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Forever Starlet
Celebrating young actresses of yesterday and today
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28th-May-2015 09:50 pm - Ariel Winter Is Making a Backup Plan!
Modern Family starlet Ariel Winter, 17, recently said that she's thinking about becoming a lawyer. At the TV Academy's screening of Modern Family's season finale on May 26, Ariel told E! that she's already looking into colleges to pursue her interests in business and law. "I toured schools in California, and I'm going to take a tour of East Coast schools. I've always been interested in law, so I think it'll definitely be something that I'll love to do and also go to school for."

Ariel will graduate from high school next year (a year after her TV character, brainy Alex Dunphy) and told E! that she wants to have a second career that could provide more stability than acting. "I would love to continue acting, but it's definitely important to go and do something else. You never know if something's not going to work out, if one day acting is like, 'No, we don't like you anymore!' You gotta have something else you can do."

Ariel is already more familiar with the legal system than most girls her age, since she's been in and out of court for the last few years fighting for legal emancipation from her mother, Chrisoula Workman. (Ariel's adult sister Shanelle Gray has been her legal guardian since 2012, when she was removed from their mother's custody after the Department of Children & Family Services found evidence that her mother emotionally abused her.) Just last Friday, Ariel announced an end to her long custody drama on Twitter.

The message read in its entirety: "I am now officially emancipated!!! I'm really lucky I have an amazing support system and lovely people in my life who have given me the support and guidance to have been given this wonderful opportunity. Most importantly I want to thank @shanelle_gray and my father for their special support regarding this matter, I really couldn't have done it without them. Thank you to all of my family, friends, and fans who have supported me through all of my endeavors in life, and have encouraged me. Thank you for making my life so special! I can't wait to embark on my new adventures."

On Mother's Day a few days before, Ariel tweeted a message to her older sister.

Film: My Sister's Keeper (2009). Young Actresses: Abigail Breslin, 12, and Sofia Vassilieva, 15.

Several young actresses have done a "girl dying from cancer" movie. There's Jenna Boyd in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Dakota Fanning in Now Is Good, or Shailene Woodley in The Fault in Our Stars, just to name a few. My Sister's Keeper puts its own spin on the storyline; there's a girl dying from an acute form of leukemia (Sofia's Kate), but there's also her little sister (Abigail's Anna), who was conceived to be a genetic match. After eleven years of donating blood, bone marrow, and more to her sister, Anna sues her parents for medical emancipation.

Anna loves Kate, and she knows that she only exists because Kate has leukemia. She knows that her sister will die if she doesn't donate a kidney to her, but she's also adamant about making her own medical decisions. It's a complicated mix of emotions to capture, but Abigail does it very skillfully. At the beginning of the film, Anna pawns some jewelry for money to hire a lawyer, and she's confident and assertive in his office, but when her mom is actually served with the court papers in Kate's hospital room, she gets nervous and scared about what this will do to her family. She has reason to be scared, too; the girls' mom Sara (Cameron Diaz, Annie) has an extreme favoritism for Kate, and when she first finds out about Anna's lawsuit, she slaps her across the face and tells her husband, in front of Anna, "Get her out of here. I don't want to see her face anymore."

Anna in her lawyer's office

My only complaint about Abigail's performance is that I wish there was more of it. Like their mom, the movie neglects Anna and focuses more on Kate, who is a tad unrealistically brave and perfect in the face of death. Fortunately, Sofia's acting is excellent, too. Since Kate is severely ill for most of the movie, Sofia has to deliver most of her lines in a whisper, and voice limitations like that can be restrictive for some actors – but Sofia's performance never feels restricted. In one scene, Kate watches through her hospital room window while outside in the hall, her mom yells at a doctor for mentioning hospice care and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Kate hardly has any dialogue here, but Sofia's acting is strong enough that it doesn't need words. The movie does have a few scenes where Kate isn't perfect – in one, she says "what a bitch" about an insistent nurse, and in another, she yells at her parents when they want to take the family to an amusement park to cheer her up – but I wish there were more of them.

I've said before that I love seeing current/former young actresses together, and Sofia and Abigail don't disappoint in their scenes together. The sisters have a close bond, and throughout the movie, that never changes. There are a few scenes of Kate violently throwing up or coughing blood, while Anna watches in horror, that are difficult to watch. There are also some incredibly adorable scenes of them goofing off and just being sisters. Most of these are set to instrumental music or acoustic songs; there are a lot of song sequences in this movie, and a lot of narration.

