Minot native Josh Duhamel receives honorary degree from UND

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) - North Dakota native and Hollywood actor Josh Duhamel was honored over the weekend receiving an honorary degree from the University of North Dakota.

Valley News team's Cali Hubbard sat down with Duhamel to talk about his successes in life, setbacks and his North Dakota roots.

"Sometimes those things that scare you the most are the things that are the most gratifying in the end," said Duhamel. "Those things that terrify you, if you have the courage to walk through it, you look back and you're like I'm so glad I did that"

Josh Duhamel said that from early on, he's always been very ambitious.

"I went to northern California first, I was going to go to dental school and when I decided not to do that and do this, I really didn't have any other choice, it was either this or bust," said Duhamel.

He soon realized that dental school wasn't working for him, so he took a leap of faith and chose acting.

"This career's a roller coaster ride and every job is an adventure and you don't know when your next job is going to be so you always have to sort of stay hungry, stay motivated and stay on your toes."

In recent years, Duhamel has been the focus of North Dakota's tourism campaign. With any acting gig, Duhamel says many people only see the finished product, what they don't see are his not-so-good days.

"Somebody told me that recently I was going through a difficult time and he said somebody told him that how you measure a man is how quickly he can dust himself off and get back on the saddle, and that was really powerful for me," said Duhamel.

He said the thousands of no's and failures are what makes him so much prouder of the journey.

We asked him what inspires him. He said it's his son.

"I think that once I had my son, it was an opportunity to not only see life through a kid's eyes again, so it brings out the kid in me a lot," said Duhamel. "I want to do things that make him proud. I want to be an example for him rather than tell him what to do. I want to be able to set an example. I think I learned a lot from my dad just by the way he treated people, but the way he went about his business and I want to do the same for my kid."

So what's it like being back?

"I love coming back," said Duhamel. "I spent a lot of time here in college, even though I didn't go to college here, a lot of my best friends did."

Duhamel said he hasn't been the state in while. Only here and there for a football and hockey game.

What's his favorite part about this state?

"My favorite part about this state is not winter," said Duhamel. "Although I think the winters are what makes the people so tough and sort of resilient here. it's carried met through in a lot of ways. nothing seems as extreme as a North Dakota winter so you know if you can get through that, you can get through anything."

But his real favorite part?

"The people, my friends, my family that are still here," said Duhamel. "I just love coming back and seeing everyone. I just love driving down the open roads here. my blood pressure drops quite a bit as soon as I land in the state because there's something calming about it."

He'll always call North Dakota home, never forgetting where he came from."

"There's something about the state and the people of this state that everybody's got each other's backs in some way," said Duhamel. "You know people wave people help somebody if they're broken down on the side of the road, you just don't see a lot of that in California just because there's so many people... you never know who you're going to run into...you just can't trust as much as you can here."