Hailee Steinfeld is both an actress and a singer in Hollywood. She’s been in the industry since 2007, but it wasn’t until her breakthrough role in True Grit that people started to pay attention to her. Considering she was only 14 years old at the time, it was pretty astounding that she was nominated for an Oscar at the time. She practically stole the show from Jeff Bridges which isn’t an easy thing to do. She became one of America’s sweethearts almost immediately. Since True Grit, she has taken on one movie after another. We have seen her in sci-fi flicks, Shakespeare adaptations, and comedy. She’s built up an impressive filmography over the years. She was in Pitch Perfect 2 and Pitch Perfect 3 as well. This year she will be working on the movie Bumblebee. But that’s not all she’s doing. She also has a singing career as a pop star. She released three singles over the past year that have been total hits. Let Me Go, Most Girls, and Starving are all hits that have even made it on movie soundtracks, so she’s well on her way to being a genuine pop star. Now she is about to debut her first album and it doesn’t look like she’s going to be slowing down any time soon.
There are plenty of things to love about this 21-year-old actress and singer. Check out these 15 reasons why Hailee Steinfeld is the one to watch.
15 She Has No Interest in Slowing Down
It’s rare to see such a young girl killing herself in the industry. We went through a generation of Hilton’s and Lohan’s where we saw less hard work and a whole lot of partying. But you won’t see Hailee Steinfeld’s name in the news for a scandal, mainly because she is too busy working. “I kind of went non-stop for two years,” she told WIRED at the Sundance Film Festival while supporting her indie film Ten Thousand Saints.
“I love what I do so much that when I do it, I don’t want to stop. But I do get to a certain point as a human where I’m like, ‘I need to go home and get to know my own bed again.'”
It’s definitely the kind of passion and drive that gets you nominated for an Oscar at the tender age of 14. Where does so much passion come from such a young girl? Apparently, it’s what her mother taught her growing up. “My mom taught me to live by the three Ps: to always be passionate, persistent, and prepared.” It’s great advice and it’s clearly worked out for Hailee.
14 She Believes Women Should Band Together
She made an interesting point while she was making her single Most Girls, she wanted to send the message that she doesn’t think that it’s a compliment when a guy says to her, “You’re not like most girls.” In the video, it shows a handsome man telling her just that. Instead of swooning over his compliment she looks like she is unimpressed with him.
“I felt that we’ve been accepting the compliment ‘you’re not like most girls’ for a very long time. I have. I feel like there’s been this golden standard or rule that in order to be special you have to be different from other women,”
she explained to The Guardian. So, what’s her goal then? She wants to empower women to be happy with who they are instead of thinking that they have to be this unicorn out in the world in order to be accepted. “I think this generation of women is more than ever banding together and really lifting each other up, and I think girls and guys are really starting to think that way as well,” she said. It’s definitely a rare take indeed because a lot of women are trying to be different.
13 She Is Part of Taylor Swift’s Notorious Squad
If you want to hear about an exclusive WhatsApp chat, then you have to be part of Taylor Swifts squad. That’s the only way you’re getting into exclusive chats like “squad” or “Taylor Swift‘s BFFs.” Hailee Steinfeld doesn’t have to be worried however because she’s already part of the exclusive squad. The other exclusive members include Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez, Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne. The squad uses the app to keep in touch since all the members are traveling all the time. “We try to [speak a lot],” Steinfeld told BBC Radio 1‘s, Nick Grimshaw.
“It’s so crazy being all over the world at the same time and rarely being in the same place at the same time. But it’s so much fun to stay in contact and find each other along the way and all get caught up.”
She stated that sometimes the best way for all of them to get together is to attend a red carpet event. “When we are all together it does feel like a big reunion, and it normally happens to be when we are all dressed up and look a lot nicer than we normally do, so it looks a lot cooler than it is,” she said.
12 Her Fashion Choices Are Always On Point
For such a young girl, it’s rare to see her have a fashion disaster. She often looks breathtaking when she is on the red carpet. Seriously, she is such a babe in this photo. You don’t get cooler dresses than this one. She’s always had an interest in fashion which is why she takes the care to choose awesome outfits.
“Fashion is something I’ve always been interested in. I used to watch the Oscars but paid no attention to the awards. It wasn’t until I started attending red carpet events and was flown out to Paris for my first show, and saw how much is put into it all, that I had this new appreciation for everything.”
Before she got her big break, she started off as a model. That may have also inspired her fashion sense. “My first modelling job was Gap, and my first time in front of the camera was for a Soda Pop Girls commercial — it’s one of those Bratz dolls, Barbie dolls. one of those.” She’s definitely done well for herself and she’s only 21 years old. She has her whole life in front of her.
11 She Has A Striking Voice
This year we will get the opportunity to see just how well she does once she debuts her first album. If it does as well as her singles have, then she’s going to have her hands full with both an acting career and a singing one. Hailee Steinfeld is a huge fan of Kelly Clarkson and she stated that she was inspired by the singer to have her own career in the industry. She was asked by Kelly Clarkson to come and advise on her team when she was a guest mentor on The Voice.
