Kate Bosworth for “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton”

Kate Bosworth is having quite the year, having already won rave reviews for her dramatic role in the edgy Wonderland, when it opened in the US late last year. But unlike that somewhat dark character, the beautiful actress walks into a room all-smiles, as she promotes the very different Win a Tad with Tad Hamilton, a romantic comedy in which she plays Rosalie, a small town girl who wins a date with a movie star, much to the chagrin of the small town man who’s in love with her.

Hollywood’s latest golden girl cheerfully admits that she and Rosalie have much in common. “I’m very close to her,” Bosworth, who celebrated her 21st birthday January 2, says smilingly. “I’d say that I took my best qualities, put them all in one character. It was a really great head space to be in for a couple of months.” Perhaps another reason for her affinity with her latest screen character is that both spent much of their lives in small towns.

In the case of Bosworth that was Darien, Connecticut, which in which the Los Angeles-born Bosworth moved with her family at the age of nine, before taking the role of the tragic youngster in Robert Redford’s The Horse Whisperer, which was her film debut. Bosworth also loved the idea of doing a romantic comedy, having shot Wonderland, immediately prior to Tad Hamilton. “A huge part of loving Tad Hamilton, was because I had just come off Wonderland, which was an amazing experience but quite tough to shoot.”

Since her breakthrough role in the surfie drama Blue Crush, Bosworth has been touted as Hollywood’s latest ‘It’ sensation, but it’s a label she dismisses. For the luminous actress, she is determined to keep herself grounded, with family members close at hand, including Dad, who was just a footstep away during this interview. “I think that your friends and family are a really good meter as a reflection as to how you’re acting in life. I’d say that my friends and family are pretty honest with me in a lot of ways and they’re incredibly grounded.  My dad is standing at the door at the moment,” she adds laughingly. “You know, it’s just so nice to have that. and just love, I think, in life is really important.”

What is also important for Kate is to dispel the Hollywood myth that just because you are young, blonde and gorgeous, you have to play the stereotypical Hollywood game. She is clearly interested in a pure kind of acting career, fully aware that today’s It girl is yesterday’s news. Not for this girl. “I think that I made a really conscious decision when I started out doing this that I never wanted to be put into a box, or have to work my way out of one.  So I was always really conscious of any time I did a role, I’d be the exact opposite and again, it keeps me passionate in loving what I do, interested and growing which I think is so important.”

Once in love with horses, Bosworth has proven that here in Hollywood, she has stood out from her peers, by taking on projects that continue to stretch her in so many ways. As for then rest of it, the business and celebrity facets, she clearly doesn’t give a damn. “I love to act, I really do.  It’s my passion and I love going to work everyday.  But there’s a difference between that and between craving the spotlight.  That’s not what attracts me to this business, doing the red carpet stuff.  It’s involved and can be really fun but it’s not something that I like to do on a night out.”

Nor does she discuss her private life, and knows how to politely change the subject. These days, Hollywood may be agog when it comes to Kate and Lord of the Rings’ Orlando Bloom. Asked if he had seen Tad Hamilton, Bosworth merely responds, ever so graciously, “Well, I just saw my movie for the first time last night, so I doubt it, but yeah, everything’s good.”

That includes her career, which continues to go from strength to strength. Following the press junket for Tad Hamilton, Bosworth returns to Germany where she is playing Sandra Dee to Kevin Spacey’s Bobby Darrin, in the Spacey-directed Beyond the Sea. “When I got this role, they said, ‘Kevin Spacey wants to meet you to play this part!’ (And I said), ‘Oh god, I can’t do that! Don’t make me do that!’ He was ‘it’ for me!” The films dispels much of the on-screen Sandra Dee mythology, says Bosworth. “She was in a dysfunctional marriage at16, she and Bobby Darin and had a child at 17.  She was so naïve that she didn’t even know what the logistics were in giving birth.”

As for working with star/director Spacey, Bosworth is full of impassioned praise. “He’s amazing, truly experienced and so passionate about this.  He’s had this project for about 12 years, so every day, he says, we’re making my dreams come alive on film. Being a part of that is pretty special.”

Bosworth hopes to finally take some time off after Beyond the Sea wraps, and may finally complete her studies at Princeton. “It’s my third year of deferring and I feel like I have this conversation every year which is really embarrassing.  But I have kind of followed what my gut has told me which I try to do for every decision.  And I have two sides of me.  One is a work side, acting, and the other side is personal enrichment.  And that belongs to that category.  I really hope to do that and I think I would regret not doing it. I love to read. It’s a major addiction, so I’d love just to go to school and do that”.