I'm Helen Hunt.

I wrote, directed and starred in the film RIDE, currently available in-theaters and on-demand here.

Looking forward to talking to you. Victoria's helping me over the phone. AMA.


Thanks so much for your questions. Hope you get a chance to see RIDE. And sorry we couldn't get to everyone - appreciate your support!

Comments: 1019 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

chromaticwonder1212 karma

Okie here, When can we expect Twister 2?

Helen_Hunt1048 karma

I'm wondering that also!


I think you're a very attractive woman.

How many times a day are you told that you're beautiful?

Helen_Hunt749 karma

Haha! Not enough.

TheDuskDragon501 karma

Hey Helen! Thanks for doing an AMA. "Twister" was one of my favorite movies to watch growing up and piqued my interest in natural disasters.

How did you prepare for your role as a storm chaser in the movie? Did you ever actually get to see a tornado?

Helen_Hunt736 karma

When we were shooting, there were a couple of tornado warnings, and it became very clear that this was NOT a profession I'd pursue in real life. I met with a few stormchasers. They're a wild bunch.

MinJaLee490 karma

Did you ever play volleyball with Wilson while on the set of Castaway? This is very important to me, thank you for doing this AMA!

Helen_Hunt502 karma

Sorry to disappoint you, but no, I didn't.

marco_esquandolas459 karma

I think after the success of Mad About You, there was an attempt to typecast you.

How have you managed to avoid this and get such wildly different roles (e.g. sex surrogate)?

Helen_Hunt718 karma

Just say no to the parts that don't challenge you, and say yes to the ones that do.

angryjunkie411 karma

Would you be able to be a fan of one of your own films? I ask this because "As good as it gets" is one of those films I go back to from time to time and it never gets old.

Helen_Hunt539 karma

If I wasn't in it, I'd probably watch it all the time too.

sonny411j343 karma

Good afternoon Helen, and thanks for doing this AMA. How do you respond to the fact that you are definitely related to Leelee Sobieski?

Helen_Hunt304 karma

I should be so lucky!

thetiredmomof5234 karma

Do you prefer directing over acting or do you enjoy both the same?

Helen_Hunt328 karma

I honestly hope I never have to choose. Directing suits my personality more, but I've been acting my whole life, and can't imagine not doing it.

robotdebo189 karma

Hi Helen! I just want to say that As Good As It Gets is one of my family's favorite movies. We are very tight-knit and quote references pop up in daily conversation quite often. I was unaware of your new film but will definitely check it out now. My question is:

Do you prefer working in a small ensemble cast such as As Good As It Gets or is it more fun to navigate through a film as a stand alone star with supporting actors thrown in?

Also, can you give us any insight into how it was working so closely with Jack Nicholson and Greg Kinnear on such a successful film? Thanks in advance!

Helen_Hunt300 karma

Always more fun to work with good actors.

I thought Jack Nicholson would be wild and unpredictable, but he's an acting student, just like me, so we got to work through all of our scenes together just like 2 actors would in acting class. It was amazing.

nkleszcz132 karma

Hello! Fun to see your career blossom from teenager to TV star to Academy Award winner to today.

Could you share an interesting anecdote about the making of Twister? That must've been a fun shoot, and with Philip Seymour Hoffman in an early role, I'm sure you'd have some interesting stories.


Helen_Hunt191 karma

I can say that the movie was wild to make. It was before there was a lot of computer-animated help, so a lot of what you see on the film was real to make. It was crazy.

Mischa221B130 karma


Helen_Hunt187 karma

RIDE. Because I got to play in the ocean, all day every day.

Mischa221B118 karma


Helen_Hunt216 karma

My favorite book is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Anything by James Helman is what inspires me the most.

Sarahsays1114 karma

Was it a lot of fun on-set during "Mad About You?"

Helen_Hunt252 karma

Tons of fun. I got to work with some of the funniest people ever. One of the best things about Paul's humor is he's not funny by hurting other people, by making fun of other people, he's just plain funny.

tkousc113 karma

From your IMDB page I see you did voices on the Captain Planet cartoon back in the day. Who's voices did you do?

