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April 22, 2024 47 mins

Jenna Ushkowitz 'Glee-fully' tells us about the importance of chosen family.

From the loving parents who adopted her as a toddler, to the Glee family she found later in life, find out what it was like to work on a hit show with co-stars who bonded (and argued) like siblings.

Plus, Kate and Oliver open up about finding their adopted sibling during adulthood. 

Could Jenna be considering finding her birth parents? Does she have blood-related siblings somewhere in the world? What's her biggest fear when it comes to meeting her biological family?


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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):

Speaker 2 (00:05):
I am Kate Hudson and my name is Oliver Hudson.
We wanted to do something that highlighted our.

Speaker 3 (00:11):
Relationship and what it's like to be siblings.

Speaker 4 (00:19):
We are a sibling Railvalr No, no, sibling. You don't
do that with your mouth, Vely.

Speaker 1 (00:33):
That's good.

Speaker 5 (00:38):
So what's up? I mean, I'm here so much to
talk about.

Speaker 1 (00:42):
We're going to get into that because I want to
do an episode just you and I I know, which
I think we should.

Speaker 5 (00:47):
Actually be doing more people like that. Yeah, because we
could just talk shit.

Speaker 3 (00:51):
Just worry about this podcasting. What do you mean I
think it's ruining my life.

Speaker 1 (01:03):
Let's say yeah, okay, great, yeah, let's talk about our
next guest.

Speaker 5 (01:08):
Okay. So, so.

Speaker 1 (01:12):
I am a Glee and I'm a Glee lvely Alum.
I played Cassandra July actually, honestly one of the most
fun characters I've played because she was so mean.

Speaker 3 (01:29):
And a dance teacher.

Speaker 5 (01:31):

Speaker 1 (01:31):
I was a dance dance teacher and I taught Liam Michelle.
She was my student, and I just it was really nasty.
It was fun and we had fun Lee and I
had switched Fun, but I didn't get to work with Jenna,
who we askwitz super talented, really interesting, very interesting upbringing

which we will get into, and is very committed to
Broadway producing on Broadway, but has a great life story.
I mean, yeah, adopted, adopted, and we'll get in. Yeah,
we'll get we won't we'll get into. You know.

Speaker 3 (02:11):
We sometimes we have a problem with these intros where
we kind of tell everything before. Yah, that's why we're
trying to not to.

Speaker 1 (02:17):
But I will say that the Glee community.

Speaker 5 (02:20):
It's still going strong, still strong.

Speaker 1 (02:22):
It's wild and people rewatch and like young kids, you know,
it has like these secondary lives. Young kids, they get
introduced to Glee and then they get obsessed with it.

Speaker 3 (02:35):
Well that was kind of cool, but I don't know
it's cool or not cool. Actually with streaming nowadays, I
mean you look at suits, you look at all these
shows that all of a sudden get put on streaming
and bang they're popular again.

Speaker 5 (02:48):
Yeah, they like they Austin clak On two years ago, Ollie,
are you famous again?

Speaker 3 (02:54):
I was famous again for when I was twenty two
years old. I had people come up to me like,
oh got Dawson's Creek and I want the fun And
then I realized that it was put on some stream
it was Netflix or whatever, I.

Speaker 1 (03:07):
Know, and then they kind of switch like, yeah, Sex
and the City is on something right now. I was
looking at something in the City was on something, and
I was like, isn't that HBO?

Speaker 5 (03:16):
But it was on Well, they all get licensed out.
Also confusing.

Speaker 1 (03:20):
I'm in the business and I'm confused.

Speaker 5 (03:22):
So just you actually have that that would be a
good revel in.

Speaker 1 (03:25):
It is to well to like get, you know, to
talk about the state of the business, like talk to
an expert of.

Speaker 5 (03:34):
Like, you know, Hollywood, Bob Iger. Well, yes, I would love.

Speaker 1 (03:43):
To have Bob on the show, but like I but
I mean more like someone who really really understands the
ins and outs of like the business, like.

Speaker 5 (03:51):
A variety reporters, right, you know what about Jesse Iherman.

Speaker 1 (03:56):
I mean that could be interesting. He's at Warner Brothers. Yeah,
he's executive Warner Brothers. But someone on the outside looking in.
This is a This is a boring intro for people. Guys,
don't tune out. I'm just we're thinking out loud. But no,
I'm really excited to talk to Jenna and I don't

hear a story and I believe they just started. She
has a podcast with Kevin where they rewatched Lee and
they talk about it and they're just starting the season.

Speaker 5 (04:31):
That I was in. Oh good, yeah, well.

Speaker 3 (04:33):
Perfect, let's bring her in, Let's bring her up.

Speaker 5 (04:36):
All right, let's do this right.

Speaker 1 (04:40):
How are you?

Speaker 2 (04:41):
How are you good? Thank you good?

Speaker 5 (04:45):
What's going on?

Speaker 2 (04:46):
Not too much, just.

Speaker 1 (04:49):
Just doing doing the podcast thing?

Speaker 2 (04:53):
All right? Are we all doing the podcast thing?

Speaker 1 (04:56):
Who isn't? But I like I like your podcast. I
like so you guys, so you and and Kevin rewatching
the whole thing.

Speaker 6 (05:05):
Yes we are. We're up to your season right now.
We are on season four. Very exciting.

Speaker 1 (05:14):
What's it like reliving.

