As Kate Bosworth asks me how I spell my first name, it is clear that she has an affinity for others. She tells me that my name, Kasey, has been on her mind because she’s playing a character called KC in an upcoming Netflix series, The I-Land. Since landing her breakout role in Blue Crush back in 2002, Bosworth has dipped her toe in all depths of water, in terms of the variety in film and television roles. Her latest big picture venture is a partnership with her husband Michael Polish, under their joint production company called Make Pictures. The film, Nona, tells the heart wrenching story of Central America’s sex trafficking industry.
From discussing how to create an important narrative on such a sensitive subject matter in the couple’s kitchen, to releasing the film into the world, Bosworth says she feels humbled and excited. “The overall feeling on this movie has been so much bigger than us. The real goal is to draw more attention to the cause. It’s a different way to represent a movie,” she describes.
Nona follows a young girl named Nona who comes from a poverty-stricken area in Honduras, played by actress Sulem Calderon. She becomes enamored by a charming American boy who promises her a new life filled with opportunity and excitement. “The majority of the movie is this beautiful, coming of age traveling tale. Until [Nona] realizes that it is not what it was seemed, in terms of her relationship with the boy,” Bosworth says of the film. The realization comes when Nona finds herself involved in the hideous world of sex trafficking. “We thought we should start with the ‘why’ of it, and lead with the humanity of the story,” she says of how her and Polish approached the creation of Nona. “The audience needs to meet this young girl and see that she is innocent and full of hope and optimism. It’s about the humanity of the story.”
Upon researching sex and human trafficking, Bosworth says that she and her husband uncovered such a dark and disturbing truth. “It is such a hidden secret tragedy. [The victims] live behind closed doors and are like faceless strangers. They have these horrific experiences and I think it is a statement to say that every person has a name and every person has an identity. They are not just a statistic like, one out of a million that we hear on the news.”
Though heartbreaking and emotional, the subject matter struck Bosworth and Polish as imperative to show to the world. The pair worked with several different organizations such as CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking) that are fighting against trafficking and dedicating themselves to improving the lives of the victims. “It renews your belief in human beings when you see people who are literally existing to combat this. It’s seeing the best and worst in people,” Bosworth says of the experience.
While filming Nona in Honduras and seeing first-hand how horrific some people’s situations are, Bosworth says herself, Polish and the entire crew were inspired to tell the story of Nona. “I think we were filled with a superhuman spirit in a way. Seeing people in these situations gave us strength to tell the story.”
Nona, starring Kate Bosworth, Sulem Calderon, Jesy McKinney and Jasper Polish, produced by Make Pictures production company, is in theaters now.