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Kate Bosworth Came Onto Along For the Ride Ready to ‘Shatter’ the ‘Evil Stepmom Trope’

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In the early 2000s, with films like Blue Crush and Superman Returns, Kate Bosworth was a starring lady we couldn’t get enough of. Throughout the years, we’ve only fallen more in love with the down-to-earth star. Bosworth’s newest role may be her most powerful and honest one yet, truly piercing our hearts. She’s co-starring as the complex stepmother Heidi in the Netflix film Along For The Ride, adapted from the beloved Sarah Dessen novel. I spoke to Bosworth for SheKnows about her role, lessons she wants fans to take from the film, how she really feels about aging, and more.

When you watch Along For the Ride, you can’t help but be hypnotized by Bosworth’s character. Bosworth’s character Heidi is the loving stepmom to the lead Auden (Emma Pasarow), who tries to be there for her stepchild. But Heidi is dealing with struggles of her own, like trying to balance new motherhood and deteriorating marriage.

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As a proud stepmama herself to Jasper Polish, 24, whose father is Bosworth’s ex-husband Michael Polish, Bosworth was ready to take on a role that toppled common stepparenting stereotypes. She’s well aware of the “evil-stepmother” trope and wants people to see a more honest portrayal of the complex relationship.

When you sit down with Bosworth, she emits a sense of warmth and true kindness that makes you feel comfortable. Like she described her character Heidi, she truly is sunshine. In the honest interview, we discussed the lessons she wants fans to take from the romance film, how she feels about aging, and more.

Along For The Ride will be available to stream on Netflix on May 6.

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Kate Bosworth, Dermot Mulroney, Emily V. Aragones /© Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection.

SK: Hi, my name is Delilah Gray. I’m here for SheKnows, how are you doing?

KB: Hi, I love your name. It’s such a beautiful name like, “superstar Delilah Gray! Introducing Delilah Gray, everybody.”

SK: Oh, that just made my day! Thank you! So Along For The Ride touches on a plethora of subjects like identity, friendship, and family — how do you think the film adds to the parenting conversation in particular?

KB: I’ve been a stepmom for 11 years, so it was like such an exciting role to be able to take on. I felt like it was so parallel to my own life. I’m very well aware of the evil stepmother trope and I was like, “Yes, let’s shatter that!” Because that’s my relationship with my stepdaughter. It’s so close, warm, and so loving.

SK: Was that something that drew you to your character, Heidi? Was there anything else that really attracted you to the role?

KB: I love that she’s kind of unexpected. At first, you think she’s kind of like ditzy and you’re not really sure how much depth she has. Then by the end of the movie, you’re like, “Oh my god, Heidi is the one who’s got it all figured out. [Heidi] is the heartbeat of keeping it all together, you know?” She was like sunshine to me. It was just such a great character to be a part of. And again, like because this was so personal to me, it was such an important story to tell.

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Along For The Ride Along For The Ride.

SK: With Sarah Dessens’ novels, she’s so beloved for her touching stories of teen life. Were there any books or TV shows that really had an impact on you as a teenager?

KB: My So-Called Life. Yes, I was very sad when it was only one season. Of course, I watched Dawson’s Creek like probably the rest of the people my age. I loved Felicity. Now that was like a big one. I love Keri Russell. I still love Keri Russell. She’s so wonderful. And then I watched a lot of like John Hughes movies, of course, Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles. I would highly suggest if you’re a young person watching this, if you have not seen John Hughes movies, you have to watch them.

SK: What do you want fans to take away from this film?

KB: Life isn’t linear. We think that we have everything all planned out and the truth is, there are so many ups and downs, twists, and turns. While this story is mostly told from the perspective of Auden, who is trying to figure it out from a very young age, you’re always kind of trying to figure it out. The more you’re just honest with yourself and aligned with yourself, it will make going through the hard moments a little bit easier.

SK: I love that. Times have been so crazy the past few years. Is there anything that you added or recently done for your self-care routine that’s really helped you?

KB: I started to meditate. And this is coming from someone who, if I had heard myself saying this three years ago, I would be like, “Wow, that’s so lame.” I’m like a self-professed terrible meditator because I’m like, so A-type and whatever and very much in my head and sort of a compulsive over-thinker. So it’s tough for someone like to have that kind of hamster wheel of a brain that slows down. But when the pandemic hit, I thought when I got to really figure out the mental stability part of this whole thing, it totally changed my life. I feel like I have such a better relationship with myself. So I do it in an app called Ten Percent Happier. It’s kind of meant for the meditation skeptic.

SK: And finally, at SheKnows, we celebrate all things that women know. What’s one thing that only, you know?

KB: One thing only I know is people are so afraid of aging — I’m 39. It only gets better. I know that for sure.

Before you go, click here to see celebrity moms who are close with their stepkids.
Trey Smith, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden Smith

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