Image Credit: Lorey Sebastian When the Coen brothers cast their net for Mattie Ross, the pivotal role in their adaptation of the beloved western True Grit, they met with nearly 15,000 girls. The one left standing at the end of the audition process was 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, who up until then had only appeared in a few shorts and a couple of bit parts on TV movies. Steinfeld was the greenest of the five promising child stars — Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka, Let Me In’s Chloë Grace Moretz, Modern Family’s Rico Rodriguez, The Last Airbender’s Noah Ringer — EW recently gathered for a new twist on the actors’ round table.
Steinfeld was sweet and refreshingly innocent, clearly thrilled to sit down with her more wizened peers. “Everything I do now is a first,” she said. “I’ve never done this type of interview before.” She revealed that she had once tried out for the role in Diary of a Wimpy Kid that went to Moretz instead. When it comes to former child stars, she looks up to the likes of Jodie Foster. People tell her she resembles a young Diane Lane. (It’s true.) As you’ll hear in the video below, the road to Mattie was a long and arduous one. And when it comes to her True Grit co-star Jeff Bridges and his divine resume, she bows down before the Dude.
For more on The Kids’ Table, check out the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, and view our bonus interview with newcomer Hailee Steinfeld in the video below.