“I was so excited when she invited me to advise her team because what she didn’t know was that she was a huge influence on me when I was younger,”
Steinfeld told Billboard. “When Kelly was on American Idol my parents surprised me and my brother with tickets to the show. I just remember looking at my dad and having him tell me that one day I would be on that stage too. It was one of those moments that reinforced my dream of pursuing music.” She’s clearly a huge fan. “One of the main things I learned from Kelly is to determine when and where to add embellishments in a song,” Steinfeld explained. “She knows how to choose the right moment to give you that extra wow factor without it feeling like too much. A lot of times singing is based on feelings, but you also need to be able to make smart choices and pick the moments of greatest impact. She’s someone I truly admire.”
10 She Wants Everyone To Know She’s Not Perfect
When you hear her speak you assume that someone so self-possessed and self-assured could never get insecure. But Hailee Steinfeld has stated that she’s not perfect and like any human, she can get lost in the world of trying to validate herself like everyone else. Just because she screams about self-love doesn’t mean that she never falters.
“Sure, I absolutely do. More so than people would think. I feel like it’s just as easy for me as it is for my friends in high school and college and at their jobs to get wrapped up in our ways of finding validation.”
Sometimes she will be scrolling through social media and feeling like she is missing out on something or she’s falling short in some way. “It’s very easy and sort of scary at times,” she admitted. But what she thinks is awesome is that people will still come up to her and tell her how much her song has helped them. “That was a surreal moment. It was everything I wanted for a first single. It was bold. It was a reminder to myself how much self-love and self-confidence means and how important that is. I was about to perform the song on a talk show, I was nervous as heck, and there I was singing, ‘I love myself,’ and that’s the bottom line.”
9 She Was Welcomed Wholeheartedly Into the Pitch Perfect Squad
It wouldn’t be easy to come into an already established squad like the originals from Pitch Perfect. Where else are you going to find a cooler group that has both Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson? Hailee Steinfeld joined the crew for both sequels of the movie. She was asked by WIRED if it was hard to become one of the nerds in the group. “I stepped into a world that was already established,” Steinfeld says. “So I had some catching up to do when I got there, but I was able to jump right in and they were all very welcoming.” She said that filming the movie was like being in a constant music video. She loved the movie because she could be a total freak in it.
“The one thing I loved so much about making Pitch Perfect 2 — especially in comparison to a movie like Ten Thousand Saints — is you can go and be yourself, and you just know that all your weirdness and craziness and imperfections are completely embraced and accepted.”
The movies are awesome and we love that they keep making more of them.
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8 She Got Into Hardcore Punk
One thing that she likes to do to prepare herself for a new role is to make a fresh playlist that will motivate her in that particular role. “Music is a very big part of my preparation as an actor,” she said. When it came time for her to prepare for her role in Ten Thousand Saints, it was very different from the playlist that she was inspired to make for Pitch Perfect. She started to learn a lot about the music that was around the hardcore New York City scene in the 1980s. That’s how she found herself rocking out to hardcore punk music. What were her favorites? She found a love for the Misfits and Black Flag.
“I really was not necessarily into hardcore punk. So, it’s always nice when you have a script that is directly involved with that.”
It’s pretty cool how she uses music to get ready for a role. When it comes to her personal playlists, it varies. “I really love all types of music. I’m really open to that. I really love Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and some James Taylor and Elton John stuff.”
7 A Rite of Passage
One thing about the roles that she has had over the years was that she had a lot of opportunities to show a lot of range in different roles. She doesn’t need to worry about being typecast because she has been in so many different things. In Ten Thousand Saints, she played a pregnant punk teenager. “I feel like for guys it’s maybe playing a transgender [character] and for girls, it’s playing a pregnant teen,” she told WIRED.
“There’s some sort of role that in a way I think some people think is some sort of trend, but it’s really a rite of passage.”
She wanted people to get the real message about what her character went through, not to assume she was just trying to check off a “Knocked Up” role off her bucket list. “People take that and judge that book by its cover, but there’s so much more to it,” she says. “My dad read this script — he’s read every script I’ve read — and he loved this. And of anyone, my dad would’ve been like, ‘No, you’re not doing this because of that.’ But [he saw] this story is so much more than me just playing someone pregnant.”
6 She Got to Be in the Music Video for “Bad Blood”
This was of course before she became part of the exclusive clique. It was a pretty cool video that had a lot of cool people in it especially Law and Order: Special Victim Unit’s Mariska Hargitay. The video took place in 2015 and she was asked by The Guardian if that meant that she was part of the squad now. “It’s so funny, I met Taylor before that was ever a thing. Being in that video was so awesome, all the women in that video are great. The best part was, we were doing it and it was just sort of, as crazy as this sounds, a day with friends.
And then we saw it all together at an awards show on this massive screen and it was just unbelievable.”
