Kate Bosworth on Collaborating With Husband Michael Polish for Self-Financed Film ‘Nona’ | In Studio

Kate Bosworth on Collaborating With Husband Michael Polish for Self-Financed Film ‘Nona’ | In Studio

– Hi, I’m Kate and I’m studio
with a Hollywood Reporter. (upbeat music) – Hi, thank you so much for being here. – Thank you for having me. So, we’re here to talk about
your new movie, called Nona. You have the supporting acting role in it, and you are also a producer on the film. Can you just give me a quick sort of tell me about the premise. How you see it, cuz I
know it can be easily labeled a certain way, but how would you sort of describe it? – Nona is about a woman that
we find in San Pedro Sula in Honduras and she obviously lives in a very destitute part of the world. She’s very lonely. She doesn’t have much in her life. But she has dreams, she has
things that she wants to do. And this very cute, young, charming boy meets her and he says, hey
I have a better life for you in America. I have an aunt you
can live with. Come with me. So, they kind of go on this epic road trip across Honduras, through
Guatemala, and all through Mexico and ultimately crossing the
border into the United States. That’s sort of where the twist happens, where for 65 percent of the movie, we’re in this beautiful coming
of age love story in a way. At that point in the film,
you realize something’s not quite right, just as
Nona realizes something’s not quite right and we
realize at that moment, that she is being sold
into sex trafficking. So, it’s yeah. – It’s a heavy movie. It really stayed with me for
several days to be honest. Which is always great
when a film can do that. – Yeah. – So we should also say for
anyone who might be watching who doesn’t know, it’s
written and directed by your husband, Michael Polish. – [Kate] He shot it as well actually. – He shot it, that’s right. I saw that. So, it seems like it was all
hands on deck for you two. But, at what point,
because I know you guys sort of collaborate pretty frequently, I think this is the first time that you’re a producer though. I’ve seen you executive
produce several things. I’m not sure where that line is. – Well, this was definitely
an executive produced film, because I paid for it. Number one thing, executive
producer paid for the movie. Okay, you get that credit. That’s it. You’ve earned it just by that. But it is a self financed movie. This is definitely the most
homegrown labor of love that we have ever collaborated together. And certainly, I don’t think individually either one of us has ever did
anything like this either. He’s pretty running gun. Like if you know Michael’s work, he’s done for lovers only. He’s done amazing movies
that he’s gone like this guerrilla style, very Indie filmmaking. But this one was a crew of six people, across four different countries, and it was all financed. The idea of a truly
independently made feature, this is it. Michael’s half Mexican. His mother crossed the border
when she was four from Mexico. So, he knew he wanted it to be in Spanish. He knew that he wanted it to be… – I was going to ask if the
script is in Spanish too. – Yep. He knew that he wanted
it to be in San Pedro Sula. The reason why is because he said, ‘I want to know where
the most dangerous place in the world is.’ So, through his research,
this city kept coming up over and over, because it was known as the murder capital of the world. So, he kind of started
putting these pieces down that were important to him. Honestly, so much of this has to do with why we self financed it. Because, first of all, the
subject matter is a top sale. Period. It’s heavy, you know. The fact that he was
adamant about it being in Spanish, because he
said that if there’s a young girl in San Pedro Sula, Honduras with very little to no education, she’s not going to be
fluently speaking English at that point in her life. And he wanted to cast
an unknown Latino girl. So, all these things were elements where people were like, but
could you cast so and so. And Michael was well, I
really want her to be faceless and nameless, because it’s the
point of the movie. No Name. You don’t know her name,
you don’t know her face, and then ultimately by the end you do. That’s sort of the whole
point of the movie. So, there were things people
wanted from us in order to green light it and
he was pretty adamant about the authenticity of it. So, there was these kind
of pillars of things that he put down to kind
of create this story. I know from obviously
being married to him, and knowing him so well. He feels much more influenced
by his Mexican heritage, than almost his father’s
side who is from Montana. So, I think for him it was a real kind of stroke, a real homage to
that part of his culture. So many of the stories that
are in the movie are personal. This is a funny one, but there’s a moment on the top of the bus
where Pedro says to Nona ‘You know what the worst
name for a dog is? Happy. He’s always happy, you know.’ Our dog’s name is happy. He’s always happy. So, it was like this kind
of funny little anecdote where he’ll put in randomly
throughout the movie that he has in his own life or something that his
family remembers or done or whatever that’s he’s kind of picked up and scattered throughout the film. But, I’m lucky. We’re
in a wonderful time of, as we know, as we all know, of being in a moment of