Another flaw of the movie is some of the adult actors. Cameron Diaz hasn't done many dramatic movies, and her inexperience shows here, especially since Sofia and Abigail both have more talent than her. It doesn't help that Sara is such an unlikeable character, overprotective and controlling of Kate, neglecting her other two children, and screaming at her husband that he can't take care of Kate as well as she can. Although it's implied that Kate's tried to talk to her mom about this in the past, we never actually see this happen during the film. No character ever confronts Sara about her cruel, manipulative behavior, which is frustrating. We're actually expected to feel sorry for her. In Kate's final scene – as she is literally lying there dying – she comforts her mom.

Kate in her hospital room

And because it's based on a book by Jodi Picoult (author of bestsellers like Over-the-Top Melodrama), almost every character gets their own tragic backstory. Anna's lawyer Campbell (Alec Baldwin) has epilepsy so severe that it requires a service dog. The judge presiding over the case (Joan Cusack, costarring with Abigail for the third time) just lost her young daughter to a drunk driver. The girls' neglected brother Jesse (Evan Ellingson) has some unspecified problem that involves walking around the city at night, and was presumably explained in deleted scenes. Most of these backstories are handled well enough, but they do feel somewhat pointless – especially when Campbell's service dog barks to warn that he's about to suffer a seizure, and he tells it to be quiet, and the judge screams at it.

As a whole, My Sister's Keeper is a fairly average movie, and there's no question that Sofia and Abigail's performances are the strongest things about it.

Other reviews of Abigail's films: Nim's Island (2008), August: Osage County (2013), Perfect Sisters (2014)
Won Choice Summer Movie: Drama at the Teen Choice Awards – but no serious grown-up awards, which is telling
For screenshots and a second opinion, here's the review by Young Actress Reviews

["Why Rachel McAdams Never Became a Movie Star," by Scott Mendelson, was published by Forbes last month, and you can read it at its original site here. I've reposted it here because I think it's an important piece that applies to a lot of current young actresses, and also its Forbes page was so clogged up with ads that I found it almost impossible to read.]

The would-be big trailer drop last Friday morning was for Southpaw, the Antoine Fuqua-directed boxing drama. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal (Brothers) as a down-on-his-luck boxer who must dig deep to get his career back on track and reclaim custody of his young daughter (Clare Foley). Late July release date aside, the release feels like an Oscar bait biopic almost to the point of self-parody. If you saw the trailer, you probably noticed Rachel McAdams, now 36, as "the girl" in the picture. Actually, that's not entirely accurate, as she gets killed in the first third of the trailer, which in turn sends Gyllenhaal into a downward spiral.

There was a moment, ten years ago, when Rachel seemed primed to be the next big female movie star. But now she gets "fridged" in male-centric melodramas and gets to be "the girl cop" in season two of True Detective, which is quickly becoming something of a career rehab home for former movie stars and would-be movie stars who never quite made the sell. I have written so very much about the lack of female-led multiplex releases over the last decade or so, and I have long believed would-be "It Girl" Rachel to be among its primary victims. You can't be the next great movie star when Hollywood isn’t making movies for you to star in.

At ages 18, 18, and 17, young actresses Hailee Steinfeld, Chloe Moretz, and Elle Fanning will likely be competing with each other to become the next great movie star in a few years. How many roles will be open to them after they outgrow the kid parts that have brought them this far?

The situation isn't all that different from Jason Statham, who became a B-movie action god in an era when there were few A-level action movies to aspire to. Rachel McAdams had the bad luck to spring to stardom just as the female-centric studio release was becoming an endangered species. She came to fame in her mid-20's in 2004-5 with a flurry of high-profile vehicles. In 2004, she was a defining villain in Mean Girls and the co-lead in the generational romantic drama The Notebook. She had three major roles in 2005, including the heroic lead in Wes Craven's Red Eye, a supporting role in the Sarah Jessica Parker-led ensemble The Family Stone, and the "prize to be won" romantic interest in Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy smash The Wedding Crashers. Guess which role would come to define the next decade of would-be stardom. She took a break from acting for a couple years and returned in two low-budget indie films. Married Life was a martial fidelity drama starring Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, and Rachel as the would-be temptress. The Lucky Ones was an underrated and little-seen drama co-starring Tim Robbins and Michael Pena about three Iraq war vets adjusting to life after service.

