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Forever Starlet
Celebrating young actresses of yesterday and today
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Film: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015). Young Actress: Willow Shields, age 14.

It’s funny how young adult film franchises work out sometimes. Take Harry Potter, for example: while mostly decent to good, the eight films had ten years and four directors between them and were all over the place stylistically. Now that the Hunger Games movies have wrapped up, I would say that this series peaks in the middle. The second and third films, Catching Fire and Mockingjay 1, are the tightest, the most suspenseful and most interesting, and have the best blend of action and warmth. They also have by far the most screentime for Jena Malone and Willow Shields, respectively. But the first and fourth films, The Hunger Games and Mockingjay 2, rely too much on Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson (Bridge to Terabithia) as the lead couple, and even after all this time, I still feel that they weren’t the best choices for Katniss and Peeta.

At Finnick and Annies wedding, Katniss and Prim dance and hug each other for the last time

These two are so much front and center in Mockingjay 2 that a lot of the excellent supporting cast goes to waste. Willow has only a few minutes of screentime, and none of it is particularly memorable. The film maintains the book’s ending, including the death of Willow’s character Prim, which feels strangely glanced over. Several scenes after she dies in a bombing, we get a few minutes of Katniss messily crying while hugging Prim’s cat, but that’s it. Even her sister’s death doesn’t really distract Katniss’s attention from Peeta, and nothing distracts the movie from their love story.

Jena has a similarly small role, but it does allow for a little real acting. In her one scene, her character Johanna steals morphine from Katniss’s hospital room, and she still shows some of the snarkiness that made her so much fun in Catching Fire.

This movie is decent and watchable, but the Hunger Games deserved a better final film. Now that Jennifer has done her last Hunger Games movie and her last X-Men movie (X-Men: Apocalypse, released seven months after Mockingjay 2), she might never make another movie that isn’t directed by David O. Russell.

Mockingjay 2 premiere.
Mockingjay 1 review and premiere.

Critics Choice: Nominated for Best Actress: Action (Jennifer).
Kids Choice: Won Favorite Movie Actress (Jennifer), nominated for Favorite Movie.
MTV Movie Awards: Won Best Hero (Jennifer), nominated for Best Action Performance (Jennifer) and Best Ensemble Cast.
Teen Choice: Won Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Jennifer Lawrence), Choice Movie: Liplock (Jennifer and Josh Hutcherson), and Choice Movie: Scene Stealer (Jena); nominated for Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Choice Movie: Chemistry (Jennifer and Josh Hutcherson).
This interview that Millie Bobby Brown, 12, recently did with The Daily Mail was such a concerning read to me. Supporting your family is not something that any twelve-year-old should feel responsible for. I hope that someone is watching out for this girl. Most of the article:

The word-of-mouth surprise hit of the summer, Netflix's supernatural TV drama Stranger Things is so addictive that even Hollywood giant Steven Spielberg has called it the best show of the year. Even more remarkable is the amount of attention heaped on the twelve-year-old British newcomer who has outshone Hollywood star Winona Ryder to become the sensation of the series. Some fans are so besotted with schoolgirl Millie Bobby Brown and her character Eleven that they are having her name tattooed on their arms, or shaving their heads as part of their Eleven Halloween costumes.

Millie in a promo shoot at Walt Diney World, October 12

But Millie's story is far from an overnight success. Getting to this point pushed her family to the brink of bankruptcy. "It was very hard," she says. "There were lots of tears along the way." Millie's parents sold everything to move from Bournemouth, England, to Hollywood to pursue an acting career for Millie, which put pressure on her to fulfill her dreams. She got bit parts in NCIS, Modern Family, and Grey's Anatomy, and was considered for Spielberg's recent film The BFG, but she kept missing out on the starring roles.

Things were so tight that Millie's manager Melanie Greene lent the family money to help them survive. "My older sister left. She didn't want to do it any more," Millie says. "It was tears, tears, tears. We went through tough times." Last summer, the family admitted defeat when their money ran out. They moved back to England so broke that they had to stay with an aunt. "I was devastated. I wasn't getting work. I thought I was done."

