From appearing in Taylor Swift‘s music video “Bad Blood” to starring in the new coming-of-age comedy The Edge of Seventeen, it seems like there is virtually nothing Hailee Steinfeld can’t do. Aside from displaying her acting chops, Steinfeld’s singing career is taking off as well. Her collaboration song with DJ and producer Zedd called “Starving” has shot to top spots on international charts. So how exactly did Steinfeld become the singer-actress that she is today? Read below to find out.
Hailee Steinfeld: Rising Hollywood Star
Heilee Steinfeld’s breakout role was in the movie True Grit, in which she took on the role of the feisty and fearless Mattie Ross at just 13. Steinfeld later earned an Oscar for her critically acclaimed performance, and it led to more acting opportunities such as roles in movies Romeo & Juliet and Pitch Perfect. Her latest offering is the comedy drama film Edge of Seventeen, in which Steinfeld stars alongside Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick. With this, she charmed critics during the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and was applauded for her moving performance as teenager Nadine Bryd.
In an interview conducted during TIFF, Steinfeld explained how she considers acting and singing to be closely related. For the role of Nadine, the actress actually turned to music to get into character.
“It’s the only thing I feel that keeps me grounded,” she said. “It’s amazing seeing how they coincide. As an actor, music is so a part of me and my process and my preparation.”
Edge of Seventeen shows Hailee Steinfeld as a character far from her typical Hollywood facade. As Nadine, she brings to life a self-absorbed yet lonely teenager who is upset when her best friend begins a relationship with her popular older brother. In a bid to make sense of what she’s going through, Nadine turns to her eccentric teacher (Harrelson) for guidance. The film, which is the directorial debut of screenwriter Kelly Fremon Craig, has been drawing comparisons to the snarky yet charming teen films of the eighties.
“So much of this character is Hailee, is what Hailee brought,” Fremon Craig said of Steinfield’s performance. “It was so wild to watch her because as she would step into this character the whole physicality would change.”
“I feel like my imagination is so vast because of my acting,” Steinfeld said. “Playing a role like Nadine where I’ve experienced so much of what she’s gone through and I can relate on a spiritual level, there are still things she says and does that I would never have the guts to do and I can write about that as a songwriter.”