Speaker 6 (05:18):
It's strange and cathartic and therapeutic all at the same time.
I think there's been enough time now and having lived
through a pandemic and becoming a mother, and you know,
all of these different things, like there's enough time and
space away from it that I feel like I'm watching
it from a fans perspective instead of all of the
you know, all the baggage that came with the show.

Speaker 1 (05:41):
The drama. Yeah, it was a very dramatic set. Well,
you know, when you've got all of those personalities and
all those all of those, all that talent and all that.

Speaker 2 (05:56):
Use you know, a lot of hormones, Yes, lot of hormones.

Speaker 5 (06:02):
Definitely, it's useful. Young.

Speaker 1 (06:06):
Yes, do you have to do?

Speaker 3 (06:09):
You have to watch what you say, you know, because
obviously you can't expose and reveal everything.

Speaker 5 (06:15):
So how do you manage? Yes, you can. Don't be
like me.

Speaker 1 (06:21):
We don't we.

Speaker 6 (06:22):
We really, you know, I say to Kevin a lot. Look,
that's not our story to tell. I tell it from
my perspective, his perspective. We try to be kind about
it because I will be honest, like, we were all
very close, and yes, we all have our squabbles and
there's all things, but we really were a family and
it was easier to get along than it wasn't so

as dramatic as it as it was.

Speaker 2 (06:46):
And I'm so that's so interesting thing you say that, Kate.
There was just there's so.

Speaker 6 (06:52):
Many moving parts of our show and so many cast
members and so many personalities.

Speaker 1 (06:56):
I think it's because you guys were so close, you know,
and the show was so huge, so you're all this
like young little family and then of course inside of it,
it's like, yes, you know, you're gonna have like all
the stuff that comes with it. The other thing is
you had extraordinary talent on that show.

Speaker 2 (07:19):
It's true.

Speaker 1 (07:20):
And let me tell you something, there's a reason why
very talented people can be sometimes challenging people to work with,
because they can be uncompromising. They really believe in themselves,
they know what they have to offer, and so you know,
you get that all of that in one room and
it's there's gonna be some you know, fun drama. That's right.

Speaker 6 (07:43):
We were working hard too, and you got to see
a little bit of the machine in the way it
worked and how much how much time we really did
spend together. I mean we saw each other more than
we saw our own families, so there was a lot
of that dynamic too.

Speaker 2 (07:58):
We were so close.

Speaker 6 (08:00):
And I was just doing this other podcast where I
was talking about people learning how to advocate for themselves.
I think it's an interesting line between being taken advantage
of advocating yourself and coming across.

Speaker 2 (08:12):
As a diva.

Speaker 6 (08:13):
And I think as a woman in this industry, we
can come across as really strong and that could be
perceived differently than the way we.

Speaker 2 (08:20):
Hoped it would. So I think there was also an
element of that as well.

Speaker 1 (08:25):
Yeah, yeah, I mean, and you have to learn through
the experiences where you wish maybe it was set up differently. Yeah,
you know, like I myself had an experience one time,
not in a film experience, but more of a business
experience where it wasn't even a business thing. It was
like I started this thing with a friend of mine

for charity purposes, and it was kind of taken from
us because we didn't dot our eyes and cross our teas,
we didn't approach it in a certain way. We were young,
and ye know, we were sort of naive to that,
and so you kind of have to you a choice.
You either learn from that mistake and move on and

let it go, or you hold on to it forever
and ever and you create you know, waves around it.
And I'm I'm the first one. You know. For me,
it's like you learn you can see it, and you
just never do that again and then advise others. You know, Jenna,
why don't you explain kind of what you're talking about

in terms of Yeah.

Speaker 6 (09:31):
I mean, I think in the sense ofly what I
was referring to is there was a lot of time
this was like a new format for people the show
was never done before. There was a musical element, there
were tours, there were huge guest stars like yourself, like,
there were just a lot of things flying at us.
And then you add in the element of time, and

we're working fifteen eighteen hour days, five days a week
and then doing.

Speaker 2 (09:56):
All this other stuff on the weekends and pressed.

Speaker 6 (09:58):
So because it was a new format, like I think,
everybody was just figuring it out, and so therefore a
lot of the time was like, well, you guys are
in every scene, you.

Speaker 2 (10:11):
Also have to record.

Speaker 6 (10:12):
You also have to learn how to dance, do these
dance routines, and then shoot them the next day. And
so there was a lot of opportunity to be taken
advantage of in a.

Speaker 2 (10:22):
Way where even sad like you know, they didn't.

Speaker 6 (10:25):
Know what was going on, Like you can just say like,
I'm exhausted, I have a herniated disc in my back,
I'm being told I have to work. And there has
to be a time where nobody knows how to say
no except for yourself. And so when you're saying no
on a set in our industry, it's not really like
heard of. You become expendable in a way where they

say like, Okay, then we'll find somebody else we will
say Yes. There were particular people that, in a really
diplomatic way, knew how to say I'm not doing that
and like didn't really get in trouble for it, Like
I think there's a way to do it. Whereas for me,
if I was too scared to even say that, So

it took a long time for me to learn how
to how to do that in a way that people
will respect you and don't try to fire you.

Speaker 1 (11:17):
Yeah, where it's under where it's understanding, there is a
way to do it too, where it is where you
know they actually like appreciate yeah, and understand where you're
coming from.

Speaker 5 (11:31):
You know.

