Former equestrian champion Kate Bosworth made her film debut in 1998's The Horse Whisperer at the tender age of 15. Her leading role in 2002's surf picture Blue Crush alongside featured roles in Wonderland (2003), Beyond The Sea (2004), Superman Returns (2006) and 21 (2008) continued her rise to fame playing against such established stars as Val Kilmer, Kevin Spacey and James Marsden. Kate recently sat down for an interview with Buzzine to talk about her role alongside South Korean actor Jang Dong-gun in the new movie The Warrior's Way...
IH: How would you describe the style of this movie?
KB: Costumes were the grounding force often. We're living in this fantasy world, so it's not like you could say, "Okay, we're in New York in this specific day and age." It was like we're in this random desert somewhere in a deserted carnival village, and imagine it. It was really very nice to have such amazing costumes, to at least have that visual aid.
IH: Were you a great knife thrower before this?
KB: Yeah, all the time at home. On a Saturday night, that's what we do at the Bosworth household--my knife-throwing parties. [Laughs] No, I had never knife-thrown in my life, but I'd never touched a surfboard before Blue Crush. I take on new skills in films pretty excitedly and embrace it.
IH: Was there a lot of training?
KB: There was a lot of training because the film happened so quickly, it was one of those things that, as soon as everyone signed on, it felt like it went very, very quickly, so I would have loved to have had a little bit more training. Often we would learn a specific move and then shoot it either that day or the next day. They really kept us on our toes, I'll tell you that much. We were constantly going on adrenaline with a physicality, and that meant we had to trust each other quite a bit, especially Danny [Huston] and I.
IH: Fencing was a part of classical acting training, so a lot of people have that in their background, but this sort of sword fighting is different from even standard stage fighting.
KB: It felt so much more like it would have helped to have a dance or ballet background with this, because it was so specific with the footwork and balance--more so than slashing each other with big knives. It was really so much more of an intricate dance.
IH: What was the process of getting dirty, grungy, and dusty like an old Western character like?
KB: I was constantly asking for more dirt and more dust. I feel, as the girl, I get the short end of the stick for that. They're like, "No, you need to be pretty!" I was like, "Agh, I want to be covered in dirt and looking grimy and real!" So I was constantly battling that, but I think they finally let me. I remember they had these dust bags and they would look over and I would be the weird person in the corner rubbing my fingernails. I was very into making sure the fingernails and teeth were very dirty, constantly telling them to put more yellow on my teeth.
IH: What was it like working with Geoffrey Rush?
KB: I loved working with Geoffrey. I've known him for a few years before that, so it was really nice to work together. He's so lovely and so much fun. He has such a ball being the drunkard on the movie. Sometimes you'd look around during a really intense moment, and Geoffrey would just be having a conversation with a stationary statue--completely random objects that were left over from the carnival, and he was taking a swig of the wine and having a discussion with whatever object it was. He was obviously having a ball.
IH: What was your initial attraction to the project? Was it a genre you've always wanted to do?
KB: I felt that the screenplay was one of the most interesting, unique pieces of material that had come my way; based on that alone, I was excited by it. I'm sure you can imagine how many formulaic things cross the desk every day, so to get something original, thoughtful, profound, beautiful, and poetic--I didn't see how I could say no...and sword fight.
IH: In this film, your character has a relationship with a foreigner. In real life, you have also dated a foreigner. Did that experience help bring this on-screen romance to life?
KB: I think the last three boyfriends have been foreigners, as it's an obvious habitual trait of mine. Dong-gun [Jong] is so lovely, so it's very easy for me to organically form a relationship with him, even if it was just in a look. It was effortless, to be honest. There was no force that needed to happen, and I suppose we were lucky in that way, that it was just an ease between us from the very beginning. Their relationship was very well-formed on the page. I suppose if you have two actors that naturally work together and get along and you work the scenes out together, we had quite a bit of rehearsal, and I know he was most concerned with the English aspect of it, so I think, for him, it was a little bit of a challenge to master the English language and putting the emotion into it as well, and not just saying lines and also embodying the emotional sides of things. We rehearsed a lot for that reason, and then, as soon as we were on set and worked through the scenes, it was very easy.
IH: You talked about the variety of things that come across your desk. How about when a remake of a Peckinpah classic came across your desk? How did you react?
KB: I had never seen Straw Dogs. I read the script before I watched the movie. I knew of the movie, so I thought I'll read the script and see how it holds up as a screenplay, and see if that holds my interest. I didn't want to be too influenced by the film because I thought of course the film is going to be interesting and wonderful, so I didn't want that to influence my decision. I read the script first and it was great. I love Rod Lurie. I think he's a very talented man. After reading the script, I watched the film, and that's when I was like, "Gosh. This is going to be quite a journey." Because sometimes you get a screenplay and it'll say--like in our film--"The Colonel and Lynne have their fight," and you have no idea how much work goes into that, and equally, when you saw the film for Straw Dogs, you saw how emotionally charged so many of those scenes were and how the tension just built and built and built. I'm most attracted to material when I have a certain sense of fear, and you think, "This is so original, and I've never really worked with swords, and this character is really out there and I'm not really sure how I'll deal with that." I'm more interested in that than saying, "Oh, I know how to do that really well." A certain amount of fear is a good thing, as you certainly grow and learn a lot. I suppose that's why I love doing what I do. I'm not really in it to flatline.
IH: It seems like the Superman series is going to start over again. A lot of us would have liked to see a sequel to Superman Returns. What would that have been if you'd had the chance to make it?
KB: I have no idea. I'm not too aware of the reboot. I saw [Bryan] Singer recently--he didn't mention it. I know he's producing the X-Men...prequel? It feels like they're doing prequels to everything at the moment. Spider Man, X-Men...there's always a trend. I feel like there's always a flurry of things that happen.
IH: How do you stay fit? Can you talk about your diet or exercise habits?
KB: I love to horse ride, so I try to do that as much as I can. I've ridden my whole life. I don't really get to do that when I'm working on movies because they don't allow it. They don't allow for dangerous sports. I don't do a whole lot. I need to start doing more, I suppose.
IH: How's the surfing?
KB: That was a lot of physicality. I feel like I was paid to become a full-on athlete more so than anything else. It was five or six hours of training every day. I got a little bit of an overload of that at the time.
IH: Is your character's accent Southern? Where is she from?
KB: She's from a real deep Western plain.
The Warrior's Way is in theaters now from Rogue Pictures