You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hailee Steinfeld: ‘True’ story

Youth Impact Report 2010: Up Next

Landing the role of “True Grit’s” Mattie Ross took some perseverance for 13-year-old newcomer and virtual unknown Hailee Steinfeld. First, the Los Angeles-based teen made the requisite video pitch (as did some 15,000 other hopefuls in the nationwide search for one of the most coveted young actress roles of the year). In preparation for her audition with casting director Ellen Chenoweth, she memorized 15 pages of sides; at her callback she read another 25 pages of sides for helmers Joel and Ethan Coen while thesp Jeff Bridges sat in. Despite the pressure, she believes that being dressed in character — wearing an old-fashioned long skirt and buttoned-up ruffled shirt — helped her confidence.

And after the down-to-the-wire audition, Steinfeld’s film career got a major jump-start. “I read on a Saturday, got the call on Tuesday, and then I left a week later, got to the set and started filming,” explains Steinfeld, who lauds co-stars Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin for helping her feel comfortable on set.

Although Steinfeld has studied acting since age 9, “True Grit” is her feature debut. Since the production, she’s shot a Nickelodeon pilot, “Summer Camp,” and a guest spot on short-lived Fox sitcom “Sons of Tucson.”

More Voices

  • Harvey Weinstein Trial

    Column: Documentarian Barry Avrich Ponders Whether Harvey Weinstein Will Be Convicted

    Landing the role of “True Grit’s” Mattie Ross took some perseverance for 13-year-old newcomer and virtual unknown Hailee Steinfeld. First, the Los Angeles-based teen made the requisite video pitch (as did some 15,000 other hopefuls in the nationwide search for one of the most coveted young actress roles of the year). In preparation for her […]

  • Janet Mock Pose

    'Pose' Writer Janet Mock on Making History With Trans Storytelling (Guest Column)

    Landing the role of “True Grit’s” Mattie Ross took some perseverance for 13-year-old newcomer and virtual unknown Hailee Steinfeld. First, the Los Angeles-based teen made the requisite video pitch (as did some 15,000 other hopefuls in the nationwide search for one of the most coveted young actress roles of the year). In preparation for her […]

  • Tony Awards Sightlines Column

    How to Produce the Tony Awards: 5 Unsolicited Tips

    Landing the role of “True Grit’s” Mattie Ross took some perseverance for 13-year-old newcomer and virtual unknown Hailee Steinfeld. First, the Los Angeles-based teen made the requisite video pitch (as did some 15,000 other hopefuls in the nationwide search for one of the most coveted young actress roles of the year). In preparation for her […]

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Cannes 2018's Hidden Thrill: The Opportunity to Find New Voices

    Landing the role of “True Grit’s” Mattie Ross took some perseverance for 13-year-old newcomer and virtual unknown Hailee Steinfeld. First, the Los Angeles-based teen made the requisite video pitch (as did some 15,000 other hopefuls in the nationwide search for one of the most coveted young actress roles of the year). In preparation for her […]

  • Kathryn Bigelow Kathryn Bigelow poses backstage

    It's Time for Action, Not Promises, to Get More Women in Filmmaking (Guest Column)

    Landing the role of “True Grit’s” Mattie Ross took some perseverance for 13-year-old newcomer and virtual unknown Hailee Steinfeld. First, the Los Angeles-based teen made the requisite video pitch (as did some 15,000 other hopefuls in the nationwide search for one of the most coveted young actress roles of the year). In preparation for her […]

  • Netflix Cannes

    Cannes vs. Netflix Defines Fight for Cinema’s Future

    Landing the role of “True Grit’s” Mattie Ross took some perseverance for 13-year-old newcomer and virtual unknown Hailee Steinfeld. First, the Los Angeles-based teen made the requisite video pitch (as did some 15,000 other hopefuls in the nationwide search for one of the most coveted young actress roles of the year). In preparation for her […]

  • Love Never Dies - Utica, NY

    Could 'Love Never Dies' Live Again on Broadway?

    Landing the role of “True Grit’s” Mattie Ross took some perseverance for 13-year-old newcomer and virtual unknown Hailee Steinfeld. First, the Los Angeles-based teen made the requisite video pitch (as did some 15,000 other hopefuls in the nationwide search for one of the most coveted young actress roles of the year). In preparation for her […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content