Photograph by Steven Pan/Courtesy of The EDIT
March 05, 2015 09:00 AM

If Kate Bosworth seemed aloof as a young actress, it wasn’t because she thought she was all that. In fact, quite the opposite.

“I was quite armored for a lot of years,” Bosworth, 32, tells The Edit for a story this week. “I had been going through such a hard time [in my 20s]. I felt like it was me and my experience was unique, when actually everyone goes through these challenges.”

The actress, currently filming 90 Minutes in Heaven with director husband Michael Polish, credits famous friend Helena Christensen – and an influential guidance counselor – with helping her break free from the isolation she felt for years.

“I hadn’t seen Helena in a while, and I just said to her, ‘God, I am struggling … I’m feeling quite lost,’ ” she recalls, saying Christensen replied, ” ‘You should have called me! I have been through that so many times.’ And that was when the penny finally dropped. I thought, ‘Okay, I need to share my life, particularly with more women, and feel comfortable about being vulnerable.’ ”

Kate Bosworth
Photograph by Steven Pan/Courtesy of The EDIT

Bosworth, who is currently collaborating with Matisse footwear to launch a shoe line, passed up an opportunity to attend Princeton University to pursue her acting career (following her breakout performance in The Horse Whisperer when she was just 14) and admitted trying to navigate the adult world at just 18 was challenging. Today, she encourages young people to seek mentors.

“I started too young and I had to white-knuckle it a little bit,” she explains. “I kept things too bottled up. I just put my head down and fought through it, and I wish I had sought more guidance.”

Today, she has a mentor and partner in Polish, and likens their collaboration to some of the greats.

Kate Bosworth
Photograph by Steven Pan/Courtesy of The EDIT

“I think most actors do their best work when they find the right director,” says Bosworth, “Whether it’s [Martin] Scorsese and [Robert] De Niro, or Penélope [Cruz] and [Pedro] Almodévar, they find their person. It is a shorthand, and a very special relationship.”

She says their bond was initially career-oriented but then grew into something more.

“I found love with him as a director first,” she said of Polish, who first directed her in Big Sur in 2011. “It started to twist from, ‘I want to work with him all the time’, to ‘I want be with him all the time’. And I remember thinking that wasn’t normal, and that maybe this wasn’t just an artistic connection.”

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