Helen_Hunt215 karma

To be honest - I have only a dim memory of the whole thing.

roofuskit99 karma

Has anyone ever tried to pick you up with the line, "you make me want to be a better man?"

It's so random that I decided to watch Twister out of the blue today. (You're all huddled in at the drive in right now.)

Helen_Hunt83 karma

Not that I can think of!

Frajer94 karma

What was it like working on The Sessions ?

Helen_Hunt166 karma

It was exciting to be in a movie unlike any other movie I'd ever seen. John Hawkes and I barely knew each other when it started, which was perfectly awkward for the movie. I'm really proud to have been in a movie about healthy sex.

norefillonsleep92 karma

With all the reboots of 80's movies/tv happening in Hollywood any chance of a Trancers reboot or Trancers 7 happening?

You could revise your role as Leena, but instead of Jack you're the one who goes back in time. Pretty much a guaranteed Oscar.

Thanks for the AMA!

Helen_Hunt118 karma

You never know - but I wouldn't hold your breath.

longboardsurfing74 karma

Love hearing that you surf! I've always considered myself lucky that I began surfing 50 years ago, nothing in life quite like it. How did you start and where is your favorite break?

Helen_Hunt105 karma

I really, really wish I'd started 50 years ago!

I like any break that has a small wave and nothing scary on the bottom.

I got started surfing about 10 years ago.

longboardsurfing50 karma

I applaud anyone who begins surfing at any age. I was lucky to have found it as a 10 year old, even though my parents thought I would end up living under a pier somewhere. The most soulful people I know are water people. Ever surf at Sano? Great spot, fun at any size and a mellow vibe.

Helen_Hunt78 karma

I surfed there once. It was tiny, and I was very happy.

BenjiTheWalrus71 karma

What is your take on twisters? Yay or nay?

Helen_Hunt137 karma

I'm anti-tornado, but liked making the movie.

itsDANdeeMAN65 karma

Strawberry or grape jelly?

Helen_Hunt116 karma


IKingJeremy56 karma

What's your favorite show to watch on television right now?

Helen_Hunt183 karma

I'm grieving the end of The Colbert Report. Very into Inside Comedy. I wish Revenge was coming back for a fifth season.

MickeyMcSticky48 karma

Hi, Twister is my girlfriends favorite movie and I'm deathly afraid of tornadoes. I mean really afraid, every time the siren goes off it sends chills up my body and I pack the cats up in a beer box and hide in the bathroom shaking. Can I be in Twister 2?

Helen_Hunt43 karma

Haha! I think that's a perfectly sane reaction.

beernerd44 karma

What inspired you to write RIDE?

Helen_Hunt87 karma

I started surfing 10 years ago, and kept seeing all these moms watching their sons and daughters surfing, and thought shouldn't the moms have a chance to get in the water?

And that's how it all began.

beernerd34 karma

That's awesome. What got you into surfing?

Helen_Hunt69 karma

It's something that I always wanted to do. And then I thought - if not now, when?

SorcerersStoned41 karma

How funny was Mel Brooks to work with on Mad About You?

Helen_Hunt57 karma

Funnier than anyone - ever!

thetiredmomof541 karma

Is there a certain genre of film you prefer acting in?

Helen_Hunt70 karma

No, I like silly comedies and serious dramatic tearjerkers. I like it all.

classicbette34 karma

What are some encouraging words you have for someone learning to surf?

Helen_Hunt70 karma

You're not crazy, it's horrible in the beginning. Keep going.

IKingJeremy29 karma

What is it like to write and Direct a feature film yourself, as compared to being Directed by someone else?

Do you find it difficult, or is it more liberating to be able to do things the way you like?

Helen_Hunt47 karma

Both. There were times, out in the middle of the ocean, when I could've used someone to help me out, and there were other times when being able to make the actor do what i wanted - because the actor was me - was a big time saver.

kdk12k2k1222 karma

Hi Helen! Great to see you in the AMAs.

