Helen Hunt Is in the Driver’s Seat: On ‘Ride,’ Sexism, and Ageist Hollywood

The Oscar-winning actress and Mad About You star dishes on her sophomore directorial effort, Ride, and the oft-depressing—but at times encouraging—state of Hollywood.

The parts just weren’t coming. It was just a handful of years after Helen Hunt had won the Best Actress Oscar for As Good as It Gets, and the four-time Emmy winner of Mad About You turned screen star had seemingly aged out of Hollywood—at just a shade over 40.

But Hunt refused to play by the industry’s backward rules. She used her clout to acquire and develop the novel Then She Found Me, a comedy-drama she wrote, produced, directed, and starred in, and like Jodie Foster began directing for television, helming episodes of Revenge and Californication.

In Hunt’s sophomore directorial effort, Ride, now in theaters and VOD, she plays a cynical New Yorker editor who travels across the country to talk sense into her son (Brenton Thwaites) when he chooses to drop out of school and become a surfer. In the process, she falls in love with surfing—and Luke Wilson—which freshens her outlook on life.

“I’m being offered a movie for a studio, and I’ve never done that,” Hunt, who spent five years developing Ride, tells me. “I’m wondering if it’s a giant mistake or not. The wonderful thing about these tiny films is that they’re all yours.”

The actress-director is seated next to me at the Mercer Kitchen in New York City for a wide-ranging conversation about her storied career…

Check out the interview from The Daily Beast.