She returned to so-called mainstream movies in 2009, and that was when the pattern began to emerge. By 2008-9, we were seeing a real lack of not just female-centric films but of any movies that required more than one role for a woman of Rachel's age. She is a young blogger journalist in the (terrific) Russell Crowe/Ben Affleck/Helen Mirren/Robin Wright thriller State of Play, who exists mostly to be schooled on the purity of old-school journalism, and she's "the girl" in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes. She reprised that role in a glorified cameo for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, because the film didn't have room for two major female roles, and Noomi Rapace was playing "the girl" this time. She was the co-lead in The Time Traveler's Wife in 2009 (even though for all intents-and-purposes, it's Eric Bana's story) and she co-starred as a memory-impaired young spouse alongside Channing Tatum in The Vow. She did have a genuine lead vehicle in 2010, starring as an ambitious morning show producer trying to work with Harrison Ford's cantankerous news vet in Morning Glory.

Oscar-nominated starlet Saoirse Ronan, now 21, is the only actress in this photo from the 2014 premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel, where she had a small part as the love interest to young male star Tony Revolori. The movie had almost no other female roles.

Aside from Brian DePalma's blink-and-miss it 2013 erotic indie drama Passion, that's it for lead roles or even arguably co-starring roles for Rachel McAdams. She played the girl-to-be-discarded in Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris, one of Ben Affleck's handful of would-be love interests in To the Wonder, "the girl" in the father/son time-travel drama About Time, and was the only woman in the otherwise male-centric ensemble A Most Wanted Man (Philip Seymour Hoffman's final starring role). Her output for 2015 involves being one woman in a sea of dudes (Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery, and Billy Crudup) in the "Boston Globe investigates Catholic Church sex scandals" drama Spotlight, being the married former lover of star Bradley Cooper as he "bonds" with Emma Stone in Aloha, and the aforementioned "gets accidentally shot so Jake Gyllenhaal can have a sad role" in Southpaw. Oh, and she's also in the cast of True Detective as the lone female cop in a cast that includes Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, and Taylor Kitsch.

The vast majority of Rachel's mainstream roles in her post-stardom career have been "the girl" in an otherwise all-male cast. Her relative lack of mainstream starring vehicles is mostly due to the fact that so few female star vehicles get made anymore. There are almost none of the female-centric, somewhat-melodramatic dramas or thrillers that used to give an actress like Ashley Judd her career. Mainstream films, be they romantic comedies, family dramas, and everything in-between, that once starred Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock are all but extinct. Hollywood of the '90's had Meg Ryan vehicles (When a Man Loves a Woman), Sandra Bullock vehicles (Hope Floats), and Julia Roberts vehicles (Stepmom) with room to spare. They were romantic comedies like French Kiss, family melodramas like Something to Talk About, or even supernatural comedies like Practical Magic. But those films don’t get made anymore, to the point that now, a female-driven romantic comedy like Amy Schumer's Trainwreck is considered a "big deal." Once you age out of the young-adult literary adaptations or the newest live-action adaptation of a Disney animated feature, you're basically stuck playing "the girl." Just as importantly, male-centric films usually have room for just one or two major female roles in the cast.

Emma Watson, now 25, grew up in a young-adult literary series (Harry Potter, of course) and is now doing a live-action version of a Disney movie (Beauty and the Beast, scheduled for release in 2017). Will she get stuck playing "the girl" next?

Not to pick on Spotlight, but six talented male actors all get meaty roles in that upcoming production, but there was only room for one actress. Movies like The Fighter have room for both Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale but room for only one Amy Adams. The Judge has got Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D'Onofrio, and but no roles for women save "the love interest" (Vera Farmiga, The Conjuring) and "the love interest's hot daughter" (Leighton Meester). The Imitation Game has fourteen male roles listed on its IMDB page but only one actress (Keira Knightley) in anything resembling a major role. Rachel McAdams may-well have had a varied and busy mainstream Hollywood career if she had come of age in a time when films like Working Girl or Postcards from the Edge weren't considered a statistical impossibility.

