Fresh Face: Hailee Steinfeld

In her debut feature role, Hailee Steinfeld (who turns 14 on Dec. 11) portrays Mattie Ross, the central character of the Coen brothers’ upcoming “True Grit.”

The remake adheres more closely to Charles Portis’ novel than the 1969 pic that won John Wayne his only Oscar. Nonetheless, Steinfeld watched it several times.

“Kids didn’t have a say in what went on,” says Steinfeld, who was challenged by the post-Civil War-era mindset that children are better off seen and not heard mindset.

“Working with the people I did was a huge help; I learned a lot from them by taking it all in,” says Steinfeld of her co-stars Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. She also credits her perf to her personal acting coach Michael Woolson. Her character’s horse also gets a shout-out for being “so much fun to ride.”

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