Millie in a panel at New York City Comic Con, October 7, and arriving at the BAFTA/LA Tea Party, September 17

Millie hit her lowest ebb after an unpleasant experience with a casting agent: "She said I was too mature and grown up. She made me cry." Later that day, she auditioned for Stranger Things. "I had to cry in the audition. My emotions were so raw, I hit it out of the park." Within weeks, she and her family were on a plane back to the US, where Millie filmed in Atlanta late last year. The show has transformed her life, and she is being "bombarded" with film and TV offers. "I never in my wildest dreams thought this would happen."

Millie's father, Robert Brown, says that she was different from the start: "My other children would watch cartoons, but Mill watched musicals - Chicago, Moulin Rouge, Annie and Bugsy Malone. She'd belt out a tune. She was performing from day one." Millie recalls: "I did a lot of school plays. I was a drama queen. I was annoying my father one Saturday and he said, 'We need to find you something fun to do.'" She was enrolled in a local theater school, where she caught the eye of an agent who wanted to represent her professionally.

All the kid stars of Stranger Things taping The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon at Rockefeller Center, August 31

On the set of Stranger Things, costar Winona Ryder was a friend and mentor. Millie points to a pretty ring on her middle finger: "Winona gave me this. It's an Irish wedding band for loyalty, love and friendship. She was protective." Millie has been inundated with offers of work, but even though she performed onstage at the Emmys and stayed out late at after-parties, her father says he's determined to keep her feet on the ground. "It's important for Millie not to feel under pressure. She's a kid. She has to do her homework and chores. Everything else is a bonus."
At the Rome Film Festival:

Young Nellie Lonergan with her father, writer/director Kenneth Lonergan, and actress J. Cameron-Smith at the premiere of Manchester by the Sea at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica on October 14.

At the Hamptons Film Festival:

Elle Fanning, 18, with costar Lucas Jade Zumann, at a screening of 20th Century Women at Guild Hall on October 9. The film is about a bohemian single mother (Annette Bening) raising her teeange son (Lucas, in his breakout role) in the 1970's. Elle has a part as his love interest.

And Elle's big sister Dakota Fanning, 22, at a screening of American Pastoral at Guild Hall on October 10. Dakota has been attending a lot of premieres to promote American Pastoral, a '60s family drama and Ewan McGregor's directorial debut, but the film has failed to generate many good reviews.

At the New York Film Festival:

Elle Fanning again, this time with Lucas Jade Zumann and Annette Bening, at a screening of 20th Century Women on October 8. A few days later, returning to Los Angeles from New York, Elle nonchalantly walked barefoot through LAX Airport. She later posted on her Instagram: Feet too swollen and blistered to cram in my heels. No backup shoes in my carry on. #freethefoot

Dakota's fellow former Runaway Kristen Stewart, 26 (with costar Joe Alwyn), at a screening of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (about an Iraqi veteran on a victory tour) at Lincoln Square on October 14. Kristen's other film Certain Women also premiered at the festival, and she hosted an "An Evening With" event.

Natalie Portman, 35, has bragged about how little having an Oscar means to her, but she still found time to promote her latest Oscar-bait movie Jackie (about Jacqueline Kennedy in the days after her husband's assassination) at a screening at Lincoln Center on October 13.

Previous posts on the New York Film Festival: 2015.
Film: Steve Jobs (2015). Young Actresses: Perla Haney-Jardine, Makenzie Moss, and Ripley Sobo.

You probably already know who Steve Jobs was: a computer innovator and one of the founders of Apple, who died in 2011 at age 56. This movie plays on public intrigue with his image and tries to introduce us to the "real" Steve Jobs (played by Michael Fassbender, X-Men: First Class). It takes place during three different product launches throughout Jobs's career, one in 1984, 1988, and 1998. There's a lot of technical talk about the computers and how to manage Apple, but despite the great cast – Fassbender is excellent as Jobs, and former young actress Kate Winslet (Divergent) received a Best Supporting Actress nod as his assistant Joanna – it sometimes feels as mechanical and lifeless as a computer.

