Kate Bosworth, through no fault of her own, is one of those young Hollywood actresses whose personality has been writ large in their absence; altogether human complexities expediently forgotten in favour of half truths, tossed into the frying pan of tabloid hysteria, then reduced and reduced until all that is left are one or two often repeated headlines.
Depending on your reading habits, you could be forgiven for thinking Kate Bosworth was no more than the ex-girlfriend of a Pirates of the Caribbean hero and a size zero celebrity statistic.
Of course, you'd be wrong. So wrong.
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'The obsession with the young Hollywood group happened when I was young and in Hollywood,' she attempts to explain. But you know she doesn't quite understand why or how she became a part of that whole phenomenon. 'It sort of coincided all at the same time… At the time, when you're being dissected and judged it's pretty brutal, but in hindsight it's great and – it sounds clichéd – you do come out the other side better and stronger.'
Can she pinpont when the media attention was at its worst? Without going into specific details she alludes to her split with Bloom in 2005 and other personal, less publicised, problems she was facing during that period. 'Well, now I laugh at it,' she says, 'but it was when I was going through a tough period and I felt like every time I saw the way I looked, I felt like I looked pained. I wasn't pained, but I felt like every time I saw it, it felt quite jarring.'
She isn't being awkward or evasive. She has answered this particular line of enquiry before but you have to dig deep into the cuttings to find her comments on the subject. In the February 2008 edition of American Vogue, for example, she spoke of how when those less informed were speaking about anorexia she was coping with an illness in the family.
Of course, those who had subjected her to so much scrutiny failed to redress the balance when the real reasons behind her shocking weight loss emerged. 'Yeah, because that's not very interesting, is it?' she says, matter of factly. Choosing not to expand any further, she will describe that period in her early twenties as something of, in inverted commas, a 'breakdown'. 'I was trying to formulate my identity in extraordinary circumstances, so that in itself is really quite overwhelming.'
Which experiences, in particular, are you talking about, I ask.
'You know – whether it's the first time you fall in love, or the first time you break up, or the first time someone close to you passes away. Look, some people talk about their personal lives a lot; I try not to, unless it's more of a generality. I don't want to broadcast my personal life because I feel it's off-putting. People are like, "Oh, shut the fuck up. Cry me a river". Who wants to hear the reality, really?
It's true, right? You can't win.'
'So,' I say, 'Orlando Bloom. Who got the dogs?' (Is it just my imagination or, during their two-year relationship, weren't they always pictured walking their two mutts around Hollywood?)
'Who got the dogs?' she laughs. 'Well, we each got one... I love my dog. She's a cross-breed I got off the streets of Morocco and she's so cute. My mum was a real animal person as well, so I grew up with the dogs sleeping in the beds. My boyfriend found that really odd the first couple of times he stayed over.'
How old were you?
'Well, I'm talking about now. My boyfriend now! When we first starting dating.' [For the past two years she's been seeing the British model turned musician James Rousseau.]
You're still sleeping with your dog?
'Oh yeah, always. The dog will stay in the bed before the man will!' [Laughs.]
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The full version of this interview appears in the January 2009 issue of marie claire.