Hailee Steinfeld on the lessons she learned from Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges

Actress Hailee Steinfeld has spoken about how important the advice she received from Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin was after she became an Oscar nominee at the age of 14.

Hailee, 19, became one of the youngest Academy Award nominees ever when she received a best supporting actress nod for her role in True Grit.

Hailee at the Oscars (Ian West/PA)

The actress, who will next be seen in edgy teen drama The Edge Of Seventeen, told the Press Association: “I have worked with so many incredible people that have given me advice that I don’t even know that they were aware they were giving me advice in that moment.

“But just being in the presence of so many incredible people, I have learnt so much – Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon and Josh Brolin and everyone on True Grit basically told me: ‘Every day have fun, don’t take life too seriously’ and that’s the best ever because it’s so easy to get wrapped up and caught up in the craziness, and when you realise you just like to have fun, it’s a good reminder.”

She added: “I worked with the greats and they all, without even knowing, taught me this incredible lesson and being in their presence for one, watching them come to work every day, they were passionate and prepared and professional and kind and they would come to work every day and be all of those things and go home to their families and the next day they would come to work again and they had the absolute most fun doing all of it.

Hailee with Josh and directors Ethan and Joel Coen (Evan Agostini/AP)

“Watching that – the continuity they put into their days, although you never live the same day twice, they made me realise that it’s as easy as it is to get caught up in everything, it’s really easy to stay focused.”

Hailee eventually lost out on an Oscar, with the award going to Melissa Leo for The Fighter, but said the experience made her want to work harder.

She said: “I mean, the only thing that changed was my schedule – it got a lot busier but nothing in my personal life changed. It’s only made me feel like I’ve got to work harder, which I love.”


The actress, who is also currently riding high in the UK charts with her single Starving, described the frenzy that surrounds awards season as a “grown up thing to go through”, but added: “Luckily I had the best people around me that made me feel like I was 14 and, you know, so many people took me by the hand and showed me the way entirely.”

She credits her parents, with whom she still lives at home in Los Angeles, as the reason she has not gone off the rails like other child stars, saying: “My mum and dad have a lot to do with it. I owe it to them.”

She added: “I have never felt what I do has affected me personally in that way. I still live at home with my parents, I live in the same house I grew up in, my personal life – my family – everything is the same.

“The only thing that has really changed in my life is my schedule and how much busier I have gotten over the last couple of years of my life and the fact I get to do what I love and I am supported by the people that I love.”

The Edge Of Seventeen is released in UK cinemas on November 30.


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