Hailee Steinfeld Q&A: ‘The Edge of Seventeen’
During our recent webcam chat (watch above), Hailee Steinfeld describes her character in “The Edge of Seventeen” as, “a girl trying to find the answers to so many questions, and some of those questions being as simple as who am I, and what am I good at, and what am I supposed to do to fit it?” She stars in this STX release as Nadine, a bright and awkward high schooler whose life is upturned when her best friend (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her brother (Blake Jenner). Produced by James L. Brooks, the film marks the directing debut of Kelly Fremon Craig and co-stars Woody Harrelson as Nadine’s cynical teacher and Kyra Sedgwick as her combative mother.
The actress, who turns 20 this month, drew upon her own recent experiences as an adolescent for the role. “I was home schooled,” she divulges, “so I didn’t have a traditional high school experience, but I don’t think that in any way removed me from who she is. In some ways, I’m convinced it helped me, because I really knew what that sense of alienation felt like when you walk into the hallways of a high school and it’s just complete chaos, and you don’t know what to do or where to look.”
Steinfeld snagged a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination when she was just 14 for her feature film debut “True Grit” (2010). “I still have yet to figure out a way to form my thoughts on that,” she reveals. “I look back on that experience and feel like I do have way more of an idea now as to what that was and what it all really meant than I did, or probably ever could as a 14-year-old.”