How Kate Bosworth's Life Inspired Her Character In Along For The Ride - Exclusive

Sometimes actors seek out roles entirely different from their own lives, and other times, it's fun and often impactful for artists to draw from what they know. For Kate Bosworth, she'd been itching to get into a more comedic role, and "Along for the Ride" offered the perfect opportunity to have the best of both worlds. Bosworth plays Heidi in the film, stepmom to teenager Auden and new mom of an infant.

More than a few movies and TV shows paint stepmothers in a negative light. They're often either horrible to the kids, ultra materialistic, or super ditzy — there's rarely any in-between. "Along for the Ride" ditches that narrative, depicting a positive, supporting, and loving relationship between Auden and Heidi that extends on both sides. 

During an exclusive interview with The List, Kate Bosworth revealed why she was excited to take on the role of Heidi. She also noted how much of her own experience as a stepmother informed the character.

The role melded on-screen and off-screen experiences

On why Kate Bosworth was excited to play Heidi and what drew her to the role, the actress said, "Playing Heidi was such a true parallel to my own life. That was such a big draw for me in that I've been a stepmom for almost 11 years to a beautiful, young — well, she's still young, but she's a young woman now. She's 24 years old." 

Given that so many film depictions of stepmoms hinge on animosity with the ex-wife and sometimes even the kid, it was nice for Bosworth to show those healthy dynamics that she has in her own life on screen. "For example, her father and I are no longer together, but I will always, always, always be her stepmother. She even said, 'I have two moms and a dad, and I was raised by a whole group of amazing people,'" Bosworth recalled. "I feel like there [are] so many blended families today. It's important to impart the message of raising someone with love and to make sure that you're keeping your eyes on the kid and not yourself, really." And Heidi does just that for Auden. She helps her break out of her shell, find new friends, and explore a different side of herself without being overbearing and pushy. 

She connected to anxiety of meeting a stepkid

Kate Bosworth had some flashbacks of meeting her stepdaughter when she dove into the script. She noted, "I remember when I was reading the script, I was laughing out loud because I thought ... I remember meeting Jasper [Bosworth's stepdaughter] and [sounding so desperate] like, 'Please like me. Hi, I'm Kate. Hi, Jasper. So nice to meet you.'" Some of that wholesome awkwardness certainly plays out on screen when Heidi meets Auden, thanks to Bosworth's experience having that very same conversation in her own life.

Bosworth continued, "Your voice, [goes] up several octaves, and you become this hyper weird human because you're desperate to be liked by a kid. So much of that I put into Heidi. She's a new mom, so she's barely getting any sleep. She's hardly taking care of herself, but she's trying to hold it all together, and she's desperate for this stepdaughter to like her." It's great to see a well-intentioned stepmom on screen who wants the best for her stepdaughter.

"Along for the Ride" is now streaming on Netflix.