I have no idea if Rachel McAdams cares about the choices she has been offered and the choices she has accepted, and her best work may yet still be in front of her. I am just using her career as a springboard for a broader discussion with no desire to cast her unwillingly as a victim of systematic inequity. But I cannot help but wonder how she feels about getting her start ten years ago as the girlfriend to second-banana Bradley Cooper, only to still be playing his "potential love interest" ten years later, while he is one of the biggest movie stars around and she has no real mainstream vehicles to choose from. You can't help but think of Kristen Scott Thomas, who played the age-appropriate love interest to Ralph Fiennes in The English Patient in 1996, but in 2013, played the mother of Ralph Fiennes's love interest in The Invisible Woman. The tragedy of Rachel McAdams, once the most promising actress of her generation, now doomed to playing girlfriends and token females, is indicative of how our gender equity in mainstream Hollywood has gotten worse, not better.
During the 2013 awards season, while former young actress Anne Hathaway campaigned to win Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables (which, of course, she did end up winning), she was also setting a golden standard in Hollywood's newest movement, the humble-brag. This article from The Vine summarizes the recent trend of fake humility really well, quoting Anne's Oscar acceptance speech as an example:

  • "It came true," whispered a pixie-cut, Bambi-eyed, girlie-voiced Anne Hathaway as she picked up her Academy Award in all her pink the other day. It was a rehearsed line, no doubt, which went hand-in-hand so perfectly with the performance she gave on the red carpet: move slowly, look down from time to time, and frequently put your hand on your chest whilst opening your mouth slightly as if to say, "All this? For me? Really?" Oh, and remember to look a little bit au naturel all the time, like glamour doesn’t come all that natural to you.

But recently, another Oscar-winning former young actress has been trying her best to outdo Anne's fake humility. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, Natalie Portman, now 33, bragged that she doesn't keep her Oscar statue on display (in fact, she doesn't even know where it is!) because she is so wise and enlightened that she recognizes it as a "false idol."

  • "I don't know where it is. I think it's in the safe or something. I don't know. I haven't seen it in a while. I was reading the story of Abraham to my child and talking about, like, not worshipping false idols. And this is literally like gold men. This is literally worshipping gold idols — if you worship it. That's why it’s not displayed on the wall. It's a false idol."

Just listen to her. Listen to the way that she keeps repeating herself. She doesn't know where it is. She doesn't know. She hasn't seen it in a while. Why does she have to keep hammering in that her Oscar means so little to her? Maybe because she wanted us to be impressed by what a regular, down-to-earth gal she is. Or maybe she wanted to be sure that her statement made headlines which she did. (See Vanity Fair's blazing announcement: Natalie Portman Has No Idea Where Her Oscar Is, among others.) But remember when Natalie actually won Best Actress, for Black Swan in 2011? She campaigned for it. After all, who wouldn't? She lost weight, went through rigorous ballet training, and worked hard to make Black Swan. She made no secret of how much she wanted to win an Oscar for it. But now, five years later, it's a "false idol" to her, and she doesn't even know where it is.

Of course, it's probably easier to say that about an Oscar after you've actually won one.

Natalie with her Oscar and a huge grin in the pressroom and at an afterparty.
She posed with it happily for a long time.

But if Natalie's Oscar statue really is a "false idol" to her, then why doesn't she just give it away? (Several other Oscar winners have given theirs away to managers or family members.) Why doesn't she give it back to the Academy? Or why doesn't keep it out of sight, and then not say anything to the press about it? Maybe because then, she wouldn't be giving us a chance to ooh and aah over how modest she is. I wonder if this is something that Natalie is going to work into all her interviews from now on — you know, like how she graduated from Harvard. It's always been hard to find an interview of hers where she doesn't bring that up.

Natalie's pretentious attitude is annoying, but I have to say that I do respect her. She started acting as a kid, transitioned into a successful adult star, and just directed a movie in her second language. So few child actresses are able to achieve a solid adult career, and while Natalie owes a lot to having responsible parents and never going through an awkward phase, she made some really smart decisions of her own, too. Likely she'll contintue to make more
— let's just see if she takes her name out of the hat for any future Oscar nods.

Pitch Perfect 2, the much-anticipated sequel to the hit 2012 movie about a collegiate a capella singing team, is set for a wide release on May 15. Star Hailee Steinfeld, 18, and several other young actresses were at the premiere, held May 8 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Hailee, who didn't appear in the original Pitch Perfect, plays Emily, a college freshman and new member of the singing team The Bellas. She's a newcomer, but she's also a "legacy," meaning that her mom (played by Katy Sagal) sang for The Bellas when she was in college.