Speaker 1 (11:32):
I was, I was saying about this the other day
because in television, I don't think a lot of people
on the outside understand how grueling the.

Speaker 5 (11:42):
Television schedules are.

Speaker 1 (11:44):
You know. The other day, same thing, I worked fourteen
hours into a sixteen hour day into a fourteen hour day,
and I was just like I hadn't seen my kids.
I had, and I was. And it's also like you think, like, oh,
we're just you know, sitting in a trail. It's like, no,
you're you're working you're working all day and you know,

at one point I was in a pool like soaking
web the middle of the middle of the night, and
I was like, God, these hours are insane. Yeah, and
if I'm working that long, then our crew is working along,
and that to me is even more important because you know,

if I'm not advocating for myself in my exhaustion, then
I'm really not advocating for and then you know, and
our business still we still just Yeah, it's a it's
a pretty it's a pretty, it's a grind of an
of a working industry.

Speaker 3 (12:47):
You know, then there are rules and if those rules
don't sort of change, as long as they work within
the parameters of the rules.

Speaker 6 (12:54):
Yeah, that's actually And I'm curious, like on on our
show where you worked, like was it were there really
long days for you or was it a little big Yeah?

Speaker 2 (13:04):
Yeah, yeah it was pretty cool.

Speaker 1 (13:06):
Yes, they were very long days, but you know, I
was you know, I I was just a guest star,
so you know, but I did get a good sense
of the energy and everything on that's on the set.
And I worked with two different directors, three different directors,
i think, and one who worked really fast, one who

was more thoughtful in his approach that I really appreciated
the one who took a little bit longer because he
was so cinematic. But I could also tell that people
who were working all the time were just like, oh
my god, please move, please, can we just go home?
Because I came in like I came in like this

is fantastic. This guy's amazing. He was like, oh my god,
I know, but we just want to get to.

Speaker 5 (14:00):
Hearing the grumblings from the crew the hair make go. Yeah,
there was.

Speaker 1 (14:03):
Got our fourteen. What I was surprised by was I
thought I would have way more time to rehearse the dancing,
and like I went in, it was like okay, and
I learned the routine and then we were like shooting
it the next day and I was like, I haven't danced.
I know, I hadn't like danced in a long time.

So I was like, fuck, I'm I'm really it was.
It was it was like being thrown into the fire
bit but you know, I don't know, I love it.
I love being thrown into the fire. And and we
had such good numbers and it was so great and
and Brett and Brad was there. I love Brad so
much fu Yeah, yeah, always looking at always looking out

just so cares for everybody so much. And that's Brad Feltchek,
one of the one of the creators of We.

Speaker 3 (14:56):
And yeah answer experience. Just someone knows. I'm an actor too,
And I did a show called Scream Queens with Murphy
and Felcher.

Speaker 5 (15:03):

Speaker 2 (15:04):
Yeah, that was a fun one.

Speaker 5 (15:05):
That was fun. That was with Leah Yeah.

Speaker 1 (15:08):
And Emma and oh yeah you were on screen.

Speaker 5 (15:12):
It was crazy and Glenn and Glenn.

Speaker 2 (15:16):
Wentworth Stamos was on that one too.

Speaker 1 (15:19):
Rights Jonas on that one. Jonas, Yeah, wow, they're really.

Speaker 5 (15:26):
Yeah good, that's so that's that's so fun. And Jamie
Lee Curtis played my love That's oh my god, that's
so funny.

Speaker 1 (15:33):
And the scene and.

Speaker 5 (15:35):
The scene and the scene. Yeah, so Jamie.

Speaker 3 (15:38):
I broke my ankle like right before shooting, and I
was actually pretty spelt.

Speaker 5 (15:43):
I was like, you know, I was like one seventy eight,
kind of shredded.

Speaker 3 (15:47):
Went went to New Orleans and just ate and drank
my Yes, saw I have a picture.

Speaker 1 (15:54):
I facetimed Oliver because I was actually about to go
shoot in New Orleans, right, So I was shooting deep
water Horizon with Mark Wahlberg and Pope and and you
were shooting scream queens. But I facetimed Jim and I
swear to god, I was like, oh no, he looked insane.

Speaker 5 (16:14):
Couldn't run anymore. I couldn't.

Speaker 1 (16:16):
He had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Yeah,
and you were drinking.

Speaker 3 (16:22):
I'm drinking, smoking, and fucking all over and I'm tipping
the scales at close to two hundred.

Speaker 5 (16:31):
Whoa, that's quick.

Speaker 3 (16:32):
No, I don't know. And I read the last episode,
not only that, Jamie's supposed to walk in and I
am in a tiny black speedo with a rose in
my mouth on the bed.

Speaker 5 (16:47):
Oh no, And I'm.

Speaker 3 (16:48):
Like, I know, and I was.

Speaker 5 (16:53):
Jamie's laughing.

Speaker 3 (16:54):
She goes, just go with it.

Speaker 5 (16:55):
What are you going to do?

Speaker 3 (16:56):
I'm like, oh my god, this is.

Speaker 5 (16:58):
Jamie's the best there I was. And you can look
at it online. It's like I just looked like just nice.
Tom My stomach's pouring out everywhere. I've got a road.

Speaker 3 (17:07):
I'm my fuck, it just rolled it.

Speaker 1 (17:09):
I guess you know. I think I thought it was great.
I thought you did great.

Speaker 5 (17:16):
You didn't, Yeah, what are you?

