Helen Hunt wrote and directed her new film Ride, and she stars in it as well, for a very good reason: she didn’t think another actress would tolerate what the role called for.
Hunt says that the film–which focuses on a mother so devoted to her son that she moves across the country with him to take up surfing–required her to be in the ocean for hours at a time, something she didn’t want to ask of another actress. The perks, however, were worth it for her.
“I was in the ocean for nine hours at a stretch. There is nothing that right-sizes you more than that beautiful, big body of water,” she said in a recent interview.
The film has earned good reviews so far, despite garnering annoyance from critics for several scenes featuring “shrill” arguments between Hunt and her onscreen son, played by Brenton Thwaites. Thwaites, a young Australian actor, fought hard for the role, however, something Hunt says she was impressed by.
“I wrote it as a love story between a mother and a son, so it was all about who was gonna be this boy and Brenton came in to audition. I didn’t know what to do because he’s gorgeous and kind, clearly on his way to being a movie star, no doubt about it, and totally wrong for what I wrote,” Hunt said.
Hunt isn’t afraid to fight for a part she really wants, either; that’s exactly what she did with As Good As It Gets. She also has no qualms about doing whatever is necessary for a role; aside from spending hours in the water for Ride, she got completely naked in order to film sex scenes in The Sessions, something she said she was extremely nervous to do, but didn’t feel there was another way to go about.
“No body make-up, because that gets sticky and creepy. So I did it naked. All naked. Butt naked. Totally completely naked. Naked beyond just naked. My jaw dropped at the prospect. When I was about to take my clothes off, my palms started to sweat,” Hunt said.
Helen Hunt says she’s working on writing a new screenplay, but is also developing something for television, which will make Mad About You fans very happy.
“I’m developing a show with my partner (Matthew Carnahan) that is wild and weird and I hope we get a chance to make it. I’m smart enough to not have any prejudice about the size of the screen. It’s the part and the writing and the story.”
[Photo courtesy of YouTube]