Surf’s up! When she is not captivating audiences on the big screen, you can probably find Helen Hunt at the beach. The Soul Surfer actress is often photographed catching some waves in gorgeous swimsuits.
Helen starred as surfer Bethany Hamilton’s mom, Cheri Hamilton, in the biographical drama in 2011. Filming took place in Hawaii, allowing the Academy Award winner to work on her surfing skills and soak up the sun in between shooting scenes. Soul Surfer isn’t the only surf-centric film Helen has been a part of.
In 2014, the sitcom star wrote, directed and starred in Ride, a drama featuring Luke Wilson and Mike White. She got the idea for the film during a trip to Hawaii a decade prior to its release.
“I was nine months pregnant, and we’re [on] the side of the road looking out at the ocean,” she recalled of the time she saw a mother surfing on the beach during a March 2015 interview with Yahoo Movies. “She got out of the water, put her surfboard down, took a bottle of water and poured it on her breast and started nursing. I thought, ‘I want to be her.’”
It wasn’t only Helen’s interest in surfing that she incorporated into the film, adding, “There’s a lot in this movie that’s me.”
The inspirational actress welcomed her daughter, Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan, in 2004 with ex-boyfriend Matthew Carnahan. She also became the stepmother of his eldest son, Emmett Carnahan, whom he welcomed during a previous relationship. The Cast Away actress and the Dirt creator broke up in 2017 after 16 years of dating. She has always remained grateful for the family they started together and the positive impact that being a mom has had on her career.
“When I started writing, my daughter was very young, and I kept hearing these terms — ‘soccer mom’ or ‘surf mom.’ And I was like, these moms, what? They’re just sitting there? Their job is just to sit there and watch their sons and daughters play?” she reflected on her surfing journey and writing Ride in a May 2015 interview with ESPN. “And I began to think about how vitally important it might be for the moms to get off the beach and get into the water, or whatever their version of getting into the water is.”
After her film’s release, Helen shocked fans when she revealed that she did not go to the gym and instead achieved her toned bikini body in other ways.
“I don’t go to a gym ever. I don’t diet ever,” she told Healthy Living in April 2015. “I used to diet but sometime after the ’80s, it made me miserable, but I do like to walk, run and I do like to surf when I can just to warm it up, and I do enjoy doing yoga when I can get there.”
Keep scrolling to see Helen’s bikini photos.
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