Speaker 3 (17:18):
What are you going to do?

Speaker 2 (17:19):
I don't know, what are you gonna do?

Speaker 1 (17:20):
Yeah, you didn't look anything over one ninety five.

Speaker 5 (17:23):

Speaker 1 (17:25):
Well, Jenna, let's get it. We don't we're kind of
we're not crazy. We could talk about this forever, of course,
but but let's get into your your story because we
you know, we love unpacking stories about sibling dynamics and
how he grew up. But you were adopted three months old,

that's right?

Speaker 5 (17:47):
And when.

Speaker 1 (17:49):
Can you kind of give us a like an review
of your adoption story?

Speaker 2 (17:55):
Yeah, it's pretty simple.

Speaker 6 (17:56):
So a lot of Korean adoptees were being shipped the US.

Speaker 2 (18:01):
During that time. I was born in the eighties and so.

Speaker 6 (18:07):
My parents had tried, they had they had my my
mom had my brother.

Speaker 2 (18:11):
Then my parents got together.

Speaker 6 (18:13):
So my brothers has a different father than I do,
but they my dad took my brother in basically like
his own, and so they formed their little family. My
mom tried to have another baby and about through a
lot of challenges and infertility. She did, you know, they

just decided to go the adoption route. She had also
always thought about adoption, and so they went down the
adoption route. They were sent this picture. Eventually it was
me in Korea. You don't have to go to Korea
to pick up a baby, They come to you. So
these men in the service were actually coming back to

the States, and so they brought us over.

Speaker 1 (18:58):

Speaker 6 (18:59):
And I landed at JFK three months old, and my
parents took me home.

Speaker 2 (19:05):
I grew up in New York on Long Island.

Speaker 6 (19:08):
My dad is Italian and Russian and my dad sorry Polish,
and my mom is Irish and English, and so we're
like a little bit like the United Nations in our house.

Speaker 2 (19:24):
And that's why I had the name Ushkowitz.

Speaker 6 (19:26):
My married name now is Stanley, which is gosh so much.

Speaker 5 (19:41):
Did you know? Did they tell you you were adopted?
How did that all go?

Speaker 6 (19:44):
I always knew it was something that they shared. It's
not like on friends where they handler like tells the kid.

Speaker 3 (19:53):

Speaker 2 (19:53):
I always knew and.

Speaker 1 (19:54):
Also be pretty obvious exactly. It's not one of those Yeah,
you're like, why do I why do I look different?

Speaker 3 (20:02):

Speaker 2 (20:04):
Well, the stork brought you, so.

Speaker 5 (20:07):

Speaker 2 (20:07):
I think that was part of it.

Speaker 6 (20:08):
But they, you know, they were always very open and honest,
and you know, had answered all the questions, and I
I never felt like.

Speaker 2 (20:18):
Like something was missing.

Speaker 6 (20:19):
I think a lot of adoptees, there's this this feeling
of trying to find yourself in these formative years and
also feeling like they need that part of their story finished,
a told closure.

Speaker 2 (20:33):
I don't know. I never had that growing.

Speaker 5 (20:36):
Down, even curiosity, it's never sort of gotten the best.

Speaker 2 (20:39):
Of you as I got older, for sure.

Speaker 6 (20:42):
I think being a mother now for sure, but I
don't think back then it was something that plagued me
in any way.

Speaker 1 (20:51):
Did you did you ask did your mom do anything
like specific that was really important to her when you
were baby? For bonding? Was she into that?

Speaker 5 (21:03):

Speaker 1 (21:04):
I don't think was she like immediately skin on skin
and you know, like was there anything that she like, Yeah, okay.

Speaker 6 (21:12):
No, she always says like, you know, you came up
the plane, you're a jet lag You kept me up
for a whole week, Like we went the formula route obviously,
and that was it and we bonded eventually.

Speaker 2 (21:25):
I guess.

Speaker 6 (21:27):
I was very passionate about the skin on skin for
my daughter, so I totally can't well, I.

Speaker 1 (21:32):
Was thinking about this too, because they have all these
like things you can do in the water now, especially
if you adopt a child a baby that kind of
can re program the brain to think like you're in
the womb fascinating and so like if you I have
this thing where I'm like, if you adopt a baby

and you want to kind of whatever, you know, whether
it was positive or or anything traumatic, whatever it was,
but that you can actually reconnect to that feeling for
them as the connection you know. Yeah, yeah, you can
actually do it with your own kids. Like like if
you feel like you might have had one of those

pregnancies that was very like tumultuous, tumultuous, or you're super
emotional during pregnancy, or that things like might have been
traumatic for the for like a uteroe, there's things you
can do when the baby comes out that can kind
of reprogram that for them. May say, you know, I
mean you know this is this is me talking? Who's

in all this stuff? You basically lay them in the water,
what you with them? And you hold them?

Speaker 5 (22:43):
How old are they?

Speaker 1 (22:44):
Like babies? You know if you go into like a
warm pool, it should be.

Speaker 2 (23:00):
This idea.

Speaker 1 (23:02):
Well I would do it, of course you would. I
did it with Bing because yeah, for some reason, I
had a very emotional, like very kind of high stress
pregnancy with Bing, and I was so hormonal, and when
he was when he was little, I got into the

water with him and I basically held him and then
I talked to him about being in my belly in
the wall. So yeah, I talked about him being safe
and you know, you're so safe.

