Hailee Steinfeld: 10 Things You Should Know About the 'True Grit' Star
Dec 30th 2010 10:00AMBy Nadine Cheung
Hailee Steinfeld has wowed audiences all over with her big screen debut in 'True Grit,' and there's no doubt that she's one to watch. In the film, which is based on the 1968 novel by Charles Portis, Hailee stars alongside Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin as Mattie Ross, a strong-willed teen who hires a bounty hunter to find the man who killed her father.
But since the Coen brothers western is her first major foray into the spotlight, we wanted to know a little more about the 14-year-old star. Here are 10 things you should know about Hailee Steinfeld.
1. She was born in Thousand Oaks, Calif. - Hailee is a California girl all the way. She was born on December 11, 1996, so she just celebrated her 14th birthday 11 days before the release of her film. Which means...
2. Hailee was only 13 when she filmed 'True Grit.' Even though she's a teen, she still plans on going for more mature roles. In a recent interview with BlackBook, she said, "...I have this thing where I'm very tall for my age, so I've kind of been pushed to go for the older roles. When I was 12, I did a pilot where I played a 15-year-old."
3. She beat out 15,000 other girls for the role of Mattie Ross. "You know, I went in that room feeling like what I thought was Mattie Ross," she explained about her audition. "I was dressed in character, I was prepared, and I think that was the first time that I didn't doubt myself in the 5 or 6 years that I've been doing this."
4. She is homeschooled now. At one point, she was going to school part-time, but the administration wasn't supportive of her leaving class for shoots. She also cites social issues as a reason for turning to homeschooling.
5. She starred in a K-Mart back-to-school commercial. Hailee showed off her "blingatude" in a 2009 ad for the retail chain. What do you think of her performance?
6. She knew she wanted to be an actor by age 8. Hailee went to see one of her neighbors in a play and was immediately bit by the acting bug. "It was so amazing to see someone acting up close," she tells ABC News. "And my cousin started doing commercials around the same time. I just found all these different inspirations that drew me into acting."
7. She cried when she saw the final cut of 'True Grit.' "We just all broke down -- my family, my representatives, everyone," she said. "It's a lot to take in."
8. Hailee has a multi-cultural background. Her father is Jewish and her mother is of Filipino, African-American and European-American descent. No wonder she's so beautiful!
9. She starred in seven TV shows and shorts before landing 'True Grit.' According to IMDb, the actress had roles in the TV movie 'Summer Camp,' the Fox series 'Back to You' and more.
10. She raised money for charity by charging her 'True Grit' co-stars cash each time they cursed. "I charged five dollars for the "f" word and a dollar for all the other words," Hailee told Access Hollywood. "They were like, 'This is not fair! You cannot do this!' So, they decided right there they had to designate me a word." That word was "like," and Hailee had to cough up 50 cents every time she used it. All in all, though, she collected $350, which she matched and donated to an Alzheimer's foundation.