Fortunately, the movie devotes almost equal time to Jobs's personal life, specifically his relationship with his ex-girlfriend Chrissann and their daughter Lisa. This is where the young actresses come in; each one plays Lisa at a different age: Makenzie plays her at age 5 in 1984, Ripley at age 9 four years later, and Perla (whose previous credits include a brief, lineless role in Dark Water) is Lisa at 19. The scenes between Jobs and Lisa easily have the most heart and emotion of the movie.

Joanna and five-year-old Lisa

In Jobs's first scene with Lisa in 1984, he harshly corrects her when she tells Joanna, "My dad named a computer after me," saying that his computer, the Apple Lisa, is an acronym for Local Integrated System Architecture and is not named after her. He gives her one of his new computers, the Apple Macintosh, to keep her occupied while he argues with Chrisann, who's angry that Jobs won't support them or acknowledge Lisa as his daughter. But everything changes when Jobs sees that Lisa has used the MacPaint program to draw an abstract doodle. He teaches her how to save it, and they bond over the computer. Makenzie and Fassbender have some good chemistry together in this scene.

Lisa at age 9 in Jobs's dressing room

Four years later, with Ripley playing her, Lisa’s relationship with her dad has improved; she’s very much a typical, inquisitive nine-year-old, who now feels comfortable enough around Jobs to pester him with questions and interruptions while he tries to prep for his demo. This film doesn’t portray Jobs in a purely positive light (which is more than I can say for some biopics, like Trumbo) but also addresses his flaws. He can be a jerk to his employees throughout, and even in 1988, he still isn't the father that Lisa needs him to be. It's implied that he does care about her (Chrisann is becoming unstable, and when Jobs learns that she threw a bowl at Lisa, he threatens to have his employees kill her) but that he has no idea how to show it (when she hugs him and whispers, "I want to live with you," he just stands there awkwardly and doesn't hug her back).

Teenage Lisa argues with Jobs

The 1988 scenes set you up to think that Jobs and Lisa will grow closer, so it's a disappointment to find them angry and barely speaking to each other ten years later. We get a little of the reason for this – something to do with Chrisann selling the house that Jobs bought for her and Lisa – but it feels rushed and incomplete, and so does the ending. It ends, rather abruptly, with Lisa watching Jobs stride out onstage for his next demo. This is one of the flaws of Steve Jobs to me. Because of the structure of the timeline, three specific dates set over fifteen years, the movie skips over far more than it actually shows us. The characters reference things that we were shown in the previous segments of the film, but they never really talk about what happened during the long years inbetween. In 1984, Jobs gives a quote to a magazine that "28 percent of the male population in the United States" could be Lisa's father; in 1998, she reads it online and confronts him. In 1984, Jobs tells Lisa that his computer isn't named after her, but in 1998, he confesses, "Local Integrated System Architecture doesn't even mean anything. Of course it was named after you." Despite this film's attempt to flesh out the "real" Steve Jobs, it never feels very real to me.

Premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival.
Mara Wilson's recent article about why she stopped acting got me curious about other child actresses who stopped working or who took significant breaks from it. Mara's contemporary Gaby Hoffmann is now 34 and back in the spotlight for her show Transparent, for which she received an Emmy nomination last month. Around the time of the Emmys, Gaby did this interview, in which she talks about acting as an adult vs. as a child.

You've been doing this the bulk of your life. How much of the fact that you've been doing this so long helps inform that attitude? It's funny, I don't really think of myself as being... I did act as a kid, but I quit when I was seventeen. I really took 10-plus years off, and when I started again seriously in the last five years, I'm an adult, and I was a kid before, so yes and no. There's a familiarity, of course. I think it maybe more just has to do with how I was raised and who I happen to be and how I live in the world.

When you took the break to go to school and do everything else, did you plan to return to acting? No, I did not think I would return.