What she didn’t expect that there would be a backlash about the video. Some people thought the video was less about friendship and more about bragging about being in a clique. The Guardian interviewer noted that there was a “faintest crackle of tension in the air, a slight stiffening of posture, but her smile [remained] fixed.” Then Steinfeld replied, “I think everybody’s always going to have their interpretation of something. That might be more of a question for her than it is for me. She asked me to be part of it and I felt honored. I loved being part of it; it was great and the video was beautifully done.”
5 She Adores Her Fans
She’s one actress and singer that really appreciates her fans. She wants them to know how appreciative she is of their constant support. She’s not above engaging with her fans and letting them know how cool they are. She loves seeing some of her fans cover her music on YouTube. Entertainment Tonight gave her the opportunity to watch some of the videos and talk about them. “I can’t get over, I mean, these voices. You guys are so amazing,” the 21-year-old singer said. “I just really feel like any song, if you can take a song and strip it down and play it acoustically… I just love something about that because it just kind of, it’s all about the vocal, and it’s all about the lyric in the melody.” Steinfeld hasn’t even graduated from high school yet but she feels like she has learned so much by being out in the world.
“I haven’t even graduated from high school yet — and I’ve realized in these last four years, with all the traveling I’ve done and all of the movies I’ve made, that the world is my classroom.
I’ve experienced things I don’t know you can necessarily get from reading a history book.”
4 She Wants To Work With More Female Directors
Throughout her career, Hailee Steinfeld has been working with a lot of directors both male and female. There was a time when she even had one of each. At this point, she feels that she knows a lot about working with directors. “There’s a different energy with a female director, a female at the head of the production,” she said. “I don’t prefer one over the other, but they’re definitely different experiences, and I would love to have more of them.” Elizabeth Banks was actually the director for Pitch Perfect 2. She stars in all the movies of course, but she did her directing debut for the movie and did a fine job.
“I don’t know how Elizabeth was able to get up every morning and rally 10 females, but she was unbelievable and she really did make an incredible movie,”
Steinfeld says. “She has to have an extremely successful career as a director.” The crazy part is that she has wanted to act since she was eight years old. “Well I was eight years old, and I have an older cousin who is three years older than me and she was doing acting, commercials, and modelling at the time and to see my cousin doing that was really inspiring and I wanted to do it. So I went to my mom and I asked her if I could do it, and for the acting part of it, she made me study for a year.”
3 She Was Nominated For An Oscar
Being nominated for an Oscar at the age of 14 is insane, to say the least. It must have been a pretty big deal for such a young actress. True Grit was her breakout role and she did so well in it that she almost won an Oscar for her performance. “Absolutely. It’s so crazy to be there now, and I didn’t realize that it had been seven years, which makes me feel like I’m getting older in a weird way. That’s a big number! Part of me feels like it was just yesterday, but it was seven years ago! It’s really nostalgic to go back there and go to that party.
It’s fun, you know, just to see the biggest movie stars walking around, some of them holding Oscars in their hands.”
At the time she had said that she couldn’t even believe that she had been nominated. “I don’t know if it has set in or not. Honestly, it’s crazy. It’s such an amazing honor. I remember thinking back to being in my room waiting for the call to see if I got the part. It’s like winning the lottery. I’m proud to be a member of such an amazing cast — that’s the best award of all.”
2 She Wrote A Song
The single that she released in 2015 called Love Myself is not only about personal intimacy, but is also about taking care of one’s needs. Women are becoming much stronger these days and are demanding what they want. A writer for Vulture stated, “Actually, there’s everything right with it: Songs about [it] can be awesome! And playful and sexy and subversively funny. We need these kinds of songs — particularly ones that normalize and even celebrate the glory of [it] — now more than ever.” Steinfeld is clearly unapologetic about how she feels and is determined to be the girl that she wants to be. She isn’t apologizing for who she is and she’s always going to stay true to herself.
“It needs to be said and heard: it’s okay to be who you are.”
Talk about a very inspiring girl. She’s someone young girls can look up to when they feel insecure.
1 She’s Catching Up
It’s not every day that a 14-year-old will get the role of a lifetime like the one that Hailee got in True Grit. Sure, she played a young girl, but she also played a well-rounded and self-possessed girl. She wasn’t weak or silly like some teen roles. She was lucky also not to be typecast since she was so young when she played the role. But it also gave her the opportunity to play many different ages over the years.
“I feel like I’ve been in this like awkward phase of age and height and maturity for like a weird amount of time, and in a super public way. When I was 13 I looked like I could play 16 and I wasn’t mature enough to play 16. So now I’m kind of catching up to myself.”
Sometimes she is playing characters older than her while other times, the character is younger. “It’s interesting because [in] Barely Lethal I play a student in high school, and in Pitch Perfect, I play a freshman in college,” she said to WIRED. “Am I going to be a freshman in college and then a student in high school?”
References: people.com, wired.com, vulture.com, billboard.com, etcanada.com, theguardian.com
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