Kate Bosworth for “Wonderland”

From the time movie audiences saw a ravishing 18-year old Kate Bosworth strut her stuff on a surfboard in last year’s Blue Crush, the media began labelling her as Hollywood’s latest ‘It’ girl. A year later and Entertainment Weekly Magazine made it official: In their annual ‘It’ issue, Bosworth was its number 2 choice. It appears that Kate Bosworth is on her way.

Since Blue Crush, the actress turned up in a brief, but memorable stint in the otherwise forgettable Rules of Attraction, but her next role, as porn star John Holmes’ adolescent lover Dawn Schiller in the upcoming Wonderland, was already creating buzz even prior to its recent world premiere during last month’s Toronto Film Festival. The bleached blonde hair gives away to brunette, exemplifying the film’s darker theme. Her riveting and heartfelt performance in the film, has won her respect and rave reviews. To prove her diversity yet again, Bosworth just completed shooting the more mainstream romantic comedy, Win A Date With Tad Hamilton, directed by Australia’s Robert Luketic [Legally Blonde] and starring opposite hunky star-on-the-rise Josh Duhamel. The film revolves around a small-town girl who wins a date with an egocentric Hollywood superstar through a contest. But life for both becomes complicated when real love follows suit.

It was on the set of Tad Hamilton, in Los Angeles’ trendy W Hotel, where Paul Fischer found Kate. In front of the hotel, a dozen of extras practice walking up and down stairs as some of the beautiful people, exemplified by this city, while Bosworth’s small-town girl, Rosalee Futch, has just arrived. A large camera crane is positioned; the assistant director yells ‘Action’ and the beautiful actress, back to blonde, walks slowly but assuredly up the hotel’s stairs, showing up the contrast between elegance and country girl simplicity. Not long after, they’re sitting in a hotel room between takes, discussing this movie, and her next project just announced, Beyond the Sea, in which she will play 50s movie icon Sandra Dee opposite Kevin Spacey’s Bobby Darin. Paul also caught up with Bosworth during the Toronto Film Festival where she was promoting Wonderland, which opens in select theatres this week.

Question: Dawn Schiller in Wonderland is a very interesting character for you to play. Do you drawn on someone in particular to get into her skin?

Answer: Studying the real Dawn helped I think. I’d never had any scenes like the ones I get to do in this movie, nor have I been as challenged. When she was set, if I was having any trouble I had a resource. But it’s really interesting doing an emotional movie, because everything in the body is saying: I don’t want to go there, why are you making me go there? So I’d look at her and she’d be watching me which actually made it easier, thinking about what she’s been through.

Question: Can you relate to her in any way?

Answer: Not really. I can imagine but I couldn’t relate to her.

Question: How did you handle shooting the one major sex scene that you have?

Answer: It was fine, because it was such a comfortable environment from the very beginning, that by the time that scene rolled around towards the end, we were just laughing so hard. Doing it seemed funny.

Question: Val [Kilmer] has often commented on his slight obsession with you—

Answer: Val loves shocking people, because he shocked me in every way. One of his gifts, is that he can have the freedom to do something really outrageous and create a spontaneity that’s amazing to see on the screen. I think that’s very inspiring.

Question: Is it a release doing Tad Hamilton from doing Wonderland?

Answer: Yes, very much.

Question: Was it hard to escape that character?

Answer: No, not really. Actually it was a welcomed release. I mean, playing her was incredibly interesting, and she was so different from me, that girl, that it was interesting, and psychology is something that I’m interested in. To kind of go into her head space into that really dark place that I don’t live in naturally is a fascinating thing, definitely.

Question: Describe the scene from Tad Hamilton that you’re shooting at the moment?

Answer: This is when I first arrived in LA for the big date, and I’m walking up the steps to the W’ Hotel.

Question: It’s kind of a small time girl meeting the Hollywood glamour for the first time?

Answer: Right.

Question: Does that kind of bring back memories of your own experiences dealing with your first encounter with Hollywood fame?

Answer: Well I was born in LA, and then I moved away. But I think that, honestly, like everyday I step outside my door I get that feeling in LA is just a very, very different place I think.

Question: Is comedy natural to you?

Answer: Well, I haven’t ever taken a class in it and this is my only experience, but it’s just a lot of fun for me. This character is so positive and light-hearted, and it’s really a fun headspace to be in, compared to Wonderland .which was definitely a different role.

Question: What was the contest? I mean, how did she enter it?

Answer: She sees it on the internet, with a couple of her friends, and she kind of freaks out and has to raise $100.00, raises it, enters, and then ends up winning.

Question: What would your ideal date or idol be?

Answer: I would say, well, I think [co-star] Josh Duhamel is a pretty good date.

Question: I mean before, when you were starting out.

Answer: I didn’t really have one to be honest with you.

Question: No actor, no posters on the walls?

Answer: No. I was never”

Question: You never were a fan of anybody?

Answer: I was a fan, but I would never, you know, enter a contest to win a date.

Question: Now the last movie Robert Luketic directed, Legally Blonde, starred a particular blonde actress, nice career arc for her. I mean is this the type of movie that could propel you to the next level as well?

Answer: Gosh, well, you never know. That’s the weird thing about this business, isn’t it? You never know the formula. It would be a nice one I think if it did because it’s such a sweet character.

Question: What makes her special? What makes her, I mean, you get the innocent naivety which can be a little disarming, but there has to be something that crosses over.