Why not? I never made the choice to be an actor. It just sort of happened to me when I was a kid, for whatever reasons that are irrelevant in this moment. I really enjoyed being on movie sets, and I had fun with the people, but I didn't really think about acting or care, or I didn't think I cared about acting. It wasn't until I was in college that I even realized how much I loved film and started to appreciate acting, this beautiful medium of artistic expression. All I wanted to do was go to college, and I thought I wanted to be a teacher.

Now and Then (1995): Christina Ricci, Gaby, Ashleigh Aston Moore, and Thora Birch
Photo by Young Actress Reviews

How did you come back to this? A long, miserable road. I got to college in '99, and I went to study literature and writing, and so within a couple years we had Bush elected, 9/11, we were at war, so I was sort of having my political and spiritual awakening at the same time I was becoming an adult, and that's a lot of stuff at once. I became very focused on the state of the world, and I started studying that stuff more, and I just had a real identity crisis. I couldn't even really just study literature. I just thought, "God, the world is so f--ked up, and we all have to do something about it," and I still feel that way, but I of course realize there are many ways in which we all can participate.

For a minute, I thought I was going to become an environmental lawyer, and I just was all over the place, and I couldn't figure out what I wanted, and I was obsessed with this idea that because I'd started acting at such a young age and I hadn't just bounced around as a kid, I [wondered], "What would I have discovered about myself, my inner passion, if I wasn't acting?"

I then went around for many, many years, trying to do that, and I spent my twenties not really participating in the work force in any real way. I acted a tiny bit, but that was just because it was the only way I knew how to make money, and I sublet my apartment and lived in the woods and just tried to figure out who I was and what I wanted, what my real desire was and not just what I was used to doing, and it was a really confusing and painful, but really rich and amazing time. I got into cooking and I went and cooked in Italy. I became a doula for a while. I built stone walls one summer, and I read a lot, and I swam a lot, and I spent a lot of time thinking.

I eventually realized that I wasn't giving up this acting thing for some reason, and so I should just dive into it, and so I spent a year saying yes instead of saying no. I had this aggressive, bizarre relationships with it, so I thought, I'm just going to give as much attention and curiosity to acting as I did to like making my coffee in the morning and see how that feels, rather than resisting it and angsting, and it turned out it felt great.

Then and Now: Gaby Hoffmann recently, and in Field of Dreams, one of her first major roles

Some child actors feel like what they did then is basically same, and their instrument didn't change as they grew up. Others don't. Do you feel like what you were doing twenty years ago has any connection to what you do now? I don't know. I don't really think about it. Yeah, probably, because I did not train, I didn't tune my instrument differently in those ten years, [but] I must have had some natural ability to do what I was doing. I haven't gone back and looked. I'm sure that I'm not great, but I wasn't paying much attention to it then, and I don't pay much attention to it now. I think about it, and I'm curious about it in an active way when I'm not doing it, and I wasn't then.

When I'm doing it, I might as well be in a blackout. That's probably similar as to then. I probably wasn't as free then. I probably was thinking about it a little more, because I was a kid. I was being told what to do all the time, so I think I probably had less agency.

Do you remember times when the script asked you to do something back then, and you said, "I don't know that I want to do this"? The only thing I really remember was really struggling in Field of Dreams and Kevin Costner get very frustrated at me, and I couldn't get this speech, and I remember thinking, "Well, that doesn't help. That isn't going to help." No, I don't really remember. I think I just did it, and it was fine.
I've grown to admire Mara Wilson, now 29, so much in recent years, for how candidly and articulately she talks about being a former child star, and for how she's forged an identity and life for herself beyond that image. Her new in-depth take on her childhood career, Being Cute Made Me Miserable, published in The Guardian last month, is one of the best things that I've ever read from her. It's almost hard to read about the public scrutiny that she faced when she began puberty, and it makes her decision to quit acting, which was such a big part of her life, both more admirable and understandable. Here's an excerpt, but I recommend reading the whole thing.