Speaker 5 (23:39):
Here, and yeah, he actually like loved it.

Speaker 1 (23:43):
He remember it. In that kind of stuff, you'd be surprised.
I even go into his room sometimes and he's got like,
you know, he tells a Lexit to put on meditation
music and bing will just be like sitting in his bed,
just like with his eyes closed.

Speaker 2 (24:00):

Speaker 1 (24:00):
He's very self regulated. As crazy as these seems on
the outside, he's very pulated.

Speaker 3 (24:07):
So but did you as you got older, did you
have any desire to know where you came from? I'm
only asking because yeah, you know so much. Well, then
you're dealing with nature.

Speaker 2 (24:16):
Nurture exactly exactly.

Speaker 5 (24:18):
So who knows.

Speaker 3 (24:20):
What percentages nature and nurture in our lives. I think
a lot of it might be nurture. I don't know,
but you do have that nature aspect exactly.

Speaker 6 (24:28):
I I am that is the one of the only
things that I'm actually, well, that's not true. There's a
couple of things that I'm interested in. As I got older,
there was a point in which I thought, maybe I
do want to do the search. Maybe my one of
my best friends, she's a Korean adoptee, and she found
out at twenty six years old, she was separated from

her twin at birth and they were adopted to two
different families, one in France and one in America.

Speaker 2 (24:57):
They found each other on Facebook.

Speaker 6 (25:00):
So through this experience she had, they reached out to
their birth mother with no response. But there's a lot
of things I learned about that, and a lot of
them is that the parents don't come out of the
economic crisis that they were in at the time. And
so there's this whole thing that I thought, what happens
after I if I find them, what what is that relationship?

Speaker 1 (25:20):
What do I want?

Speaker 2 (25:21):
What do I expect from it?

Speaker 6 (25:23):
And I think there's that It didn't scare me away,
but it just kind of like pushed me in the
other direction.

Speaker 2 (25:31):
I'm curious what they look like. I'm curious what they did.
I'm curious that they're musical or.

Speaker 6 (25:39):
Yes, I'm curious about the traits and the characteristics because
I would say there's a lot of sim similarities in
my family growing up, and there's a lot of differences.
So it's definitely something that I was interested in, but
not enough, not enough. It's just something that I think
I'll always have these fun questions to ask, wond trouble.

Speaker 3 (25:59):
How does it work with like sort of family medical history.

Speaker 6 (26:03):
That is also one of the things, like I think
now with the science we have, there's enough where you
can do testing early enough and you know there's enough.
You know, we're just more advanced at this point. But
it is that is the other thing, but you can't.

Speaker 1 (26:18):
Think about doing like twenty three and me.

Speaker 6 (26:21):
Okay, so I did it, but I didn't put on
the family thing like I think you can.

Speaker 2 (26:24):
Toggle the family.

Speaker 6 (26:26):
I think I kind of ignored it and I went
because that's how a lot of people are finding siblings
and family members.

Speaker 1 (26:32):
And yeah, tell us about it, people that they don't.

Speaker 5 (26:35):
We have so many relatives. Yeah we figured a couple.

Speaker 2 (26:39):
Yeah, wow, No, I did.

Speaker 6 (26:42):
I did the twenty and three and me just to
see if there was any other anything else in my
background that I should know about. And at one point, uh,
this was early on, I had Japanese and I was like, oh,
my god, one of my parents had to be like
half Japanese. And then I got a letter recently that

was like we've updated the system and the data was wrong.
Now going around telling people like you're not our Japanese,
it's really cool.

Speaker 1 (27:12):
Part I think you were. What did they say you
were half Japanese or quarter?

Speaker 6 (27:16):
It was like a it was enough to.

Speaker 2 (27:19):
Be it was like thirty percent. So one of my
friend at least half right, Yeah, does.

Speaker 1 (27:24):
It come up like I know, because like there's like
Danny Danny's Japanese. My partner my he's half Japanese half Irish,
but it came up for him that he has you
cout and it's I guess it's like a I don't
even know what it's like interesting, a nast East Asian.

Maybe yeah, maybe I was the one who had no,
I have two points East Asian. So I think it's
which means you with too does it say you're I
think it is you. I don't know, it's a try.
Oh it's like you coot, but I think it's like

might be among it might be more Mongolian. I got
to look at you it, but no, I didn't have
any times you have some of it. Yeah, okay, you're
just You're just straight up Korean.

Speaker 2 (28:20):
They swapped the story on me.

Speaker 1 (28:23):
So so you you ended up producing this show, right,
this documentary about your friends and what? So what happened
with that? Did they they found each other?

Speaker 2 (28:33):
But they did?

Speaker 1 (28:35):
They did.

Speaker 6 (28:35):
They found each other. The documentary documents them actually meeting
for the first time. It's very charming and cute. They are,
without a doubt identical. They did the test just to
make sure, and you know, they left a letter for
their mother saying like we love you, we forgive you,

and they are. They're both thriving, one of them in
France still, the other lives here.

Speaker 2 (29:02):
They've got families now, they're still best friends. They talk
every day.

Speaker 6 (29:07):
It's interesting because the French one and I, she's she
was an only child growing up, and she felt like
there was something missing and she always felt like she
was missing Sam.

Speaker 2 (29:16):
And Sam is the American one.

Speaker 6 (29:18):
Who grew up with two older brothers in New Jersey
and so never quite felt the same way that and
I used did, And so it was interesting from the
perspective of the way that they grew up with or
without siblings and how they felt that affected them emotionally.

