Monday, June 9, 2008
Interview: Abigail Breslin at the Dallas Galleria’s American Girl store
The rising young star has all the dolls except for Ruthie, and I'm betting that one will be added to her collection shortly.
Rising young star (and Oscar nominee) Abigail Breslin met with a roomful of mixed media reporter types at the American Girl store at the Dallas Galleria last Thurs. (June 5). She was swinging through town to promote her new movie, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, which opens June 20 exclusively at the AMC Northpark (and simultaneously in four other key markets), then releases wide on July 2.
It was the first time I'd darkened the doors of the American Girl Boutique and Bistro, but only because I'm not a little girl and don't know any well enough to buy them tony dolls or doll accessories. (Maybe because of my nasty cigar habit.) While I consider this a personal failing, I'm not above admitting my shortcomings and moving forward.
Thus I showed up with camera and audio recorder in hand at the mall, wandered around until I found a sign pointing me toward the American Girl hangout and followed the arrows back out to the parking lot and across the way to the separate structure where the dolls and their high-dollar accouterments hang out. Along with the friendly people who sell them.
The other press folk and I sat and jabbered for a half hour or so in the upstairs conference room that is probably usually occupied by the real Kit and Ruthie along with their behind-the-scenes consultant, Chucky, as they plot ways to expand their world domination of the doll (and doll accessory) marketplace. Which must be a gazillion dollar industry, when you consider the price of the dolls to begin with and the fact that their owners can take them out to lunch at the Bistro whenever their little dollies get peckish. Whatever.
Young Abigail and her troupe of handlers arrived fashionably late, probably due to having to smile and wave and shake hands with the hordes of young fans lining her path on her way up to the conference room. Unfortunately, I was informed that we couldn't take photos during the interview, so my camera transformed itself into the world's most fully-featured paperweight.
Ms. Breslin comes across as a bright and friendly young person - no pretensions, no airs - just a typical kid who actually seems a bit younger than her age (she's 12). Refreshing to see that the acclaim hasn't gone to her head. Yet.
Here are highlights of the 14 1/2 minute audio interview:
* Before immersing herself in the time period of the Great Depression for her role in this movie, Abigail was apparently unfamiliar with the concept of the typewriter: "Where's the screen?" (There isn't one.) "Well, how do you make corrections?" (You don't - you just start over.) "You're kidding!"
* A stunt person stood in for her during the roller skating scenes ("I learned and everything, but they wouldn't let me do it.")
* She already had a collection of the American Girl dolls (she's missing only Ruthie)
* Her grandmother told her a thing or two about the Great Depression in preparation for the film
* In this movie she got to work with kids her own age for a change - they hung out in her dressing room telling ghost stories after the day's shoot while makeup was being removed
* She's worked with Joan Cusack on three movies now (she just finished filming My Sister's Keeper with her)
* As to whether she could handle living in the 1930's: "I don't know. Because I couldn't, like, deal without texting. I don't know what I'd do without my phones."
* When her Oscar nomination (for Little Miss Sunshine) was announced, she was already in bed - her Mom had to wake her up and give her the news.
* Regarding the sweater set she had to wear during summer filming in Toronto: "I was in a really warm treehouse with four other girls and a monkey."