At 13, no one had called me cute or mentioned the way I looked in years, at least not in a positive way. My sixth-grade crush had called me ugly, film reviewers said I was "odd looking," and a boy at my preteen day camp had said to me, "You were Matilda? Heh. You've gained a little weight since then!" I went home and cried into a milkshake.

 photo BalloonFarm12_zpsbb4b4a15.png
Mara in the 1999 TV movie Balloon Farm, one of her last roles

When I was alone, I could admit to myself that acting wasn't as fun as it had once been. But I had to keep doing it, didn't I? It was the constant in my life. My family had changed, my body had changed, my life had changed. Sometimes it felt like acting was all I had.

A few months later, my father asked after another script. "Catch That Kid?" I said, incredulous. "It's way too young for me."

"If they really like you, they could change it for you."

"It's been a while since they've done that," I said. There had also been a time when people wouldn't even make me audition.

As soon as I signed in to the Catch That Kid audition, I noticed something was wrong. Every other girl there was at least three years younger than I was. None of them had breasts or braces, like I did.

The part went to a younger actress, a sullen but cute tomboy named Kristen Stewart [about three years Mara's junior]. The next year, she would land another of the few parts I ever actually wanted, Melinda Sordino in the adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson's book Speak. I had all but begged for that part. I couldn't understand it. I had always thought it would be me giving up acting, not the other way around.

Something didn't make sense, at least until I was called for a role in a pilot about girls at a boarding school. I would be playing "the fat girl." There was a fat joke on every page. "We'd be putting you in big clothes to make you look bigger," the casting director reassured me. I nodded, but what I really wanted to ask was why they hadn't called me in for one of the other characters, like Becca. She was funny and quirky. She was also neurotic, and I knew I could play neurotic. Then I saw a head shot of the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Right by her name, there was a Post‑it note marked: Called back for Becca!

Then and Now: Mara in Miracle on 34th Street (1994), and in a recent photoshoot

That's when I understood. Things had changed. At 13, being pretty mattered – and not just in the world of movies and TV. The pretty girls at school had always had an air of superiority, but once we hit puberty, they seemed to matter more. My career was the only thing I had over them. Now that it was waning, I was just another weird, nerdy, loud girl with bad teeth and bad hair, whose bra strap was always showing.'

After a year of no callbacks, my father said what we had both been thinking: "Maybe you should just focus on school right now."

It meant having to pass up some great scripts – like an "experimental" comedy series called Arrested Development – but it was the right move. I didn't know who I was without film sets, casting directors and constant rejection, and I needed to find out.
Film: Trumbo (2015). Young Actress: Elle Fanning, age 16.

Trumbo is a biopic of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston), who, along with several others, was blacklisted during the 1950's for being a communist. The film covers a long span of Trumbo's career before, during, and after the scandal. He starts out as one of the most successful writers in Hollywood; in one scene, he sells the script of a romantic comedy that he calls The Princess and the Pauper, that the producer who buys it renames Roman Holiday. After being blacklisted, fired by MGM, and briefly incarerated, Trumbo adapts and manages to keep his career alive by writing B-movie scripts and occassionally A-lister scripts under pseudonyms, while also fighting to restore his name.

The story is well-told but fairly formulaic, with very clear-cut good guys and bad guys. A lot of Trumbo's success during the 2015-16 awards season was due not to the film itself, but to the fact that Hollywood loves to nominate movies about Hollywood. And honestly, the old Hollywood setting does do a lot for the movie. So many of the characters are celebrities, and it's intriguing to see the behind-the-scenes power play of the studio era. The movie uses real clips of classic stars speaking out against the blacklist (Lucille Ball, Gregory Peck) or in support of it (Ronald Reagan, John Wayne). We also see the footage of Deborah Kerr presenting the 1957 Best Screenplay Oscar to The Brave One, one of the films that Trumo writes under a fake name; he watches at home with his family as a member of the screenwriters' guild accepts the award.

