Interview By: Andrea Tuccillo
Abigail Breslin has accomplished more than most people twice her age. Nominated for an Academy Award at the ripe old age of 10 for her role in Little Miss Sunshine, Breslin proved she was a pint-sized force to be reckoned with. But growing up on movie sets hasn’t diminished Breslin’s child-like spirit. She’s not prematurely wise or jaded. She almost always describes a movie experience as being “really fun” or “pretty cool,” gets excited when talking about her pets (she has 2 dogs, a cat, and a turtle), and seems very close with her family.
In her latest film, Definitely, Maybe, Breslin plays a young girl whose parents are in the middle of a divorce. She presses her father (Ryan Reynolds) with questions about love and asks him to tell the story of how he met her mother. For then on, she listens intently as her father talks about the three main relationships in his life and in the end she just might help her dad find true love again. So was Ryan Reynolds anything like Breslin’s real dad? “They’re pretty different!” she says. “But in the movie Maya can talk to her dad about anything so that’s kind of the same. I can talk to my mom and my dad about anything.”
In order to bond as father and daughter on-screen, Reynolds and Breslin visited the Museum of Natural History together and faced off in their own personal dance competition. But as it turns out, there is still some dispute as to who the winner was! “He thought that he won,” says Breslin. “No, he didn’t. The only reason he could’ve won is because he did cartwheels, which is like illegal to do because I don’t even know how to do a cartwheel. I can’t even do a handstand so that’s not fair, I think.”
Shooting for Definitely, Maybe took place on location in New York, which made Breslin
Filming in the middle of New York City tends to draw crowds, but this doesn’t bother Breslin one bit. “I don’t mind, I think it’s really cool,” she says. “When you film a movie you’re usually in a studio so the people who are there are usually just people who are working on the movie.”
She doesn’t always have the luxury of filming in her hometown. Work often requires her to travel, but she has ways to keep from being homesick. “Well I would really love to bring my dogs with me, but since I can’t really do that I bring my computer so me and my brotherâ€”I was just in Australiaâ€”so we video-chatted. I bring my stuffed animals sometimes and that kind of stuff.”
Breslin was in Australia filming the adventure flick Nim’s Island, co-starring Jodie Foster and Gerard Butler. While there, she got to do some exciting stunts. “I got to ride on a sealion and that was pretty fun,” she says. “I’ve never done that beforeâ€¦The sealions were so cool. They put this kind of harness around them and it has these two handles on it and so you hold onto them and he goes underneath and then back up. The tricky part was keeping your eyes open under water because the water’s like going back into them, but it was really fun.”
She also got to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, and get up-close with some of the other native animals. “I held a koala and I got to feed a kangaroo,” she says. “They’re really
The busy little Breslin also completed another film due out sometime after Nim’s Island. Kit Kittredge: An American Girl is based on the popular American Girl dolls and takes place during the Depression. Playing Kit was a dream for Breslin because, she says, “I love those dolls. I have like almost every single one.”
She even got to experiment with a short-hair wig for the character. It’s a hairstyle she’d never sport in real-life though. “I don’t know how it would be having short hair and not being able to put it in a ponytail,” she says. “I would probably freak out. I don’t think that I would ever cut it short and plus my dad doesn’t let me cut it at all.”
Her movie career is hotter than most adults’ careers, but with her adorable innocence still intact Breslin barely seems to notice. She’s just a kid having the time of life.