Answer: Yeah, well I think it’s that she’s so sweet and charming, but I think the thing that I like most about her is that she kind of finds the good in people and brings out the good in them. I think people like that and that positive energy is attractive.

Question: When I spoke to you for the first time in Hawaii, we talked a little bit about this whole ‘It’ girl question revolving around you. A year later, we open up Entertainment Weekly and there you are, the second ‘It’ person. Are you kind of surprised by that label? Has that affected you in any way?

Answer: Kind of, yeah. I mean, it’s a really weird thing because it’s the kind of image the press or whoever is creating for you, and I don’t know, speaking personally, I feel so normal that it’s weird to be, if anything you just feel like, what me? You know, you kind of have this weird, sensation.

Question: Are you concerned that if Tad Hamilton is as big as it could be and if you do go to that next level that the whole fame thing can be something that has other problems for you?

Answer: Yeah, to be honest with you it is something that makes me a bit nervous probably because I’m not at that place yet and that I only see it through other people. It’s a scary thing, I think, to suddenly be pushed out in the public eye like that.

Question: What was the effect that you had from Blue Crush? What did you see happen to you after that movie, career wise?

Answer: Well it was my first lead in a pretty big production, so I think that if anything, I don’t really know how much. I guess I proved to myself that I could do that, you know? I think it’s kind of a tall order to be one of the leads in a big movie for the first time and sort of a scary thing.

Question: Did you start to see more career opportunities?

Answer: Yeah a bit, because if, you’re one of the leads in a movie, naturally people take you a bit more seriously.

Question: Do you think you need to prove a lot?

Answer: Oh yeah, which is why I’m attracted to so many different types of roles because I constantly want to prove things to myself. Like, Blue Crush was real physical and Wonderland was kind of dark, and Tad Hamilton is a romantic comedy. It’s all so different, and I like being challenged.

Question: What head space were you in for the character in Tad Hamilton? I mean, what do you base her on?

Answer: She’s great. She’s very positive, a bit goofy, kind of spazzy, you know, doesn’t mind being in awe of everything, and she doesn’t think about being cool. It doesn’t even cross her mind. She just kind of reacts as she would and she is very true to herself which is why I like that.

Question: If you couldn’t relate to John Holmes’ girlfriend in Wonderland, do you like this girl?

Answer: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, I’m the first person to trip into a room, and I’m pretty true to myself, at least I try to be.

Question: She’s a fish out of water too.

Answer: Yeah, absolutely.

Question: Have you ever felt like a fish out of water?

Answer: Oh yeah. I always feel like a fish out of water in Hollywood, always.

Question: Such as? At parties?

Answer: Yeah, absolutely. Any party I go to, or premiere, I always feel like a fish out of water.

Question: You’ve been real coy about your private life.

Answer: Yeah, I will keep it that way.

Question: Yet you’ve now recently photographed with your latest beau [Orlando Bloom]. So how do you deal with that sort of added pressure?

Answer: It’s a weird thing. It’s sort of the kind of thing that’s uncontrollable and that’s part of it, but I think my philosophy on that is just I don’t feel it, you know. I don’t talk about it really.

Question: Do you try to avoid going out to places where there’s going to be lots of paparazzi and cameras?

Answer: Well, yeah, I’d say so. I mean, that’s not something that I like to do in my free time anyway. So, I’d say so.

Question: So what’s a normal life for you then? What does that consist of?

Answer: I’m pretty low key. You know, hang with friends, going to movies, dinners, eating dinners at home and stuff.

Question: Having done kind of a physical action film and drama and romantic comedy, is there a particular genre of film that you want to get into?

Answer: Well, next thing I’m doing is kind of different as well, Beyond the Sea that Kevin Spacey is directing and starring in.

Question: Right you’re playing Sandra Dee. How are you getting into the swing of that character?

Answer: Oh gosh, don’t ask me quite yet. I have a little bit of time left. I’ve been doing a bit of research on her, and she’s very interesting because she had this golden girl image of the 1950s, and she really has so much baggage, so much just dark things around in her life that no one knew about. So it will be an interesting character to play. I think it spans through a decade. She starts from about 15 to going to 27 maybe.

Question: This is a great project for Spacey who has been trying to tell the story for so long”

Answer: Yeah. I’m really excited. It’s really, really neat to talk to somebody with this passion about something that is like a personal passion of getting the story told, and it’s very special.

Question: And another real life character too.

Answer: Yeah. Very interesting, it’s really interesting to play somebody that exists.

Question: Have you gotten back on a surfboard since Blue Crush?

Answer: Not recently actually because, well I haven’t been allowed to for insurance purposes, but not recently I haven’t. No.

Question: Do you still have that love? Does that love of surfing still remain with you?

Answer: Yeah, it definitely does, but it’s something that like, when something is forced upon you or you’re forced to practice something for so many hours of the day, you kind of drop it for a little bit and then pick it back up again later. I think I need a little bit of a break from it even still, but I absolutely love it.

Question: Are you kind of amazed at how all your dreams have already started out wanting to be an actor, how they lean towards fame? Do you really kind of pinch yourself?

Answer: Yeah, I think what I’ve been most surprised about is how fate sort of worked its way in my life and how each project has come along at a really convenient time. It’s something that I’d be specifically looking for like something a bit darker, then Wonderland came along right after that, and now I wanted to do something lighter. I know it’s not always going to happen like that, but so far so good.