Hailee: "It's kind of a cool feeling, though, because you are walking into a world that is already established. Having been a fan of the first film, feeling like I knew all of them already, I kind of felt like I was already a part of it in some way. Getting there and jumping in with them and making it was very weird but also exciting."

Another way that Hailee stands out from the cast of the original movie is that she's actually the age that she plays. Although The Bellas are supposed to be a college team, most of the actresses playing them are pushing 30, at least. (The Bellas' lead singer, Beca, is played by 29-year-old Anna Kendrick, above.) In fact, if you take out Hailee, the average real-life age of the eight other Bella actresses is 29.

Pitch Perfect 2 has even written its Dawson Casting into the plot, in a way: 29-year-old Brittany Snow, above, plays Chloe, a Bella singer who purposely failed her senior year three times so that she could stay in the group. Of course, Dawson Casting is nothing new. Mae Whitman is adorable and has aged so well, but at 26, it's a bit hard to buy her as a high school student in The Duff, especially when she's acting opposite an actual teenager like Bella Thorne.

And speaking of Bella Thorne, she was at the Pitch Perfect 2 premiere, too. So were...

Sabrina Carpenter, 15, and Stefanie Scott, 18.
10th-May-2015 01:28 pm - The 2015 Nylon Young Hollywood Party
So many current and former young actresses attended this year's Nylon Young Hollywood Party, held on May 7 in West Hollywood. The group photos have always been my favorites.

Jennette McCurdy, 22, and Sabrina Carpenter, 15

Kiernan Shipka, 15, Dakota Fanning, 21, and Victoria Justice, 22
I was surprised to see Dakota there. She has been doing public appearances like this less and less lately.

Taylor Spreitler, 21, and Olivia Holt, 17

Jillian Rose Reed and Mollee Gray, both 23
I know. Doesn't Mollee look just like you think Chloe will in a few years?

G Hannelius, 16, and Katherine McNamara, 19

Sammi Hanratty, 19, and Stefanie Scott, 18
Film: Begin Again (2013). Young Actress: Hailee Steinfeld, 15.

Originally titled Can a Song Save Your Life, this movie is centered around Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced music producer who discovers Gretta (former young actress Keira Knightley, Laggies), an independent singer/songwriter, and convinces her to record an album with him. Hailee plays Dan's teenage daughter Violet, but as with her film Hateship Loveship, the plot stays focused on the two adults, and her role isn't large.

While the acting is solid all-around, it becomes obvious early on that Begin Again isn't about acting; it's about music. Several scenes felt more like a long music video than a movie. The script is also a bit heavy-handed, between Dan waxing poetic about Manhattan (where the movie takes place) and music, and Gretta scorning the conventional pop-music industry of Los Angeles for the authenticity of the city. When Gretta and Dan finish the album, she doesn't want his record label to release it because she hates capitalism and corporate greed... and yet there is so much obvious product placement with her iPhone. The hypocrisy felt really annoying.

Gretta, Violet, and Dan in Central Park. Re: their daughter's skimpy wardrobe, Dan yells at his ex-wife in one scene, "You let her leave the house looking like Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver!"

During the film, Violet improves her relationship with Dan, improves her guitar skills, and her mom and dad mend their broken marriage. But with the music taking up so much time, the character development felt rushed and sometimes forced. A good example is Gretta and Violet's first scene together. I usually love seeing former and current young actresses onscreen together, but I still couldn't get behind it. Within a few minutes of meeting each other, they're acting like sisters, with Gretta giving Violet advice on clothes and boys, and then they go on a shopping trip.

If you're really into music or New York City, then you'll probably enjoy Begin Again, but if you're looking for a strong leading performance from Hailee, then check out one of her other movies.
5th-May-2015 07:07 pm - The 2015 Met Gala
Held on May 4 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the costume exhibit for this year's gala was "China: Through the Looking Glass," and many of the attendees wore Oriental-inspired gowns.

In only her second time attending the
Gala, Jennifer Lawrence, 24, was a co-chair of the event - a chance that she almost passed up on. "I got an email and I didn't reply to it because I never do, and then I started getting pressure to respond. Then I was like, 'Yes, I'd love to!' and I really didn't know what I said yes to, and now that I know what I said yes to, I'm thrilled."

