Abigail Breslin truly is an all ‘American Girl’

Wed, 07/09/2008 - 8:55am
By: Emily Baldwin

In a time when the nation is facing economic uncertainty, it just might be the perfect time for a film like “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” to hit theaters. The film takes place during the Great Depression and proclaims the message of being thankful for what we do have, even in hard times.

The film stars pint sized actress Abigail Breslin, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in “Little Miss Sunshine.” Now she takes on the title role in “Kit Kittredge” with the same ease of the experienced actors she stars alongside. This talented actress may only be 12, but her maturity belies her age. She is humble and polite, focused and happy. In a recent interview with Breslin, it became clear right off the bat that she is a fun, outgoing and down-to-earth little girl.

In many ways Breslin is just like other tween girls, despite having international recognition. This became clear when she spoke about her favorite part of making movies: “Just getting to be someone new,” she said. “My favorite thing is to read the script and then go to a wardrobe fitting for it, because I get to see who the character is. So it’s fun.”

Breslin is the youngest of three and older brother Spencer is a successful actor in his own right. Breslin got her start as Bo Hess in the film “Signs.” Since then her career has taken off and she has worked nearly non-stop the past six years. This year alone, Breslin has had three films premiere.

When she was given the opportunity to take on the title role of her latest film, Breslin “was really excited.”

“I collected all the dolls and Kit was actually one of my favorites,” she added.

The experience also served as a talking point between her and her grandmother. “My grandma grew up in the Great Depression, so we got to talk a bit about that. She told me about like how everybody back then was in the same situation, and how [in the movie] all the clothes looked really authentic.” Along with her discussions with her grandmother, Breslin says she read all of the American Girl books while filming the movie.

Breslin recognizes the timelines of the film, saying that the message is “about family and friends pulling together during a hard time.”

Although Breslin’s film sets are typically predominated by adults, this film gave her a few more kids her own age to hang out with. “All the kids were really nice, so it was fun,” she said. “They fit the characters so well that it was cool. There were a couple days where me and a couple of the other kids went out to dinner.”

Attesting to just how young she really is, Breslin tells an anecdote about being on the set of a Depression-era film, using props of the time.

Breslin giggles as she relates the memory, “The first time I ever used the typewriter, I was like ‘Where’s the screen?’ and they said, ‘There is no screen.’ I said, ‘Well what do you see?’ and they said, ‘You see the paper,’ and I said, ‘How do you delete stuff,’ and they said, ‘Well you don’t.’”

And even though she’s been working for the last six years, don’t get any ideas that her allowance is anything other than what a typical girl her age would get, it’s probably even less.

“I get $12 a week because we do it based on how old we are,” she states matter-of-fact. When she was 11, she received $11 a week and when she’s 16, she’ll get $16 a week.

When Abbie, as she is called by family and friends, grows up, she wants to either continue her work as an actress or she wants to be a veterinarian.

Her love of animals is evident – she has two dogs, two cats and a turtle. She’s not satisfied with her little brood either. “I want a pug really bad,” she explains, “But I don’t think I could buy a pug with $12.”

With classic little girl motive, Breslin reveals why she is so set on getting the small dog, “I want to dress it up and put it in my bed and play with it and put in little bows and clips.”

With a grin on her face, Breslin’s mom stops her short by saying, “That’s why they have American Girl Dolls.”

“Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” is now in theaters nationwide.

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