Hailee Steinfeld began acting at the age of eight when she caught the acting bug after seeing her cousin, True O’Brien, in a commercial. She started her career acting in short films, commercials and TV show guest spots. Her big break happened when Steinfeld was chosen out of 15,000 girls for the role of Mattie Ross in True Grit when she was 13. The role would clinch her Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA nominations and would earn her the distinction of being one of the youngest Oscar nominees ever. Unlike Steinfeld, Blake Jenner didn’t get his big break until the ripe old age of 20 when he won the second season of The Glee Project. Their latest film is The Edge of Seventeen.
Growing up is the great equalizer. No matter your family situation, walk of life, or specific personal experience, anyone who has ever gone through adolescence understands the growing pains and awkwardness that go with the territory when it comes to navigating the transition to adulthood. The times change, the modes of communication evolve, but some things—like the first pangs of love or the sting of a friend’s betrayal— never change.
In the film, Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) and Krista (Haley Lu Richardson of The Bronze) are inseparable best friends attempting to navigate high school together…until Nadine’s older brother Darian (Blake Jenner of Everybody Wants Some) and Krista begin dating. With her view of the world rocked, Nadine is forced to see the people in her life – including her well-meaning but distracted mother (Kyra Sedgwick), and unlikely mentor and History teacher Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson) – with fresh eyes and new appreciation that people—and life—are more complicated than she thought. The film also costars Hayden Szeto (Chop Shop) and Alexander Calvert (Arrow).
Though not as extensive as True Grit, the casting search for the role of Nadine involved over 1,000 girls. Steinfeld was thrilled when she won the part since, besides the obvious paycheck, she loved her character.
“Nadine is so smart, witty, quick, and feels everything. Most times when characters are hit with a curve ball, they try to cover it up or mask their emotions. But Nadine wears her feelings, her heart, and her everything on her sleeve. There’s something so refreshing about seeing someone that feels so much. She’s so desperate for any kind of human connection, it’s amazing to watch her seek that with anyone she possibly can. I’m 18-years old, so I know almost everything in a teenager’s life is, in such a reasonable way, so blown out of proportion. Every little thing that happens is such a huge event. Everything that happens to Nadine means so much. Everything matters. Everything is so deeply felt.”
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