Trumbo hugs his children after his release from prison

Early on, real-life sisters Madison and Meghan Wolfe have small roles as Trumbo's young daughters, Niki and Mitzi. Then Trumbo is jailed for contempt of Congress, and even though his sentence feels relatively brief (less than a year), and even though his other two kids don't age significantly, when he's released, Niki has transformed from Madison to Elle. It feels a little ridiculous, given the four-year age difference and extreme height difference between the two young actresses. The focus stays on Trumbo, but the rest of the movie gives Elle a decent amount of screentime as it shows Nikola, as she now prefers to be called, growing up, becoming an integration activist at her school, and alternately bonding with and fighting with her dad.

Brian Cranston and former young actress Diane Lane (who also worked with Dakota in Every Secret Thing) give good performances as Trumbo and his wife, but they're more subtle and restrained in their roles. Again, this film has very clear-cut heroes and villains, and they're obviously the perfect good guys. Cranston's Trumbo is all wise words and kind-hearted favors, never breaking down or losing his temper, no matter how much discrimination he faces. Diane's Cleo is the long-suffering but ever-supportive cliche of a wife. Against such unrealistic parents, Nikola's realistic bursts of teenage attitude feel over-the-top, and Elle's performance feels off. Some of her scenes feel forced into the film, too; Nikola's part doesn't add much, and Trumbo already has such a talented ensemble cast that it clearly would've been just fine without Elle.

At the Trumbo premiere: Meghan and Madison Wolfe, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, and Elle

But don't worry, because this film has a bunch of supporting characters who are lots more fun than Trumbo and Cleo. Two of my favorite people in Trumbo are Helen Mirren as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, the evil, love-to-hate-her villain, and John Goodman as B-movie producer Frank King, who in one scene trashes his own office with a baseball bat screaming, "I make garbage!" Movies about old Hollywood have been something of a trend lately – see also The Last of Robin Hood, My Week With Marilyn, or Saving Mr. Banks – and this is one of the better ones.

Other reviews of Elle's movies: We Bought a Zoo (2011), Maleficent (2014).
Premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival.

Critics Choice: Nominated for Best Acting Ensemble.
Screen Actors Guild: Nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
18th-Sep-2016 08:14 pm - The 2016 Emmy Awards
The 68th Annual Emmy Awards
Held September 18, 2016, at Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Stranger Things is too new to have any Emmy nominations this year, but a lot of attention was heaped on its three young stars, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Millie Bobby Brown, 12. The kids walked the red carpet together, did several interviews, helped host Jimmy Kimmel pass out peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches to the audience, and even took the stage to perform "Uptown Funk," although their performance wasn't televised.

Millie recently named her Stranger Things costar Winona Ryder as her style icon: "I just think we're secretly doppelgangers. [Her style is] very feminine, but it has that edge to it, that homeboy side to it, which I am like, anyway."

Yara Shahidi, 16, attended to support her show Black-ish, which was nominated for Best Comedy Series but lost to Veep. Her TV little sister Marsai Martin doesn't seem to have attended the show this year, and I approve.

Emily Robinson, 17, attended to support her show Transparent, which was also nominated for Best Comedy Series.

The Girls of Modern Family (nominee, Outstanding Comedy Series)

Little Aubrey Anderson-Emmons is only 9 and already attending the Emmys for the fifth time. Interviewing with her costar Jeremy Maguire, age 5, who wore a red cape, Aubrey said that she wanted to see Beyonce. The interview is here, if you'd like to listen to it. I was surprised by how mature Aubrey sounded, but maybe I shouldn't have been. She's been doing interviews for a long time now, after all.

When some people complained that Ariel Winter, 18, has been dressing too provocatively recently (triggered in part by her outfit at Power of Young Hollywood last month), she responded, "I mean, people say everything on the face of the planet to me about everything I do. It can destroy a person, and I also think it's disgusting what people spend their time on."

Sarah Hyland, 25, drew some comparisons to Emma Watson's outfit at the Met Gala in May. I think it has more in common with Kiernan Shipka's look at the Emmys last year. She also wore a mini-dress over fitted black pants.

