Some stage parents set up shop in Los Angeles’ Oakwood Apartments until their kids find work. AnnaSophia Robb’s parents prefer to keep her in Denver. The 13-year-old star of “Bridge to Terabithia” only travels to L.A. once a month for meetings.
Still, life is hardly normal. “Since third grade, I haven’t had an actual school picture. I’m always out on picture day and for the retake. Tomorrow will be the first time I’ll be there,” admits Robb, who relishes her dual existence as Hollywood movie star and Midwestern eighth-grader. “I’m kind of amused by middle and high school teenagers because I can step back and watch what they’re going through.”
Robb made her name acting in movies her peers might enjoy, taking major roles in family films such as “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (she played Violet). But as Robb gets older, she’s also selecting assignments with mature subject matter, including this year’s “The Reaping” and upcoming pics “Sleepwalking” and “Jumper.”
The layering of children’s and adult fare isn’t a conscious strategy, Robb insists; she just picks the projects she likes. “All I want is a good script,” she explains. “I don’t make films for fans. I make them for what me and my family like.”
Robb employs an unwavering sense of what she likes and who she is. “I love to read and am kind of different from most of the kids at my school. I hate gossip and being catty and playing games with guys’ minds — I’m not into it. I’d rather be reading a book,” she says. “I have to laugh at it sometimes: You hear stories and then get to L.A. and there are bigger problems. Like world poverty. The kids at my school just aren’t talking about that.”
Recent breakthrough: Played leading roles in both “Bridge to Terabithia” and “The Reaping.”
Role model: “Charlize Theron. She is an amazingly strong, down-to-earth woman who cares a lot about the world. And she’s also a great actress.”
What’s next: Reteaming with “Terabithia” director Gabor Csupo for Walden’s “The White Giraffe” next spring. In negotiations with Disney on “Witch Mountain.”