Vanessa Hudgens, 26, is currently in New York starring in Gigi on Broadway. Fellow former young actresses Emma Stone (Cabaret) and Keke Palmer (Cinderella) have gone to Broadway recently, too. (Look closely in the above shot, and you can see Hailee walking by behind Vanessa.)

Selena Gomez, 22, posted on Instagram that she "felt like a princess" in her Met gown. Later that evening, her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber told the press that she "looked gorgeous" at the event.

Nicola Peltz, 19, attended hand-in-hand with pregnant adult actress Jaime King. They were both dressed by Jason Wu, and Nicola referred to them as "Jason's girls."

Chloe Moretz, 18, wore a black-and-white ensemble, and her accessory for the evening was a Chloe-brand clutch with her name printed on the front.

Hailee Steinfeld, 18, in a mature red gown, also carried a clutch with her name printed on it - but in Chinese characters, as a nod to the theme for the evening.

Zendaya, 18, turned heads in an extravagant dress that had lots going on: sun-print accents, a brightly-colored train, a metallic tiara, and a plunging neckline and heels.

Previous posts on the Met Gala: 2014 and 2011.
Several young actresses who grew up in the film industry have blasted Hollywood for its sexist standards. Kristen Stewart called it "disgustingly sexist" in a recent interview, and Emma Watson has been fighting gender equality everywhere with her #HeForShe campaign, launched last year. Now, a new row has broken out over Hollywood's treatment of women, when Fox announced that Mae Whitman, 26, would not reprise her role in its upcoming Independence Day 2, scheduled for release in 2016.

Mae Whitman at the premiere of The DUFF, February 2015, and Maika Monroe at the premiere of The Guest, September 2014.

Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are both due to reprise their roles, but Mae, who was 7 when she played the president's daughter in the 1996 blockbuster, has been recast with Maika Monroe, 21, a more conventionally-pretty, Megan Fox type of actress who's been waiting for her big break. Mae herself retweeted this article, where Drew McWeeny writes: "The oh-so-cute actors whose names were on the list all seem to be more of a conventionally 'hot' type than Whitman, making it look clearly like they were chasing a certain something. It's an ugly way of thinking, and an ugly way to cast a film."

Supposedly, Mae was never even under consideration for reprising her role, and fans are livid that she was recast due to her looks. The studio's would be understandable if Mae had stopped acting, like her contemporary Mara Wilson, or if she was no longer a well-known actress. But neither is the case. Mae has been acting virtually her whole life, earned rave reviews for her work on Parenthood, and just starred in a hit teen movie, The Duff. But despite her impressive body of work, Fox apparently didn't think an actress who played the "designated ugly fat friend" a believable love interest for Liam Hemsworth (who'll be playing the hero of Independence Day 2) and so they passed right over this beautiful, talented, and completely bankable young actress.

26th-Apr-2015 08:52 pm - 2015 Radio Disney Music Awards
The show was held April 25, 2015, at Nokia L.A. Live in Los Angeles, but it didn't broadcast on TV until the next day.

This year, the show was hosted by 18-year-old Zendaya, who attended hand-in-hand with Trinitee Stokes, who plays her little sister on their new Disney Channel show, KC Undercover, which premiered earlier this year. (Shake It Up, Zendaya's joint show with Bella Thorne, ended in 2013.) Zendaya: "It's a really chill show, which is why I like it. There's not a lot of pressure, and it's not that uptight or serious. This isn’t like the Oscars or anything like that. This is just for fun."

Most of the cast of Girl Meets World attended, including Rowan Blanchard, 13, who looked adorable in this multicolored print dress, and Sabrina Carpenter, 15, who performed her single "Eyes Wide Open" onstage during the show. (Like so many Disney Channel starlets before her, Sabrina is trying to launch a singing career.)

From Disney Channel's Jessie, Skai Jackson, now 13, and Peyton List, now 17, both celebrated their birthdays at the beginning of this month: Peyton on April 6, and Skai on April 8. It's always seemed to me like so many young actresses have birthdays in April.

Yara Shahidi, 15, and Marsai Martin, 10, are all smiles backstage with their blackish brothers.

Francesca Capaldi, 10, takes a selfie with some fans, while her Dog With a Blog big sister G Hannelius, 16, poses on the red carpet.
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