The Girls of Game of Thrones (winner, Oustanding Drama Series)

Maisie Williams, 19, was asked on the red carpet about her and TV sister Sophie's matching new tattoos, 07.08.09 (visible on Maisie's left arm above). "It's the 7th of August and not the 9th of July, because in the UK we put our date the other way around. It was the day I found out I got the part in Game of Thrones. [Sophie] found out as well, but we didn't know each other then so it's quite a prominent date for both of us. It's a day that both of our lives changed forever." Maisie and Sophie were 12 and 13 when they were cast as the Stark sisters.

Maisie (left, with the cast in the pressroom and right, at HBO's after-party) was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress: Drama for Game of Thrones, but she lost to Maggie Smith for Downton Abbey.

Game of Thrones is now in its final season, and Sophie Turner, 20, said about the show ending: "[I'm] probably sadder than you guys are. It's been my life since I was 13, so I'm pretty sad about it. It's crazy when the show finishes I'll pretty much be the same age Kit [Harington] was when he started, which is crazy. I don't know what I'm going to do with my life."

Former Young Actresses

Two former child actresses of the '90s faced off for Best Supporting Actress: Comedy: Gaby Hoffmann, 34, nominated for Transparent, and Anna Chlumsky, 35, for Veep. They lost to Kate McKinnon for Saturday Night Live.

And I was excited to see two of the former March Sisters at the Emmys this year. Kirsten Dunst (Amy), 34, was nominated for Best Actress: Miniseries/TV Movie for Fargo, and Claire Danes (Beth), 37, was nominated for Best Actress: Drama for Homeland. (It was Claire's 7th Emmy nomination.) I have a feeling that Winona Ryder (Jo) will attend next year for Stranger Things!

Previous posts on the Emmys: 2015, 2014, 2011, and 2010.
The 68th Annual Emmys Awards will be held tomorrow, but before that happens, I thought it'd be fun to take a look back at all of Kiernan Shipka's Emmy appearances so far. She attended the awards for Mad Men every year from 2010-2015.

Kiernan Shipka at the Emmy Awards, 2010-2015 photo Kiernan Emmys_zpsp1lmiary.jpg

Kiernan has grown up so much and developed such a strong, unique sense of fashion. At her first Emmys, at just 10 years old, she wore an A-cut dress with embroidered blue flowers. Last year, she sported a yellow mini-dress over black leggings.

I don't know whether Kiernan is attending the Emmys this year, but two young actresses who likely will are Black-ish sisters Yara Shahidi, 16, and Marsai Martin, 12, whose show is nominated for three awards. They went to the Pre-Emmys Luxury Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel together on September 16, where it looks like they had a lot of fun!

Gavin Keilly, Yara, and Marsai

Current/former young actresses nominated at the Emmys this year include: Maisie Williams, 19, for Best Supporting Actress: Drama for Game of Thrones; Gabby Hoffmann, 34, and Anna Chlumsky, 35, both for Best Supporting Actress: Comedy; Kirsten Dunst, 34, Best Actress: Miniseries/TV Movie for Fargo; and Kirsten's Little Women sister Claire Danes, 39, Best Actress: Drama for Homeland.
A lot of notable young-actress movies (like Brooklyn, Trumbo, and The VVitch) were screened at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and it looks like this is the case again in 2016! Here are some of the current and former young actresses who attended, from youngest to oldest:

French-Canadian actress Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief), 16, was one of those honored at the festival's Rising Stars Break, held at Portland Variety on September 12. Her new drama Mean Dreams is premiering at the festival this year; she plays a girl who runs away with her troubled boyfriend (Josh Wiggins), and calls the role "not like the cute little perfect girl anymore ... very different than what I've played before."

Sophie and Mylene MacKay, another Rising Stars honoree, interviewing at the event. Sophie: "Obviously I want to win an Oscar one day, it's obviously a goal or a dream of mine, but I'm not ever going to choose a script just for that." Joey King has also said that one of her goals in life is to win an Oscar. Don't let Natalie Portman or anyone else discourage you, girls. Speaking of Natalie...

