Exclusive Interview: Emma Roberts TAKES ON "Nancy Drew"
By Paul Fischer
At a mere 16, Emma Roberts has evolved as one of Hollywood's bright and popular young actresses. After generating buzz as Julia Roberts' niece and flashing the same familiar, wide smile, Emma Roberts charmed teenage girls across America in the lead role in Nickelodeon's "Unfabulous", now in its final season.
The actress is the daughter of Oscar-nominated actor Eric Roberts, who is Julia Roberts' brother. The young actress grew up with her mother Julia Cunningham. Her parents split shortly after she was born. Although Eric and Julia have been reported to have a distant relationship, Emma Roberts was always described as being very close with her lookalike aunt, making her foray into show business almost inevitable. Emma Roberts' first role was in the short "BigLove" (2001) playing one of the daughters of Sam Rockwell and Mark McCormack when she was 10 years old. In the movie, her neurotic parents had to go to heroic lengths every morning to help get their children ready for school. Her next role was the same year in "Blow" with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, but her scenes were ultimately deleted.
In 2002, Emma Roberts played the sister of Buddy, a spunky boy with a prize-winning calf in "Grand Champion" (2002) with Joey Lauren Adams. She followed with "Spymate" (2003) with Richard Kind, in which she played the daughter of a former spy. When one of her father's nemeses kidnapped her, the rusty spy and his chimp sidekick had to get their act together to save her.
The following year, Emma Roberts was tapped for the role of Addie Singer in Nickelodeon's hit "Unfabulous" where she plays a clumsy but bright teenager who fumbles her way through horrific junior high embarrassments, such as landing head first in a punch bowl. Spending much her time holed up in her room, singing and writing songs, her Addie role was a portent for her budding musical career. Also in her "Unfabulous' capacity, Emma Roberts became one of the first teen actors to write a blog about making a TV show. On the Nick Web site, Emma Roberts gave fans a primer for Hollywood lingo, such as the definition "wrap party" and describing behind-the-scenes antics.
Emma Roberts broke into the music business with a song on the "Ice Princess" (2005) soundtrack. The movie was a vehicle for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer's" Michelle Tractenberg. Chronicling the travails of becoming a champion figure skater, the film was marketed straight to Emma Roberts' core demographic of female teens. The actress followed up with her first album, "Unfabulous and More: Emma Roberts" (2005) on Columbia Records, but it made few headlines in the U.S.
In Emma Roberts' latest film she plays the titualar teen detective in "Nancy Drew, prompting the actress to read up on the classic sleuth's adventures for young readers. She talked exclusively to Paul Fischer. Paul Fischer
: Let me start off by asking you, at your age what the challenges are for you to find something that really appeals to you as a kid and as an actress. Emma Roberts
: Yeah, if I make something appeals to me it's kind of challenging, but I mean I read the Nancy Drew script and I loved it. I loved the character, and the whole idea. Paul Fischer
: Was it important for you go back and read any of the books or do you feel that the script stood up pretty much on its own? Emma Roberts
: I read a few of the books. Paul Fischer
: And how different is the Nancy Drew of the 21st century to the Nancy Drew that was originally created decades ago? Emma Roberts
: Yeah, Nancy Drew was created in like the 30s so she's very old. But in the movie her character stays basically the same as she was in book, but they just updated the story kind of around her. Paul Fischer
: Are you a fan of kind of detective stories and that kind of stuff? Emma Roberts
: Yeah, I love mysteries and I love the whole detective idea and I think it's so fun. Paul Fischer
: How much of you do you think there is in this Nancy Drew character? Emma Roberts
: Oh I mean we're both ambitious and determined and also very curious but I mean she's much more of a neat freak than I am. Paul Fischer
: So are you very messy? Emma Roberts
: My room is always a mess because I always just like throw my clothes everywhere. Paul Fischer
: Which must make your parents really thrilled. Emma Roberts
: Yeah. Paul Fischer
: Why did you decide that you wanted to be an actress? What was it about acting that really appealed to you? Emma Roberts
