Kate Bosworth Interview: Along For The Ride

Along For The Ride star Kate Bosworth shares why the stepmother and daughter dynamic of Netflix’s new film hits so close to home.

Netflix kicks off a summer of YA romance with Along for the Ride, the first Sarah Dessen adaptation out of three that have been optioned. In this sweet seaside story, a teenage girl escapes the stress that comes with a summer before college to visit her distant father and doting stepmother in the beach town of Colby. While there, she strikes up an unusual friendship with the town loner who shares night walks with her when neither of them can sleep.

Along For The Ride stars rising young stars in Hollywood, with Emma Pasarow (Super Pumped) playing the heroine Auden and Belmont Cameli (Saved By The Bell) portraying her new friend Eli. But the film is anchored by performances from veteran actors such as Andie MacDowell, Dermot Mulroney and Kate Bosworth, who all play Auden’s parents and stepmother respectively. Bosworth as Heidi is particularly noteworthy, because it’s so rare to see a loving and positive dynamic between step-parents and children.


Related: Along for the Ride Trailer Reveals First Look At Netflix’s Sarah Dessen Movie

Bosworth spoke to Screen Rant about what it meant for her to portray a stepmother who was more of a friend than an enemy, and how she herself handles issues of sleeplessness.

ALONG FOR THE RIDE (2022), Kate Bosworth as Heidi, Dermot Mulroney as Robert. Cr. Emily V. Aragones / Netflix

Screen Rant: This movie was so sweet and heartwarming, and I especially loved the relationship between Heidi and Auden. It was really nice to see a realistic and loving relationship between stepmother and daughter. Can you talk about Heidi’s excitement for Auden to arrive and the relationship she wants to cultivate with her?

Kate Bosworth: That is such a perfectly said reason why I took this movie, because I have been a stepmom for about 11 years to a beautiful young woman now. She was about 12 at the time I met her, and now she’s 24. And my experience with being a stepmother to her has just been such an honor, and it’s only full of warmth and love and connectivity.

Even the kind of crazy coming-of-age moments that we see Auden go through, I was there through them with Jasper. I’ve been quite judgmental and picky about stepmother roles, because I’m like, “That’s not true. That’s not true to life.” And I really do believe that so much of the draw for me with this was shattering that stereotypical, evil stepmother role, because it’s so important to lead with love when parenting a kid. And it doesn’t matter your role in the picture.

A lot of Heidi’s spastic characteristics really came from that first meeting with Jasper. I remember sitting down when we met at lunch, and I became this weird, spastic, heightened version of myself. I was like, “Hi, I’m Kate! It’s so nice to meet you!” I became this weird, wild version of myself – and it really just comes so much from a place of, “Please like me. I want so badly for you to like me. I want to just be a good person in your life.”

It was such a sweet and realistic way to approach a character like this, and I hadn’t really seen it done that way so much. And it was all I knew. I’m very close to Jasper’s biological mom, and we’ve had many moments that are similar to Heidi’s relationship with Andie MacDowell’s character. I loved working with Andie, so there was a real positive – and for me very realistic – female forward dynamic in this movie.

Sofia Alvarez, who directed the movie, was so important to have the grounding of these characters, even though it is a little bit heightened at times. The warmth and the love between this somewhat unorthodox dynamic – I think that’s such an important thing to impart to the world, when so many people are experiencing a blended family dynamic.

Absolutely, that was such a great thing to see. I know insomnia is a very large part of the film and, as someone who has trouble getting to sleep, I would love to know what you do when you can’t sleep.

Kate Bosworth: Oh my gosh. Okay, I am a big reader. I always find that having your device around was a big no-no; it’s gonna just stimulate your brain in such a crazy way. So, I love to read. I always have a book on my bedside table, and I find reading really helps slow down the brain and regulates the body.

I love these calm gummies – they’re magnesium and l-theanine. You can get them at any pharmacy, but they’re great. Magnesium is such a great mineral to really calm the body down and l-theanine as well.

When the pandemic started, I really got into – I always thought of myself as a bad meditator, because my brain goes a million miles an hour, and I can be a little bit A-type. But I found an app called Ten Percent Happier, that I love, and I found that becoming very aware of my breath [helps]. And it probably is like the age-old counting sheep, but it’s to really breathe in and out, and to focus on your breath. That always sends me to sleep.

That’s my quick, downregulating, get-to-sleep habits.

Along For The Ride Synopsis

Cast of AFTR
ALONG FOR THE RIDE (2022), L to R: Emma Pasarow as Auden, Laura Kariuki as Maggie, Samia Finnerty as Esther, & Genevieve Hannelius as Leah. Cr. Emily V. Aragones / Netflix

During the summer before college, Auden meets the mysterious Eli, a fellow insomniac. While the seaside town of Colby sleeps, the two embark on nightly quests to help Auden experience the fun, carefree life she never knew she wanted.

Check back soon for our interview with Along For The Ride star Emma Pasarow & Belmont Cameli.

More: 10 Most Anticipated Netflix Movies Releasing Summer 2022

Along For The Ride premieres May 6 on Netflix.

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