Bosworth’s journey from small-town girl to big-screen star and producer.

Kate Bosworth was just a normal 14-year-old girl who loved horses when she tried out for a role in the movie, The Horse Whisperer. Her leap of faith paid off when she landed the part. It was the genesis of her acting career.

Four years later, fresh out of high school and having deferred her Princeton College acceptance, Bosworth landed in Hollywood and dove head-first into making it big. She humbly admits to Jay Shetty that her hard work and determination eventually came to fruition. 

To date, Bosworth’s film credits include Still Alice, Heist, 19 Minutes In Heaven, Homefront, Blue Crush, and many more. 

Bosworth’s accomplishments don’t end when she steps away from the screen, either. Off-screen, she has excelled in the role of producer.  She is also a passionate activist, specifically speaking out against human trafficking.  

Despite all of her success, Bosworth’s time with Jay Shetty was humble and real. She opened up about the journey of reflection and self-discovery she has been on recently.  

Just a Small Town Girl

The story of Kate Bosworth’s success begins long before she was successful. The only child of parents who loved and supported her, Bosworth was raised with horses and high expectations. Landing her first movie role in The Horse Whisperer felt like a dream. Soon, Bosworth was living the life of a teenage actor learning to balance a normal life with having a job working on screen. 

Bosworth told Jay Shetty not everyone was enthusiastic about her success. Her mother had to go to bat when her teachers gave her a hard time about missing class to work. She worried that fellow students found her success and unique life strange. 

Leaving the Nest

At the age of 18, Bosworth had a decision to make, and she knew it had to be her own. Though her parents loved and supported her, they wanted her to go to Princeton College. Bosworth couldn’t shake the feeling that her passion for acting needed to be pursued. She found herself in Hollywood, but it wasn’t without its struggles. 

“I ended up deferring and moving on to Los Angeles and going on like six auditions a day,” recalled Bosworth to Jay Shetty. “I didn't know anyone. I used to go to coffee shops literally just to be around people. I was so lonely.” 

During this time, Bosworth grew the thick skin that often comes with working in the industry. She also grew in confidence and understanding, and she learned how to deal with rejection early on.

“I realized early on to put rejection in its place,” Bosworth told Jay Shetty. “It doesn't belong to me, truly. There's so many factors that go into place with it.”

Bosworth was able to find value in rejection without letting it overwhelm or discourage her. Still, landing in Hollywood meant that Kate’s secure upbringing was pulled out from under her. She had a choice to make:  embrace the unknown or let it cripple her.  

Riding the Wave

Bosworth almost didn’t get a part she really connected with because she couldn’t surf. She hired an instructor, learned how to surf in three weeks, and nabbed the role. This kind of determination is what got Bosworth through and catapulted her success. 

Landing the role in Blue Crush was a big break for Kate, and other offers followed hot on its tail.

“There is no magic wand,” Bosworth explained to Jay Shetty. “There is no secret. I truly believe that determination and dedication and discipline will really take you a long way.”  

Shetty agreed, but he also affirmed other strengths that he sees in Bosworth. 

“You've got all these things that you just mentioned. Those are the ones that we know bring success in any industry,” Jay Shetty reflected. “But then happiness in any industry is going to take everything else you mentioned, like vulnerability and compassion, non-judgment, and not being critical of it.”

See a Need, Meet a Need 

Bosworth is also a social issues advocate. Husband Michael Polish’s growing awareness of the human trafficking that was happening right in their backyard spurred them both to take a deeper look at the issue. 

They put their heads together and got serious about helping. Bosworth joined an organization called CAST, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking.

“We realized early on that we need to have relationships with people who are really on the frontline of this issue and understand it better and more deeply in terms of how we can help,” Bosworth said to Jay Shetty.

This awareness spurred her husband on to write the screenplay, NoNa, the story of a young girl from Guatemala who is brought to the U.S. and all that she endures. Polish’s goal was to shoot his movie in some of the most insecure places in the world, allowing viewers to wrestle with very real issues in the setting in which they happen.  