Speaker 5 (29:36):
Does one have a New Jersey accent and one French?

Speaker 6 (29:40):
Yes, Sam's is not quite as New Jersey, but yes
in French.

Speaker 2 (29:44):
And she speaks English too, so that's good but awesome.

Speaker 1 (29:49):
So did you grow up with your old with your
older brother? Did you grow up with him? Yes?

Speaker 3 (29:54):
Okay, how's that relate? How was that relationship just super
brothers sister? Like there's nothing different about No.

Speaker 6 (30:02):
Truly, he's nine years older than me, so the age
difference was so large that like there wasn't a lot.

Speaker 2 (30:08):
For us to argue about. We were never competitive.

Speaker 6 (30:13):
He really took me in as like his little baby,
and we've been close ever since I can remember. And yeah,
we're still really close now. Like it's a pretty amazing
relationship that I feel very lucky to have.

Speaker 3 (30:29):
So as far as performing goes, and you sort of
touched upon this about wondering if your true biological parents
were in the arts or had some sort of creativity.
I mean, was this just something that was organic and
natural and you were just talented, right, I mean? Or
was this something that you were passionate and worked on

you know, I guess, meaning how much is this coming
from just pure raw talent.

Speaker 6 (30:56):
Well, that's a good question. That's the question I grew up.
I started when I was three, and so it's hard
to say. I was doing commercials and you know, print
ads my whole life. And then I booked a Broadway
show when I was nine, and so it was like,
I don't even think I had the time to figure
out if that was something that was just in me

or that I loved. I was a really charismatic kid,
and I was an extrovert and I would go up
to other people and say hi, and I was just
never afraid of anybody. And so my parents were like
everybody said, just put her in modeling, like let her go,
get her energy out and you know, be cute. And
so it was like being around it, I felt like,

I don't know, it was like this big tumbleweed that
kept growing and I just wanted to do more.

Speaker 2 (31:46):
But I don't know.

Speaker 6 (31:47):
I mean, I guess it could be fostered because obviously,
like you spend enough time doing something, probably gonna get
pretty good at it.

Speaker 1 (31:54):
Are your adopted parents are they creative or are they
like no, yeah, oh yeah, okay, so there were I mean,
everybody's creative, but you know what I mean, you know,
they don't.

Speaker 6 (32:06):
They don't express themselves in that way, and so I
mean really not at all.

Speaker 2 (32:12):
So funny, it's really interesting. They enjoyed it, They enjoyed
the arts.

Speaker 6 (32:17):
They always took my brother and I to see shows
and do things, and so they enjoyed being patrons of it.
But I don't they weren't themselves expressive in that way.

Speaker 1 (32:28):
So yeah, So I mean, and you're and do either
of them sing? Is there any hiss? No?

Speaker 2 (32:35):
No, no, not a not a scoach, not a thing.

Speaker 1 (32:39):
I don't know how you can do that. I would
want to know so bad, I know, right.

Speaker 5 (32:43):
Curiosity would definitely.

Speaker 3 (32:46):
Well, maybe not meeting like I know what you're saying, yeah,
meeting them. I mean, there's there's a whole other sort
of world around that, but at least just knowing, Okay,
here's who they are, Here's who they were.

Speaker 5 (32:59):
You know dad was and was an opera singer. Oh shit,
well that was.

Speaker 2 (33:05):
Our makes sense right, And.

Speaker 1 (33:07):
Our story with our adopted brother. We we found out
we had an adopted brother like eight years ago. Wow, yeah,
and he was put up for adoption and none of
us knew on my on my on our dad's side,
and so yeah, when he reached out to us, it
was like wild. And when I spoke with him, one

of the things Paul said was, you know, he never
he had a great childhood and like has a really
like full happy life and never felt like he had
to reach out and find out who his birth parents were.
It was really his wife who was like, I want
to know, like what your history is. I want to know,

you know, for our kids, for you, and so he's
he basically left it up to hers, like, if you
want to find this out going right, she figured it out.

Speaker 5 (34:01):
She did.

Speaker 6 (34:03):
So what and have you gotten it to know him
enough that you maybe there's the nature versus nurture thing
you could understand a little bit.

Speaker 5 (34:11):
We haven't really gotten to know very well basically though.

Speaker 1 (34:15):
Yeah, it looks like it looks like a Hudson Okay, Yeah,
I mean definitely looks like he'd be like to me, Yeah,
and but no, I mean he loves to fish.

Speaker 5 (34:26):
I'm a big fish.

Speaker 1 (34:28):
Yeah, and you're very creative athletic. Yeah, I mean it
definitely fits into the whole.

Speaker 5 (34:36):
Musically, you know, Hudson's are very musical. I don't know about.

Speaker 1 (34:40):
Him, Okay, I was talking about Oliver I did. I
did a big one of my first kind of bigger
interviews for my album that's coming out. Yeah, and and
and we're talking about the Hudson lineage. I said, you
know all of the Hudson's like, and I was like, yeah,
Oliver you're talking about I was like, he's got a

great false setto talent. I go, and you know what?
But then I saw myself and that was being funny,
and I was like, well, you know what, Oliver can
write lyrics for days talking about lyrics.

Speaker 3 (35:17):
I don't think.

Speaker 5 (35:18):
I don't think you'll give me enough credit.

Speaker 2 (35:20):
Where'd you want a musical TV?