: I just always loved being on sets. I loved the whole idea of getting to play different characters and getting to tell different stories. I just loved it and had so much fun with it. So ever since I was younger visiting my aunt's set and my dad's set I've always wanted to be an actress. Paul Fischer
: Did you have a wild imagination when you were a lot younger? Emma Roberts
: Yeah I would always be playing like dress up and doing shows and, you know, just always like 'acting' I guess. Paul Fischer
: How old are you now? Emma Roberts
: I'm sixteen. Paul Fischer
: So do you see yourself as doing this for the next twenty or thirty years or do you have other ambitions besides acting. Emma Roberts
: Well, well see I'm really interested in photography and fashion and I love to go to college for either of those and maybe political science. Paul Fischer
: Why political science? Emma Roberts
: I just recently got interested in politics and I want to be First Lady, so I think that'd be fun. Paul Fischer
: In order for you to be First Lady though you have to marry the President. Do you have somebody in mind? Emma Roberts
: No, not yet. Paul Fischer
: Tell me about your TV show. Is that still happening and how much more have you to go? Emma Roberts
: Yeah we finished the third season and it's going to end September and that's the last season. Paul Fischer
: Was it sad to say goodbye? Emma Roberts
: Yeah it was sad but I had a really good three years on it and now I'm kind of ready for other things. Paul Fischer
: So what else are you looking for at the moment. I mean what kind of other things are you signing on - have you signed on for anything else? Emma Roberts
: Yeah I'm going to England on Monday to start shooting a movie called Wild Child which is the working title. Paul Fischer
: Who else is in that? Emma Roberts
: They're kind of getting all of that together right now. Paul Fischer
: What kind of character will you be playing? Emma Roberts
: I'm playing a bad, mean girl who's at a boarding school in England. Paul Fischer
: Are you looking forward to doing that? Emma Roberts
: Yeah I'm so excited. Because I've never done it before so it's going to be really fun. Paul Fischer
: Is it going to be a real stretch for you to play that or do you think there's a bit of a mean streak somewhere in any of us sometimes? Emma Roberts
: Well the character is very sassy and I can sometimes get sassy a little bit. Paul Fischer
: How excited are you about working in England? Emma Roberts
: Oh I'm so excited, I love England and I get to go over two and a half months Paul Fischer
: So you've been before? Emma Roberts
: I went for like a couple weeks ago but only for a few days so I'm excited to get to go there for a long time. Paul Fischer
: What do you think Nancy Drew is going to say to young girls who come and see it because obviously that's the type of audience? What do you hope they get out of it? Emma Roberts
: I mean I hope the character is very genuine, and is not afraid to be herself and I hope that young girls can take that away from the movie.
For generations of fans worldwide, the name Nancy Drew is synonymous with adventure. This young amateur detective has a mind of her own, a passion for solving mysteries and a reputation for getting into--and out of--some very tricky situations.
This summer, "Nancy Drew" brings the timeless heroine to Los Angeles, where she is faced with a fresh set of challenges and her most baffling case yet.
EMMA ROBERTS stars as the resourceful teen detective, who leaves her friendly hometown of River Heights for the West Coast and enrolls at Hollywood High School. There, her unique personal style immediately sets her apart from her self-absorbed, fast-living peers, especially reigning fashionistas Inga and Trish, who can't quite figure her out but know that everything about her is different--from her super-smarts and retro manners to her perfect picnic lunches and penny loafers.
Their less-than-warm reception might bother the average new girl in town, but not Nancy. She has more important things to think about--namely, a brand new mystery.
Even though she promised her worried Dad (TATE DONOVAN as Carson Drew) that she'd quit the "sleuthing" business, it isn't long before Nancy gets a lead on one of the greatest unsolved cases of all time: the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of famous actress Dehlia Draycott. It happens that the Drews are staying in the former Draycott mansion, long reputed to be haunted and now a site where some very strange things have been happening. How could she resist?
In Cinemas June 28th
3 New Nancy Drew PC Games now available: www.girl.com.au/nancy-drews-games-white-wolf-creature-kapu-cave-danger-by-design.htm