Entertainment

'I feel like I accomplished something': Hailee Steinfeld on TIFF 2016 closer The Edge of Seventeen

As she prepared for the world premiere of The Edge of Seventeen, the Toronto International Film Festival's closing title, teen superstar Hailee Steinfeld said she felt like it was a defining moment in her career.

Early raves for Steinfeld, co-star Woody Harrelson; film called 'savviest teen comedy in years'

Oscar nominees Hailee Steinfeld, left, and Woody Harrelson are earning early raves for the edgy and poignant coming-of-age tale The Edge of Seventeen, writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig's feature debut, about a self-absorbed teen whose life goes into a tailspin after her older brother starts dating her best friend. (Murray Close/STX Entertainment/TIFF)

As she prepared for Saturday's world premiere of The Edge of Seventeen at the Toronto International Film Festival, teen superstar Hailee Steinfeld said she felt like it was a defining moment in her career.

"I feel like I accomplished something," the Oscar-nominated actor-singer said in an interview before the screening, which served as the festival's closing night film.

"I feel like I met a truth that I haven't maybe in other movies or necessarily with a character like this."

Steinfeld, 19, is getting early rave reviews for starring as heroine Nadine, a socially awkward, self-absorbed teen who revolts when her best and only friend (played by Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her brother (played by Blake Jenner).

'I feel like I met a truth that I haven't maybe in other movies,' actress-singer Hailee Steinfeld said of her character Nadine, a socially awkward, self-absorbed character struggling with high-school life. (STX Entertainment/TIFF)

Woody Harrelson plays Nadine's history teacher, who tempers her melodrama when she confides in him, while Kyra Sedgwick plays her widowed mother.

Charming the critics

Kelly Fremon Craig wrote and made her feature directorial debut on the coming-of-age story, which is charming critics: Variety describes it as "the savviest teen comedy in years," Indiewire says it "resurrects the teen comedy" and the Hollywood Reporter calls it "really, really good."

Steinfeld, who got a best-actress Oscar nomination for playing a farm girl in True Grit, said she was able to help shape Nadine and inject her with a vulnerability she's never tapped into before.

"I've worked with coaches before who've told me before going into an audition — I'm like shaking because I'm so nervous — and they're like, 'Use it,'" said the Pitch Perfect 2 cast member, who will also be in the third instalment.

"I never knew what the meant until I played this part, being able to use everything within me. And there were so many things — dealing with the movie and my personal life and phone calls and this and that and emails and whatever.

"Going to set every day and just putting it all behind me but laying it all out was what I felt I could do." 


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