Speaker 5 (35:22):
Yeah, don't give credit.

Speaker 3 (35:23):
I can. I can given the right you know, production,
I can crush something. Yeah.

Speaker 5 (35:31):
No, I've never heard we were, but I can. Also,
it was the show you did where you play the.

Speaker 3 (35:36):
Rock star my guy to becoming a rock Star.

Speaker 5 (35:38):
Yeah, album before anybody.

Speaker 1 (35:42):
We listened to it over Thanksgiving and Oliver, you saw
a little production you're chilling about it was so funny. Yeah,
So back to that, back to our our brother and
it is. It is interesting to kind of find out

where all of those things come from, that sort of
feel like you know, why you connect to certain things
and then yeah, realizing that.

Speaker 5 (36:11):
No, no, but I guess it's the flip side too.

Speaker 3 (36:13):
It's like, by the way, bar who gives a hit Like, okay, fine, great,
I am what I am?

Speaker 5 (36:17):
Who fucking cares?

Speaker 3 (36:19):

Speaker 5 (36:20):

Speaker 2 (36:20):
We always want answers, you know, and one wanted to
make sense.

Speaker 3 (36:24):
Oh yeah, especially when you're dealing with you know, like
mental health or anxiety or certain things that you feel
where they feel irrational and you don't know where they
come from. You're like, oh shit, well, is this a
part of just me and my makeup? Or is this
an environmental situation? You know, I mean maybe in that world.

Speaker 5 (36:46):

Speaker 1 (36:53):
In twenty fourteen, you started co founded a foundation called Kindred.
Is this still going?

Speaker 2 (37:03):
It's not. It's dormant. At the moment.

Speaker 6 (37:06):
We Samini the American twin you know, on the heels
of Twinsters, felt like adoptees were reaching out to them
looking for guidance and support and people a lot of
them going on their birth searches, and we didn't want
to reinvent the wheel. There's so many amazing organizations out

there for adopt you know, adoption, but for the adoptee itself,
it feels like the support is lacking, and so we
decided to start something. We tried to kind of navigate
it as you know, like nonprofits are a full time job.

Speaker 1 (37:42):
And that's it's a business in itself. It's like running
it's you're running a business.

Speaker 2 (37:48):
You really are for very little.

Speaker 6 (37:52):
My natural payoff, and you know, it's really, really, really hard.
So we we really enjoyed the time and connecting with
the people we did, just because there's a lot of
everybody's story is so different and unique, and so we
wanted to kind of be there for them and we
did it during the time.

Speaker 1 (38:09):
It was during that process. Did you when that was happening,
did you feel like, oh God, should I be reach Yes.

Speaker 6 (38:19):
That was the time and when it really hit its
peak of like am I going to do this search?
I'm thinking about it? It felt like if I if
I wasn't doing it and I was giving advice to
all these other adoptees, it felt like I don't know
who am I to give them advice? But again, it
was like I had to remind myself that everybody's story

is so different and you don't have to be like
everybody else.

Speaker 2 (38:42):
So I think.

Speaker 6 (38:44):
It it kind of peaked and then declined from there
of just understanding like a lot of these kids, they
you know, adoptees, found parents or a parent or us
sibling and didn't quite get the result that they were
hoping for, get the answers they were hoping for, the
feelings that they were hoping for. So I think that

also kind of gave me some answers and like closure
in the hole.

Speaker 2 (39:08):
But you know, like I have a daughter now, and
I'm like, yeah.

Speaker 5 (39:11):
Keep going with your daughter.

Speaker 3 (39:12):
I do I want to talk to you about having
kids and what that means to you. You feel about
all that.

Speaker 6 (39:17):
Yeah, go ahead, Yeah, No, I mean it wasn't until
about four months after she was born.

Speaker 2 (39:22):
Then my husband actually brought it.

Speaker 6 (39:24):
He's like, this is your first blood relative, and you're like,
that's crazy, Like.

Speaker 2 (39:29):
I didn't even dawn on me.

Speaker 6 (39:31):
But I was very connected to her from the beginning,
and I think partially I subconsciously knew that, and it
was a really it's really special and really earth chattering
for me. And so I think about like if she
wants answers later and there's you know, by the time
she's grown I'm sure there's going to be a lot

of facility to find fine things. Obviously, my parents, you know,
wouldn't be alive at the time, but you know, I
think she could find out information, and so if she
wants to do that, she's obviously more than welcome. That's
her right as well. But it's definitely something that she
was another element to make me think about finding out

some more information, especially help you.

Speaker 3 (40:16):
Yeah, so you said that servicemen would and women would
take the babies, take the adoptees to the States. So
they'd just.

Speaker 5 (40:29):
Be like, God, damn it, I'm on this. I got
this duty like.

Speaker 3 (40:32):
Ten times little baby take like little babies on the plane,
these like services.

Speaker 5 (40:37):
That's kind of how it worked.

Speaker 6 (40:39):
Yeah, I think they were returning to the States to
come home, and I think that they had given this
duty to bring these babies. They're like, I don't know
if there are dads or what, but they they And
I threw up on myself on the way you did.
I threw up all over myself, all over the guy,
I think, And it was a long light.

Speaker 2 (40:58):
It's like twenty three outs.

Speaker 5 (41:00):
That's what I'm saying.

Speaker 3 (41:02):
There's a short docu series or or some sort of
a thing and like returning the babies.