While powerful, this decision gave the financier cold feet. Months later – and only days away from production – the funding fell out from under Polish’s dream. This didn’t stop Bosworth and Polish. Bosworth decided to fund the movie herself.  

As with anything Bosworth, humility was the name of the game. She told Jay Shetty that she believed so strongly in the message of the movie, she knew her support was needed to get it off the ground. 

Jay Shetty remarked that the weight of what Bosworth and Polish are doing goes far beyond entertainment and commended them for their work.

Get Close to What You’re Afraid Of

While Kate Bosworth spends her professional life acting, her real life is anything but a show. For one thing, she champions honesty and transparency. She is also playful and silly. She’s discovered it isn’t always easy to remaining true to herself in an industry that idolizes performance..  

“I've always been aware that while the industry that I work in is magical and amazing in so many ways, it's make believe too,” Bosworth told Jay Shetty

So what does being real look like to someone who gets paid to portray fictitious characters? It means showing up. It means being vulnerable and honest in communication. It means Kate chooses that vulnerability over anger.  

Bosworth stated she’s learning to embrace what comes instead of feeling a need for control. She stands by saying goodbye in love and moving on with a settled heart.  

Bosworth is committed to looking at fear head on. Learning how to handle fear has changed the game for her. Fear, to her, is one of three things:  fear of the unknown, fear of losing what you have, and fear of not getting what you want. Being able to put the fear into these categories helps her not be paralyzed by it and allows her to think more clearly about how she can tackle a problem.  

“I needed to unplug from that and get very, very genuine with myself,” Bosworth told Jay Shetty. “And the moment I was able to say, ‘This is truly how I feel’, it allowed me to let go of the fear because it was just me. There's nothing really left to hide behind.”

Shetty commented on how vital he finds Bosworth’s voice in spaces like this. The public does not always see the real and vulnerable side of Hollywood, and he commended Kate for sharing hers. 

“You being confident, courageous, and wonderful enough to share this regulatory moment in your life where you're going through deep reflection is great,” Jay Shetty said.

True Love Means Letting Go

This deep wisdom didn’t just happen spontaneously or pop up in Bosworth’s life overnight. The star has been on a journey. 

It has been fraught with doubt and struggle, but she is clinging to a truth that Jay Shetty reminds her of. Bosworth is committed to the journey inward of self-discovery and self-love. She knows it is vital for authentic living. 

“I think it's so important to me to be connected to the heart and the soul,” Bosworth told Jay Shetty. “That was really what triggered this kind of moment of saying, ‘I'm letting it all go for a minute’. Because I just knew, I can't survive truly as a person in the world if I don't have that very, very firmly in place. And it takes a lot of courage actually, to kind of totally reset your soul and your heart that way.”

And that brings Bosworth to where she is now. In a sense, she is risking it all. Stepping back to take space from her marriage and her work to reevaluate and relearn what is important was not a decision made on a whim; it was an imperative one. 

She admits that for a long time, she has leaned on her husband for growth and direction. Now, with his love and encouragement, she is learning to stand on her own and be her own vulnerable and authentic self.  

This has not been easy. Time apart has been uncharted waters for the couple, but they are both committed to a relationship based on honesty and trust.  

“The things that I've really thought about a lot in my relationship with myself and my marriage is this idea of trust,” said Bosworth to Jay Shetty. “Trusting yourself to be vulnerable enough, trusting the other person to be vulnerable with you. The idea of respect to do so and accountability. Those three things ultimately are, it's kind of like the tripod to strong love to me.”

A More Patient Gardener

Through all of the growth and unknown, Bosworth is keeping her wedding vows. She vowed to husband Michael Polish to learn how to be a more patient gardener. Bosworth is living this as she bravely faces her fears with honesty and vulnerability as she walks the sometimes lonely path of self discovery. There is no question patient gardening produces good fruit. 

In both her acting career and her life, Bosworth is reaping the rewards of that work, and that couldn’t make her happier or more at peace. 

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode, “How to Bounce Back From Hitting Exhaustion Spiritually & Mentally” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out his website at jayshetty.me.