Kate Bosworth continues in her quest to find challenging roles that don’t necessarily fit the Hollywood mainstream. Still beautiful and multi-faceted, Bosworth has the unenviable challenge of stepping into the shoes of the misunderstood and fragile and iconic Sandra Dee, who married Bobby Darrin, in Kevin Spacey’s ambitious Beyond the Sea. Following the film’s world premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, Paul Fischer sat with Bosworth to talk about her unique career and this equally unique character.
Question: Last year you were in a film [Wonderland] that regrettably nobody saw but hopefully that will change with this one. Yet you don’t seem to care about finding films that have commercial viability which is unusual in a town where young, beautiful actresses tend to do that. Why do you think you’re different?
Answer: You know, I don’t really have a game plan in terms of me being a huge box office star. That comes I think with timing and luck and whatever it is that creates that formula. for me, it’s just about making movies that are interesting or have a certain appeal to me and what I think would be appealing to audiences. I like taking risks, I like doing things that someone else may not do.
Question: There’s no such thing as a Kate Bosworth persona, very interesting. Did you intend to set out to turn down things that were similar to Blue Crush?
Answer: I think, yeah, I think for me it’s all about exploring new areas and challenging myself again and again so if it’s in the same place as the Crush it doesn’t really make sense for me to do it again. It would have to be something completely different.
Question: How long has it been since that movie, about 3 years, 4 years? You get asked a lot about that film, still.
Answer: I know. It’s funny.
Question: Why, is it annoying though that you’re still going to be regarded as the Crush girl? Answer: No, I was so proud of that film. I worked so hard on that film, you’ve no idea, so it makes me really happy. I love that young girls were so motivated after that film, that was my favourite thing. I get so many letters and so many Mums come up and say, like, my daughter is so inspired by that film and she, you know, is now doing this or that. It may not even be surfing but it just inspires them to get out and try something new. I don’t know, I think with Crush, it started a whole new, no pun intended, wave of culture in a way, you know, there’s Hawaii and North Shore
Question: But what is interesting about that character and the characters you’ve played since, that a lot of them are very strong women, young, strong young women and even though there’s no parallel between that girl and Sandra Dee, they’re still interesting characters, aside from whatever genre.
Answer: Yeah, I mean they really are and I’ve been lucky enough to find a few of them. Again, if there is one, all the young women in my profession are going for it. They’re few and far between. I think it’s getting better, getting more opportunities for women.
Question: You are obviously from a generation that’s never even heard of Sandra Dee and Bobby Darrin except through Grease I guess, if I remember rightly, so what do you have do to be able to find her in taking on this role?
Answer: I read a lot, I read a book that her son had wrote called Dream Lover and that was the best resource for me, whether it was because she felt more comfortable to be speaking with him, about her life, or that it was her time of life where she felt really urged to pass on everything but it was a great resource and a lot of thought, and it was really about getting into her head.
Question: She’s still alive, so was there ever an attempt to try and get to meet her.
Answer: You know, I didn’t because she sort of gave the thumbs up for the film and OK’d the film and then left it alone, which I really entirely understand. I think it would be really strange to have some people recreating your life and a whole film re-telling everything in your life that’s quite painful. And I think you either, I mean Dawn, the woman I played in Wonderland, she really was hands-on. She wanted to get back into that world for closure or whatever, or OK, make it, fine, but I just can’t go there again.
Question: How do you, as a young star or actress in the limelight, avoid the kinds of mistakes that made Sandra Dee such a tragedy?
Answer: Well I think, what was sad about her was that it really wasn’t her fault. She had a really controlling mother that, from a young age to when she was married and then she was part of Bobby’s world and didn’t really get to discover herself but I think that would be the number one thing for young actresses. Just, you have to know yourself before you completely indulge yourself in the world of acting because then you get lost.
Question: How do you survive the limelight because you now are in the limelight more and more now?
Answer: It’s all so surreal to me. I don’t find any of that real yet so that’s probably a huge part of it. Even though you’re saying that to me, it’s like, really?
Question: People sort of ask you about, they try asking about who you’re dating.