Speaker 5 (41:08):
That's crazy. I worked.

Speaker 1 (41:10):
I worked with this wonderful director on on Truth Be Told,
who was one of the babies that were coming over
from Vietnam during the war, where there's like pictures of
them on these cargo planes. Wow, and there's just oh
my god, she's one of the ones, one of those
babies and came to the States adopted and pretty, I

mean wild.

Speaker 3 (41:37):
Yeah, like you know, Jenkins gets you know, finally gets home.
It's like I got a six month leave and like.

Speaker 1 (41:45):
Jenkins say, baby to take you got to you.

Speaker 5 (41:49):
Got to Jenkins. It's a great name. What do you
mean I got to bring back two babies?

Speaker 2 (42:01):
Love a flight.

Speaker 5 (42:04):
Up. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (42:06):

Speaker 6 (42:07):
And then there's like the time in between two where
I had a foster mom, like in this agency where
they take care of you between the time you're given
up and then the time that you're being sent to America.
So strange, I have no memory of it.

Speaker 1 (42:24):
How long?

Speaker 5 (42:24):
How long are you with the fosters?

Speaker 6 (42:28):
As long as I think you are like your parent
or it was three months for MEA's however long like
I think that they find a family fore or wired.

Speaker 1 (42:42):
So, Jenna, what are you up to now? What do
you what do you have on your plate?

Speaker 5 (42:48):
Your baby girl.

Speaker 6 (42:50):
Yeah, I'm momming pretty hard right now. She's almost two.
So we're in the thick of it. And we're doing
the podcast, which is great. I can do it from home,
pop in and out. We're doing I've been doing a
little bit of like nonprofit work surprise surprise for these
this incredible organization called Harvest Home that houses a pregnant

homeless woman takes them into provide support. So we're doing
a little benefit charity like performance coming up. So we've
been doing that as well. And yeah, and then just
kind of surviving in this dank industry.

Speaker 5 (43:28):
Oh no, I mean tell me about it.

Speaker 1 (43:30):
I know.

Speaker 3 (43:31):
I have a producing deal, so that's been very fun
for me just selling shows. But I'm not making any
money doing it. But from a creative standpoint, it's so fun.
The outlet is great.

Speaker 5 (43:41):
But yeah, that's dank. I mean I need money than
you know what I mean. Like, it's like talking to
my agents every day.

Speaker 3 (43:49):
Is there anything going on?

Speaker 6 (43:53):
Answer now, They're like, you've been out for everything that
there's to be out for.

Speaker 5 (43:56):
You're like, trust me, we're on it. We're on it exactly.
It's crazy, but.

Speaker 6 (44:02):
I you know, I will say, like it's a it's
actually a weird gift at the same time, like I
you know, she's so young right now, and like it's
you know, it's like the pandemic. You would just have
this like kind of scary time but also time that
I think you can't get back.

Speaker 3 (44:18):
So yes, that's the blessing.

Speaker 1 (44:22):
Yeah, and you know that these that the first three
years is so important. Like I was so grateful that
that the shutdown and everything happened when Ronnie was in
that time because yea, she got all of literally all
of me. I was working, I wasn't I was home
the whole. I mean, it was so great. It was
so great totally.

Speaker 2 (44:41):
I feel that.

Speaker 1 (44:42):
Yeah, well it was so awesome talking to you and
having a little glee was great.

Speaker 5 (44:50):
Thanks for your story. Here's what I got out of this.

Speaker 3 (44:54):
I'm going to take my oldest sixteen year old son
and draw bath and see if he wants to sort
of reconnect with Dan.

Speaker 1 (45:04):
You have to take them in the pool. It's got
to be the pool because you need to full.

Speaker 2 (45:08):
I wonder what I'll say, you just feel like.

Speaker 1 (45:11):
They're floating, Okay, I'll bring and then you kind of
move them like you move them in this sort of
like like you're rocking right.

Speaker 4 (45:21):
Instead of the womb is like back into my nuts.

Speaker 1 (45:33):
Thanks for joining us, Thank you, God, thanks thanks really
good to you. Thank you.

Speaker 5 (45:41):

Speaker 1 (45:42):
Oh that was so fun.

Speaker 5 (45:44):
It was so it was so fun to reconnect.

Speaker 1 (45:48):
Yeah, she's great. Yeah, I don't know after I asked
for that. I want her to find out who I
want to know, I know, I want to Yeah. So wild,
you know, yeah, what a what a wild thing to
think that that was that your origin story was like
go flying twenty one hours to United seen.

Speaker 5 (46:07):
Some stranger with the serviceman. You know. Then it begs
the question, yeah, what does it all mean?

Speaker 3 (46:17):
Well, you know they talk about you talk about you know,
child and trauma or when it's really really young like that.
But think about her journey and think about how stable
she is, you know, with her parents and now she
was raised. So did those first three or four months,
I mean imagine flying with some strange you don't know,

going to a foster place, ba da da da? Did
it inherently it didn't really affect her?

Speaker 5 (46:43):
I guess I guess she felt comforted, safe.

Speaker 1 (46:48):
Yeah, I don't know, I know, I don't know, but
it is.

Speaker 5 (46:50):
It is.

Speaker 3 (46:52):
My point is is you don't have to truly love
your kids until they're four months.

Speaker 5 (46:58):
You heard it here that had all of ourselves never
loved your kid.

Speaker 1 (47:08):
That was great, though, wh
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