very female forward topics, very female forward films, tv shows, wanting to put women at the
center of their stories. And I’m lucky that I’m
married to someone who, we have a production company together, that’s an equal focus
for him as it is for me. And it always has been. He’s always said to me, ‘Women are so much more interesting than men.’ I’m like, ‘I will not disagree with you.’ – A little more complex maybe. You know that it’s great that
we could speak to a need. We can talk to each other
as women all day long and we can preach to the choir but we do also need men on our side. We need men championing and standing up and being more part of that voice for us, because also whenever men
are behind closed doors we’re not always in those conversations, so if you know he can also be a voice and a good ally, that’s also very important. – Absolutely. Ultimately,
I think as artists and people watching movies
or television shows, you want to see dynamic characters. Ultimately, you can
really think about almost like a sexless quality at a certain point. Obviously, there’s going to
be very female informed things and very male informed things, but ultimately, we’re all looking for our multidimensional interesting
characters in the world. And those are the ones that are iconic and those are the ones that
everyone wants to be a part of. So, I don’t think Mike sees in any way oh this has to be a male character. I think he’s someone who’s always thinking Oh if we, he’ll get a script and he’s the type of filmmaker that will say, I really love it, but don’t you think it would be more interesting
if it was a female as if that all of the sudden makes everything more interesting. So, I think if we can
have that kind of dialog in terms of equaling the
playing field that way with both men and women,
it’s really sort of the important part of the
movie and the dial really. – It looks almost very
Dockey style, sort of Vertae. How much was in the script? I mean, obviously you can’t
pinpoint an exact number, but I’m just wondering how many shots or were you constantly sort
of looking as you’re there filming, are you looking
for oh this is interesting, let’s shoot some of this. Because there’s a lot of
locals and a lot of local color and that kind of thing. – We didn’t have the
money and the ability to location scout for example. So, the script was totally
developed in terms of the scenes and the dialog. It wasn’t like an improv movie. It was all very scripted. But what was left up to determination of getting to a place was location. Like, for example, Michael
would have in the scripts a whole scene between Pedro and Nona, and it would just be
like location unknown. So, he would land in San Pedro Sula and he would so, ‘oh wow,
there’s a great church. We can do that. This scene is
going to be in the church.’ and I knew that he was really
adamant about the Coca-Cola sign, because that is a very
famous kind of fixture there. So, I remember he told
they kind of trekked up and Jessie like sat in the sea or something. But the locations were the thing that he really left up to finding. Usually, he’d location scout the day of or maybe the day before if he was lucky. – Wow. – Then, like the cemetery scene, when she’s talking to him
about how you prepare a body, when they’re talking about his ex-wife. That, I know, he found the
cemetery he loved so much. He was like, are you both
prepared to do this scene, because I don’t think it was scheduled until a few days later,
so they were like yeah. I don’t know if they
were totally prepared, but they just launched into it. I think being a part of this movie and knowing Michael, and knowing his work, and just knowing you will not
fail when you work with him. He won’t let you. It’s such an amazing,
immersive, creative experience. This was Sulem’s first movie. – Yeah, I was going to
get into also the actors. I know, Jessie, who plays
Hedge, he’s had some credits, but she’s basically, you
know, I think maybe one short film from what I can tell and then this film. – It’s heavy. It’s a full on
lead. It’s a dramatic lead. I’ve, obviously, done it before, so I know what it takes. It’s a lot of pressure and
it’s just a lot to process as you’re doing it and
before you’re doing it. And certainly, doing like
this that’s unconventional. – It’s nice that they trusted, you know, I assume actors just always want to always get a say in what you do if someone’s making a
film or whatever it is. You’re like, cool I want
to act so yeah, I’ll do it. I’ll do what you want me to do. But those two actors, they
really are just perfect for those roles. – They are. Jessie is so charming, and so much of the reasoning behind… – It’s frustrating how much. – Right. Like thank you so
much, but you’re terrible. So much of the reason that
we wanted to make this movie was to inform the how this
happens and why it happens, because so often we get the result. Like, this massage parlor was busted and that’s the result. Or this sex house was busted
and that’s the result. There’s these girls and
that is the things that you hear about but so often, it’s not explained how does this happen or why does someone decide to do it or how does this person
end up in this situation. So that was a huge reason
why we made the movie. These young cute guys, young
cute coyotes, they’re charming. You don’t know. You
fall in love with them. These young girls or
boys who are thinking, oh I can trust this person,
