For 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, being cast in her first film was exciting. To know she would be working with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon in "True Grit" was beyond exciting. To learn that she'd received a SAG nomination, well, you get the idea. Here, Hailee shares her thoughts:
How long have you been awake?
"Probably like 30 minutes. Yes, actually when I woke up, my mom heard me upstairs, and she was like, ĎPeople are calling, they want to congratulate you!í So Iíve been talking to all my friends and family. Itís great."
You were saying it feels like yesterday you were cast in the film.
"Itís funny, because it wasnít too long ago. Obviously, it was a few months ago, but it does feel longer than that. I came in at the very end of the whole audition process and I went in, I was put on tape the first week of January, and read with the casting director, and they told us it would be a month. And five weeks later, I went in to read for the Coen brothers."
What have the last few months been like promoting the film?
"Itís definitely fun, mostly because of the people Iím doing it with. Jeff is so much fun to be around and the Coen brothers are so easygoing. Thereís never a minute I spend with them that I donít want to be there."
Did you ever imagine your first role would be nominated for awards?
"Honestly, no. I immediately think back to the day I was sitting in my room waiting for the call for ĎTrue Grit,í and I thought, whoever gets this job Ė itís like winning the lottery, because itís such an incredible cast and film."
Did it bother you that the Golden Globes overlooked "True Grit"?
"Honestly, I didnít even know it was going on. I was in New York with all my family and my best friend. I had a countdown since 200 days ago for the premiere, so when the premiere came around, I was just looking forward to that."
How was the premiere?
"It was so much fun, oh, my goodness. Everyone was telling me, ĎItís gonna be a lot of fun, and itís going to be crowded,í but it was 10 times more fun than I thought it was going to be."
Had you been to a premiere before?
"One or two. Iíd done a couple red carpets so I would get used to it so I would know what the drill is. I was doing an interview, and someone asked me, ĎHow does it feel?í and it hit me that I was on the red carpet."
Lots of people think you're going to get an Oscar nomination. Is that exciting to think about?
"Sure. Again, I donít think about it too much. I have so many things going on. Itís so crazy, because Iím so stuck in the moment. My birthday was last week. Christmas is in nine days. Thatís kind of the last thing Iím thinking about."
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit." Credit: Paramount Pictures