d put on music and everyone would just rock out. It was a dream. And, it was all because of Amy. It was the best. The best.”

How would you describe your personal style?
“My favorite looks are — all I want to do is be like Caroline De Maigret, that awesome French singer/model with the bangs. She had kinda dirty hair and she’s really lanky. That’s my favorite style. Charlotte Gainsbourg. Natural, undone, so chic, so confident, kind of masculine. I don’t really wear dresses anymore. I always feel more comfortable when I’m wearing a suit and flats, like Vans or tennis shoes. It feels sexy to me, like I’m not trying so hard.”

Have you ever felt pressured to adopt certain things for your career?
“No, but I’ve certainly been victim to trying on a trend I should not have tried. Like, I really tried to pull off a high-waisted jean and spent a lot of money on a pair of jeans that were too big, so they just ended up looking like mom jeans. That’s the problem with me and high-waisted jeans, though, because you have to wear them with heels. For some reason I can’t quite pull them off with flats. Maybe I’ll try them again. I love having a uniform that I know looks good. When you get older you realize certain things, like prints are not me. High necks. V necks not so cute.” 

Is it hard to cull your closet? Do you get attached to some clothes?
“I do not get emotionally attached to clothes. I have nothing in my closet. I love when I look at everything I have and I’m like, ‘Yep. Yep.’ I’d rather spend money on a few expensive things than a lot of stuff that I just won’t wear.”

What’s your go-to travel outfit?
“A fancy black sweatpant. I have these Isabel Marant sweatpants I’ve had forever. A fancy grey sweatshirt. I’m always on the hunt for a fancy sweat. And really old Margiela boy Vans.”

What’s the one thing you can’t get yourself to do as part of your beauty routine?
“Bikini wax. Gotta be honest. I’m so lazy when it comes to that. I just figure like — here’s the thing. My beautiful husband, who I’ve been with for a zillion years... I think, 'Ugh, I should.' But then, going and dealing with it...I should just get it when I’m getting my eyebrows done. But, it’s either a bad time or it’s too short. I just use a plain razor. Then it’s summer and I’m like, who likes skorts?”

What are your travel beauty essentials?
“A little tube of Aquaphor. It’s great for everything — lips, nose, elbows, cuticles. I love that stuff. And, of course, Altoids because it gets nasty.”
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