Is there a role or subject that you’d like to try that you haven’t been able to yet?

As far as scripts go, what would you like to see more of that you think isn’t being written right now?

How did you land the role of Carol in As Good As It Gets?

Along with myself, my mom would like to say hi and add that she’s admired you and your work for years. From both us, we’ve been watching since The Miracle of Kathy Miller and Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

Helen_Hunt30 karma

I'm working on writing a piece about restorative justice, and very excited about that.

Better stories, better stories, better stories. They are rare, because they're hard to do, so any kind of support for writers they can get will make for better movies.

I auditioned. And then auditioned again, and then auditioned again, and finally got the part.

Wow. Hi to you, and hi to your mom.

MattLovesSD2322 karma

I prefer to see movies at the theatre, how about you ?

Helen_Hunt33 karma

Me too, me too, me too!

Musketeer8519 karma

I've always thought that you're comedic timing and delivery is excellent. You've hosted SNL twice with two exceedingly different musical guests. Did you prefer Snoop Dogg or Hansen and if you were asked to host again who would you want to be the musical guest?

Helen_Hunt37 karma

Hard to choose between those two! Springsteen, anyone?

TravelConway18 karma

Hi Helen. Do you ever think that there will be a time when traditional movie theaters will not exist due to the ability to get so much on demand from home TV, phones and laptops?

Helen_Hunt49 karma

There's nothing I would want less than to not be able to eat popcorn at a movie theater.

SorcerersStoned11 karma

Hello Ms. Hunt. Who was your favorite actor to work with?

Helen_Hunt11 karma

I've worked with too many to ever choose. Some of the best actors working in movies have been people I've starred with, so I could never pick.

JabberJawMan10 karma

What's your favorite passion outside of acting/filmmaking?

Helen_Hunt22 karma

Raising my kids!

ImmaBeAlex6 karma

Hey Helen! Did you think the trailer for Cast Away gave away too much of the movie?

Helen_Hunt11 karma

I can't remember ever seeing it!

ishaar215 karma

Hi Helen! Pleasure to meet you. Thanks for doing this AMA.

Just wondering, how do you feel about the scope of the movie industry today? Is it easier or harder for a woman to "make" it? And which actresses do you think are the best of our current time?

Also, I'm a huge fan of Twister and What Women Want! Thank you for such classics. (Btw, were you and the rest of the cast of WWW truly asked What do Women Want? And if so, how did you guys respond?)

Helen_Hunt8 karma

The movie business, like everything else, is constantly changing. It's easier to make movies, but harder to get people to see them. It's an exciting time if you're a new filmmaker, because we're in a time when you can make a movie on your phone and see it projected on a big screen, it's exciting.

I don't remember anybody asking What Women Want!

thetiredmomof54 karma

I read an interview once where an actor said she takes roles that make her uncomfortable / bring her out of her comfort zone. What do you think about this statement? What do you look for when going after a role.

Helen_Hunt7 karma

Some parts are exciting because you have to stretch to play them. Other parts you're just not right for. So every time I read a script, I try to figure out which one is it.

maxthomas3692 karma

Do you know Will Ferrell?

Helen_Hunt3 karma

I did SNL with him once. He was amazing. But we don't hang out.

BeachCop1 karma

Hey, Helen! Good times, Noodle salad! You've been in some really great movies...Cast Away, Pay It Forward, What Women Want (Shut up, guys), Twister, etc...what was it like working with such amazing actors and who do you want to work with before, if ever, you retire?

Helen_Hunt2 karma

I'd like to work with Bill Nighy, and Maggie Smith... The most fun part of directing, or acting, is being around good actors. I've been really lucky.

icameforthecookies1 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA Helen.

Since you were considered a sex symbol back in the day when movies were worth watching, how do you feel about the way sexism is portrayed now for the sake of sales? (BTW, you still got it goin' on.... I'm just sayin)

Helen_Hunt3 karma

I try to choose parts that celebrate men and women. And I feel very lucky to have been in THE SESSIONS that treated men and women so well.