TThere’s only one sad thing about Rita Wilson’s new album: she doesn’t sing. In the year In March 2020, a week after her husband Tom Hanks sent shockwaves around the world by announcing the couple’s engagement with Vivid, Wilson announced in 2016. In 1992, Naughty posted a video of her own self-titled “Hip Hop Hooray” song. The clip has since garnered more than two million views on Instagram, from everyone from Kim Kardashian (“Great video!!!!!!!”) to Barack Obama (“Drop the mic, Rita!”). When news of this unlikely viral illness reached Naughty By Nature, the Grammy-winning trio released a single featuring Wilson on the mic to raise money for Musique’s Covid-19 relief fund. Surely, then, the stage is set for Wilson to deliver her take on Tupac and NWA? She cries with laughter. “I think that’s my next project!” She jokes. “It’s funny, Nate said on Nature, ‘Anytime you want to play that song live with us, we’ll do it!’ I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ll meet them on tour one day and I’ll come right over.'”
Instead of spitting bars, Wilson’s new album. Now and Forever: Duets The 66-year-old actor and musician will be filmed singing a set of Seventies soft rock favourites. She has mingled with the best voices in music. Smokey Robinson helps deliver a version of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s “Where’s the Love,” while Willie Nelson delivers a spine-tingling equivalent of Paul Simon’s “Slide Away.” Elsewhere, came appearances from the likes of Keith Urban, Leslie Odom Jr. and Elvis Costello, the latter of whom lent a soulful stirring to Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire.” Today, Wilson looked positively angelic in a white top with a small gold pendant around her neck in London. She is in town for a show on the BBC. Later… with Jools Holland, She sings with Jackson Browne, a seductive version of the Everly Brothers’ classic “Be Mine.”. “Jackson is a songwriter’s singer,” she says. “Singing with him is heaven.”
Wilson’s debut album, 2012 AM/FM, There was also a collection of covers from the seventies. Since then, she’s released three albums featuring her own songwriting, but she goes back to a decade that meant a lot to her. “These songs are 50 years old, so why are we still hearing them?” She casually asks before laying out her argument that the seventh singer-songwriter scene offers material to rival the Great American Songbook, a canon of jazz standards and covers and interpretations of tunes from the turn of the 20th century. “There’s something unique about those songs in terms of perspective because a lot of them were written by Broadway musical characters,” she said. “In the late sixties and early seventies, with the emergence of singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Jackson, you felt again that these songs were stories from the first person. point of view.”
She points out that she continues to resonate with unborn fans even as contemporary music is released, illustrating her argument with a suitably star-studded story. “I was at an Eagles show a couple of months ago,” she explained. “There were these two young men sitting behind me. We were singing and laughing. ‘How do you know all the words?’ I asked them. Someone was Irish, and he said, ‘Well, if you’d listened to as many Eagles albums as my parents played, you’d know all the words.’ The other man was Scottish and said, ‘Same as me.’ Then I asked them their names. It was Niall Horan and Lewis Capaldi. We agreed and I was like, ‘They’re good at this!’
For her part, Wilson saw the Seventies musical explosion from the front row. In the year Born in Hollywood in 1956, she spent her teenage years running the Sunset Strip. “I still had girlfriends in my life and we’d all go out on Friday nights,” she recalls. “I had these big platform snake boots that I wore under my bell bottoms and maybe a little over the top. Fashion today is no different than it was in the seventies. We’d go out for whiskey.” [A-Go-Go], Roxy and Gazzarri’s on the strip where the young bands come and play. It was so much fun! “
Showcasing impeccable rock ‘n’ roll credentials, Wilson recalls her first concert – Led Zeppelin at the Forum. “It was amazing,” she says. “They were fantastic. Play a long ‘climb to the sky’ that goes on forever. I was wearing these really big platform shoes that had cork platforms at the time called corks. I was so cool with my two girlfriends and I was freaking out. We were running to get to the stage on time and I fell flat on my face. We met Robert Plant one time and I was backstage at a Patti Griffin concert, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, you’re the one! I can’t believe I’m dying for him.”
Between gig hopping, Wilson was trying to make it as an actor. In the year In 1972, at the age of 16, she won a small role on a sitcom. The Brady Bunch. She made her film debut five years later in a sci-fi horror. The day he came to earth Before landing a part opposite 1980s rock comedy icons Cheech and Chong Chich and Chong’s next film. “They were big stars,” she recalls. You have to remember, back then we could read a lot more about Cheech and Chong’s routines than hearing them on vinyl. They were mocking and high-fiving our culture. It was very funny. “
The next year, Wilson was fired Bosom friendsThe largely forgotten sitcom that launched Tom Hanks as the lead. He was married at the time, but the couple reunited while filming the 1985 comedy Peace Corps Volunteers. They got married in 1988. Over the following decades, Wilson built his career with memorable roles in comedies. In Seattle, they lose sleep now and then. And A runaway bride. But as the years passed, she feared that she was becoming a typewriter. “I’m so tired of the canon of kind, gentle, caring mothers and wives,” she says. “Now ‘give me crazy and I’ll do that!’ It’s kind of.
Those who want to see Wilson take on genre should look out for director Joel Gretsch’s next. Start without me She often plays a “very different person” in the roles she finds herself in, she teases. She is also in Wes Anderson’s next film. Asteroid City, joining a cast that includes newcomers Margot Robbie and Jarvis Coker, as well as Anderson regulars like Jason Schwartzman and Scarlett Johansson. “Obviously it’s a band that he’s created, it’s a bigger band than normal,” says Wilson, who fondly remembers life in the seamless Covid bubble he created in Spain. “It was the best foam anywhere,” she says. We used to have music nights on weekends. People from the set and cast would play guitar, and we would sing. Everyone gets up and does something. It’s the only way you want to work.”
Following her appearance After… Wilson heads to New York for a two-week residency at the Hotel Carlyle. Since releasing her debut album ten years ago, she’s packed a lifetime of memorable performances, performing everywhere from her hometown’s The Troubadour to the Sydney Opera House. Surprisingly, she is yet to play at Somerset Field. Armed with her songbook of Seventies classics, not to mention the ever-present possibility of a Naughty by Nature twist, she looks tailor-made. The “Get Rita Wilson to Glastonbury” campaign starts here. “My goodness, they are installed,” she smiled. “I’m ready to go!”
‘Now and Forever: Duets’ is out now.