they’re great, they’re friendly. It’s not this twirly mustache villain. They’re these very safe
looking, charming people. – Were you having
conversations with Michael that maybe the structure
or anything like that and were you also having
any, as a producer, and as someone who acted in the film and you’ve been acting for a long time, – A long time. – Which is great. Good for you. – Can’t get rid of me. – There’s a lot of women
here who would probably kill to be you, to have such a career, so that’s great, but… – You just have to cling. You have to be like you can’t let go. It’s a white knuckle adventure. – Were you having any conversations, whether it’s about the
structure or the logistics or any of the creative, how did you find yourself
as the producer on this film and what was your acting brain
telling your creative brain versus your logistical brain? – I can pretty easily turn
off the acting part of things with, especially someone like Mike, because he’s just a visionary. So, it’s like it’s exciting, because you’re just on that train with him. For me, I wasn’t able to
go to Honduras or Guatemala or even Mexico, because they were shooting in such rural parts. There was truly so much cartel that a lot of our money went to security. We had an ex-Navy SEAL that traveled with them at all times and he
could from a satellite image see where cartel
activity was happening. And I would be in LA and so
I was available at all times, usually booking everything
that they needed, whether it was like we
need another armed vehicle. Okay, so I’d call and I’d
pay for it or whatever. We need to stop at this hotel and this is a hotel that we know is safe, so okay, I’d book the hotel. So, it was kind of the
logistics on the ground in Los Angeles, kind of
constantly communicating. I didn’t do anything
else during that time. I had my station that I had set up, so that I could be available at all times. – Did that make you nervous? I mean, this is your husband. If my husband was out
in Honduras being like, I need an armed vehicle, I’d worry. Were you ever nervous for him, his safety? – To know Michael is to
know that you’re with and dedicated to a real cowboy. I mean that. There’s no controlling the situation. There’s just trying to support and protect someone who has a real vision. So, to sort of fight it is almost going to put more energy into something
that is a lost cause. You know what he’s going to do. So, there was one moment
I ended up speaking at the Kennedy Center with an organization called Vital Voices. It was on International Women’s Day. Vital Voices put literally a vital voice of different incredible
females around the world that are doing things you
wouldn’t ordinarily hear about. There’s these two ladies
from Guatemala and they were going on stage
to talk about the efforts they were doing in Guatemala. They came off stage and
I was going on stage a few people later and I was like, Oh I really want to talk to you, because my husband is actually
in Guatemala right now. And they said, where is he? And I told them and they said, is he okay? And I said, what do you mean? And they said, there was just basically all these women were
protesting human trafficking and they were basically slaughtered there. It was absolutely a horrendous crime for them using their voice
to say enough is enough. And Michael had seen those women, but had driven by and continued on. So, there was like this really bizarre, his world and my world
place sort of passing. I remember calling him
to see if he was okay. And he said, oh I remember
I saw those women yesterday. That was the one moment when I said, ‘I just need for you to tell me that the decision you’re making
there, that you’re okay. And that you know the barometer of Please I know there’s a line
that you want to dance on and sort of think about,
but please, please, don’t cross it over too far.’ And he was like, no I won’t. And that was literally the one moment that was a real, real moment between husband and wife than producer filmmaker. But, it’s just knowing that, for Mike, he needs to tell this story. Every single person actually
involved in the movie, even Sulem, Jessie, we had
another camera operator Aiden, Michael, a small group of people, everyone kept saying this is to tell the story of these people. We’re telling the fictionalized story, but these people are actually in danger of being held against their will, going through absolute Hell. So, I think having that in
your mind almost overtakes your own reality. It was kind of amazing to just put it all with that intention. – Yeah. The film is great.
It’s very impactful. I hope everyone sees it. When can everyone see it? – You can see it now.
You can see it on Amazon, on Demand, in Demand. We set up a website called Nonamovie.com that will show all the live links of where you can see the movie
and also a call to action of how you can join the fight
to end human trafficking. So, if you want to go to nonamovie.com, that would be wonderful. – Okay. Great. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for giving us this film. And everyone, thank you for watching. (loud bang)

6 thoughts on “Kate Bosworth on Collaborating With Husband Michael Polish for Self-Financed Film ‘Nona’ | In Studio”

  1. That ear is really out there! She shiny oily looking. People think shes beautiful? One of her eyes is bigger than the other too… js

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