Answer: Right. That’s funny. That makes me laugh. It’s not like I’m sitting here going, oh right, this is what it’s like to be in a couple relationship in Hollywood, it’s like, you know, we’re so normal, you know what I mean. It’s weird. That’s always a bit jarring for me because
Question: The fact that you’ve actually mentioned that is interesting because even when you were promoting Blue Crush, and I tried to find out if you even had a boyfriend, and you were not really all that well-known, you wouldn’t say a thing.
Answer: I know.
Question: And now that you’re in the public eye, you seem to be, not that I’m asking about that, I don’t care about that, it’s funny that you seem to be less scared of.
Answer: It’s just, to be honest, so what am I going to do. I keep the details to myself.
Question: How do you maintain … what’s normal … what do you feel is important to you away from this?
Answer: Friends, family, a good sense of self.
Question: And I think by not doing these big Hollywood movies must also in some ways keep it in perspective.
Answer: For me it’s like a race. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. I know it’s an old cliché line but it’s true. It’s like, I don’t need to repeat 21. I really don’t. I want to be able to explore different things and feel out different projects and I don’t need it so fast, you know. I really don’t. I just want to take things in my own time. I’ve always been like that, even when I was younger.
Question: What kinds of things are you looking to do at the moment?
Answer: I have a few passion projects of my own at the moment but
Question: Would you produce now?
Answer: Maybe. Yeah, what’s interesting in parts for women is that it’s really hard to find them.
Question: But you have to have to find them.
Answer: Yeah, but they’re not easy. I’ve been really lucky so I think for me it’s also now I’m at a point in my life where I want to go out and seek them.
Question: Last time we spoke, I think that was the Ted Hamilton film, you had wrapped something that was a small thing.
Answer: Bee Season. Yeah, I had just done Bee Season with Juliette Binoche and Richard Gere and Max Minghella – do you know – he’s young, he’s going to be big, so great. And that was an experience of playing a Hari Krishna devotee.
Question: I can see that.
Answer: So I’m in a sari and it’s a whole different
Question: Did you have to shave your head?
Answer: No, no, no, nothing like that, but it was exploring a different culture and the film was all about coming into your own spirituality, that was really interesting.
Question: Have you started anything?
Answer: I’m not, I just signed on for the Revlon campaign with Susan Sarandon. Susan and Julianne Moore and Halle Berry.
Question: Good company.
Answer: Very good company. Yeah, so we’re all going to do the Revlon campaign which has been taking up a lot of my time now.
Question: Is it a print campaign or a TV campaign?
Answer: We did the print campaign, TV I have to leave directly from here to shoot in New York with all of them this afternoon.
Question: That’s pretty cool.
Answer: That’s pretty cool. I’m like, you know you’re going to this thing, oh, it’s so cool. It really is.
Question: What do you do with all that money you earn?
Answer: Oh, all of it. The heaps and heaps. Are you kidding me?
Question: Have you bought a house yet? Is that something you want to do?
Answer: I’d love to have a house, yeah, and not anything outrageous, I’d love to just have my own space.
Question: What about a little sports car?
Question: Did you talk about the possibility of directing, having noticed Kevin can direct and act.
Answer: You know what it is, that I realised that I am so far from ready to do that. I mean, Kevin is just so, amazing, every time I look at him, I’m in awe. He’s come to a point where he can do just about anything.
Question: What surprised you about him as a director?
Answer: Well I got the intimacy I think between a director and an actor that you don’t necessarily get with actor and actor. You have a certain relationship like that which is great but then you have a relationship with somebody who’s really honing an entire project and you’re part of it, and they see the big picture rather than being in a scene. It’s like, you have got with him but you also have his vision of the entire project and how he wants you to be a part of it. He’s great. It’s hard to put in words about Kevin Spacey.
Question: Have you seen the film yet?
Answer: I have.
Question: How are you surprised at the way you look?
Answer: It was very interesting actually because I’d been distanced from the film for a little while and I was so into that character and that [inaudible] that point in Berlin, not even like in LA or anything. I was just in this bubble there, and when I saw it, nearly a year later, I was just so shocked with how I looked and how I spoke even, it was just really neat.