Kate Bosworth has taken her acting chops and lent her talents to producing projects, giving more women a voice in the content creation arena. With an upcoming scifi project in the works at Netflix and her latest feature film Nona on the verge of debuting across multiple platforms, we were thrilled to sit down and chat with her.
Kate Bosworth has the work ethic of an Olympian. Fresh off an overnight shoot and a plane from the Dominican Republic to NYC, we caught up with Kate to chat all things Nona.
Nona sheds a light on the harrowing experience of a young girl from Central America tricked into sex trafficking. The film is devastating to watch. Nona was produced under Kate Bosworth and her husband Michael Polish’s new production company, Make Pictures. Nona shines light on the story of a girl from Honduras who meets a charming boy, “Hecho” who promises to get her safely to America, painting a picture of reuniting her with her mother. Instead, Nona faces a perilous journey, which paints a new picture of how we see and deal with sex trafficking.
PPLA: How did this topic come about? Meaning, how did you decide to tackle human trafficking for your film Nona?
KB: My husband Michael Polish wrote and directed the film. He was driving home from work and he actually heard about the sex trafficking crisis in Los Angeles on the radio. There was a sex trafficking house actually pretty close to our home in Los Angeles, and he heard about the bust and came home and said he felt there was an important narrative story there that had to be told.
PPLA: It was real life then that prompted it?
KB: Well he and I knew about sex trafficking and human trafficking before, obviously. But we didn’t know the how it happens, or why, or how easily it is to be trapped into it. A lot of the information you hear on human trafficking is really statistical. You don’t hear or see the humanity of it. It’s like the people are often reduced to statistics when you read or hear about a story. That’s what we wanted to change. We wanted to tell a story that showed the humanity, the people who go through it, you know?
PPLA: Yeah, the story is really heart wrenching; it’s hard to watch. But you really feel for this girl. Why this story?
KB: Thank you. That’s why we made the film. We hoped to show humanity. We wanted to put empathy back into the story, and really put a face to what is happening. With that empathy and through narrative storytelling to hopefully change what’s happening, and bring a different kind of awareness. One with more emotion and to know these are real people, not just a number on a chart. We wanted to tell the how and the circumstances that led them into sex trafficking.
PPLA: I know you didn’t write it, but as a producer was it hard to find the material? This is a topic that’s normally hidden in dark corners and people don’t like to acknowledge it. Most producers don’t tackle it, and they don’t really show the reality.
KB: Human Traffickers want to keep it out of the public eye. Which was all the more reason for us to tell this story. It’s difficult to find legitimate statistics on human trafficking. Early on we partnered with C.A.S.T. Los Angeles, because they’re an organization that has been fighting human trafficking for a really long time, and are legitimate. Producing this project was a really intense experience. It was alot of work, but it was also really heavy. Michael’s mother is from Mexico, and she crossed the border, though he was born here. He wanted to show what it’s like, the journey of crossing South America. That opening shot in the film is in one of the most dangerous cities on Earth. To tell the story the way we wanted to tell it, and for Michael to be able to bring his vision to life as a filmmaker, we decided to finance the story ourselves. But we also faced security issues, we had an ex-Navy Seal go down there to help coordinate. It was also frustrating because I couldn’t be down there and coordinating a lot of the moving pieces for me, had to happen from Los Angeles. And there were so many issues that happened just from the corruption we faced. But that was nothing compared to the subject matter. What the people going through this are facing is nothing in comparison to these issues we dealt with. And everyone was passionate about telling this story and getting it out there, and that came before anything else that we were dealing with.
PPLA: In the film once Nona is in America, we meet other girls who are trapped with her. Why girls from foster care? Is that a thing? Sorry, we don’t know this, we’re curious why or how that ended up being in the story as well.
KB: We wanted to show how there are countless stories of how women end up in sex trafficking, it’s not just one way. How these environments trap them, and it was something (girls from foster care) that took me by surprise. But it makes sense when you think about it. The vulnerability of the kids in foster care here in the US. Foster kids, don’t have a home, and they want a place. That makes them vulnerable.
PPLA: Can we talk about you in the film? You were amazing. It was such a short scene we got to see you in, but it was such a beautiful and nuanced performance. Really moving, it was just a small piece but so powerful, that monologue you gave.
KB: Thank you, I really appreciate that. That monologue haha, I’ll tell you that actually completely changed overnight. That scene was different, and Michael handed me all of that dialogue and everything was different over night. I had literally hours to pull that together. I was so mad at him. But that’s the job, so thank you, and now you know a little of how that came to be.
PPLA: Any closing thoughts, you’d like to leave on?
KB: Please check out CAST LA
*Cast LA is the organization Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish worked with to bring Nona to life. They are an incredible organization which fights sex trafficking every day.