ShoWest Female Star of Tomorrow: Emma Roberts

Like any 16-year-old, Roberts has a life marked by friends, school — she’s a voracious reader who manages a book a week — and favorite TV shows.

Unlike every other 16-year-old, Roberts is the ShoWest Female Star of Tomorrow. This third-generation actor, the daughter of Eric Roberts and niece of Julia Roberts, became a tween celeb in 2004, playing Addie Singer on Nickelodeon’s “Unfabulous” and moves up to movie-star status this summer in the resurrected 1930s teenage girl detective pic “Nancy Drew.”

The ShoWest honor is not lost on Roberts, who is savvy enough to know, “Last year it was Jennifer Hudson and she just won an Oscar.” Precociously driven to act, the actress adds, “I think it’s in my blood. All the Robertses want to be in the movie business.”

In truth, her first memorable movie moment was as Johnny Depp’s daughter in “Blow.” Roberts was 9. With Nancy Drew, a character that hasn’t starred in a theatrical feature since the 1930s, Roberts might just have a franchise to call her own.

“I’m surprised no one’s taken it to the bigscreen in a really long time,” she says, adding, “One of the great things about the film is Nancy’s character stays the same: old-fashioned but timeless.”

As for “Unfabulous,” Roberts recently finished its third and final season. Saying goodbye to the TV show that gave her name recognition was tough. “Nobody was going to cry, and then when they said, ‘That’s a wrap,’ I started getting teary-eyed. Everyone was very sad.”

Now she’s on a break from movie work in order to finish the 10th grade. As Roberts explains: “My mom wanted me to just be a kid. I think it’s boring, but everything happens for a reason.”

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more