On Saturday, actress and producer Kate Bosworth joined us as keynote for our Desert PopUp with MINI at the The Commune at the Ace.
Taking the mic in front of 1000 attendees, Bosworth shared about the ups and downs of Hollywood, what it takes to make it, and keeping a solid sense of self through the years. “My whole life has been swinging from the rafters, whether as an artist or student,” she shared.
Swings that included risky moves.
“I moved to LA on my own when I was 18,” Bosworth said about deferring from Princeton. Even though she was the first in her family to be accepted to Ivy League, she knew she wanted to be an actress. Her family was “thrilled,” but she had her sights set on making it in Hollywood. “I had a little studio apartment and started going on audition after audition after audition.” Furthering, “A lot of those roles didn’t have a lot of meat there.” All of the sudden Blue Crush landed in her lap. She felt plenty of affinity with the character, knowing, she said, “of what it was like to have a dream and want to achieve that dream.” But to also, “feel self doubt and fear.” Although she had never surfed, she went in to read for the breakout role that ultimately became hers.
But she didn’t land it immediately. The powers that be loved her for the part, but she needed to be able to surf. Bosworth had no idea how to ride a wave or paddle out. So the producer Brian Grazer and director John Stockwell told the novice they were going to try and cast real surfers for the role. That process would take about three weeks. During those three weeks Bosworth didn't twiddle her thumbs. Instead, she went out and found herself a surf instructor in Malibu. “For about 3-4 weeks and for 6-7 hours per day, I somewhat learned to paddle and not be a total amateur.” At the end of that time she called up both Grazer and Stockwell and asked, “Would you please watch me surf?”
She landed the role not because she was the best surfer, but because she was determined. She was athletically focused. “That’s something I like to impart on anyone starting out their career,” she said, “have focus, be determined, and know what you love and you will find a way.”
"Have focus. Be determined. Know what you love. And you will find a way."
“I look at my twenties with fondness and a lot of cringe moments,” Bosworth shared. “It’s only through experience that you learn things. You have to be willing and open to fail, which is hard for ambitious people. But you are going to fail. That will lead to something bigger and better.”
Most recently the actress has flipped her actress cap to producer for Nona, a film that chronicles sex trafficking work in Central America. Nona is an acronym for “No Name.” It tells the story of a girl from Honduras searching for a better life. “It was important for us to show the how,” Bosworth shared. “These are victims of very serious crimes and they are preyed upon.” The referenced "us" is Bosworth's husband a co-producer, Michael Polish, who also wrote and directed the film. It is the first feature from the pair through their newly formed production company, Make Pictures Productions.
As for the future, she’ll continue to make work that matters to her-- and that matters to her husband. “He loves women’s stories,” the actress explained. “I feel truly grateful to be married to a partner who talks the talk and walks the walk. And even in our most intense moments we’ll find something to laugh about pretty quickly.” What makes it work? She laughed, “A lot of kissing.”
What Bosworth doesn’t find a laughing matter are the #MeToo stories coming out of Hollywood. However she feels hopeful. “We all feel really similar and I think that’s really powerful. A female collective is happening right now, and as women in male-dominated work spaces, regardless of profession, we all felt a need to buckle down.”
“I love women,” she continued. “I love working with women. The one thing as an actress that’s very unsatisfying is that it’s very rare that you work with another actress. You’re often the ‘girl’ cast among six men. What’s great about this is that we’ve found ourselves working together. I do have a lot of hope. I think dialogue is important first and foremost. This isn’t a singular experience. This is a collective experience and we are better united.”
Arianna Schioldager is Create & Cultivate's Editor in Chief. Find her here.
Photo credit: Becki Smith House Photography. Find her here.