Lily-Rose Depp, 17, and Natalie Portman, 35, at the premiere of Planetarium at Roy Thomson Hall on September 10. Planetarium is a period drama in which they star as American sisters who work as professional mediums in 1930's Paris. Lily-Rose: "We just got along really well as soon as we met." Natalie: "It was great. We became very comfortable, very quickly."

Natalie has another film out at Toronto this year, Jackie, a biopic of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The role is being described as "Oscar bait," even though Natalie scorned the Oscars as "false idols" after she won one for Black Swan. She was also in Toronto last year for her Hebrew-language film A Tale of Love and Darkness.

Sunnie Pelant, 6, plays little Caroline Kennedy in Jackie. She didn't attend the Toronto Film Festival, but she shared this photo from the film on her Twitter page. Sunnie is already a TV veteran for her role as Bones and Booth's daughter Christine on Bones.

Shortly after announcing that she's dropping out of all her future film projects, Chloe Moretz, 19, attended the premiere of Brain on Fire at the Princess of Wales Theatre on September 16. The film is adapted from the book by journalist Susannah Calahan (Chloe), who at age 24 was hospitalized with a rare auto-immune disease that caused delusions. Bailee Madison, 16, who also attended the premiere (above with Chloe), tweeted afterwards: Goosebumps.What a courageous & tremendously important movie. @ChloeGMoretz @scahalan congratulations, you are changing lives. #BrainOnFire

One year after she was in Toronto for The VVitch, Anya Taylor-Joy, 20, attends the premiere of Barry at the Ryerson Theater on September 10. The film is a biopic about the young life of Barack Obama (played by Devon Terrell, above with Anya). Anya plays Charlotte, a character based on Obama's three college girlfriends. "Charlotte's really cool. She's really got her shit together. She challenges Barry — that was the most important thing we really had to bring. It was kind of a matching of equals."

Just a few days after promoting Brimstone at the Venice Film Festival, Dakota Fanning, 22, attended its Toronto premiere in this black velvet gown on September 12. In an interview at the festival, Dakota said although she had less than a month to prepare for the role before shooting began (she took the part after Mia Wasikowska dropped out), "I didn't have any trepidation. I just hoped that [director Martin Koolhoven] would want me to do it. I just read the script and really loved it. I felt it was very different from anything I had ever done. Any opportunity to have a strong female character be the lead of a film, we don't see that nearly enough."

Like her little sister Elle last year, Dakota has two films out at Toronto. She wore this green dress to the premiere American Pastoral at the Princess of Wales Theatre on September 9. The '60s-set drama is the directorial debut for Ewan McGregor (August: Osage County), who also plays Dakota's father. She said of working with him: "It was a really special experience because a lot of times, when you connect with another actor in an intense way in a scene, really the only people that can ever truly understand that connection is the person that you're working with, and it's the job of the director to recognize it and be able to capture it."

And a few faces at the festival's InStyle Party, held at the Windsor Arms Hotel on September 10: Hailee Steinfeld, 19, Katherine McNamara, 20, and Evan Rachel Wood, 29.

Here's Shailene Woodley, 24, at the premiere of Snowden at Roy Thomson Hall on September 9. She attended the film festival to promote the political thriller, in which she plays the girlfriend of Edward Snowden, the NSA employee who leaked classified information to the press in 2013. But just like what happened at Comic Con, Shailene couldn't get away from questions about Allegiant going straight to TV. She said in a recent interview, "I didn't sign up to be in a television show."

Former child actress Gaby Hoffmann, now 34, at the premiere of Season 3 of her show Transparent at The Elgin on September 11. Transparent is nominated for Best Comedy Series and Best Supporting Actress for Gaby at the Emmys on September 18; Gaby lost this award last year, but maybe 2016 will be her year to win!

Former child actress Diane Lane, now 51, at the premiere of her film Paris Can Wait, at the Winter Garden Theatre on September 12. Diane's film debut, A Little Romance, was filmed in and around Paris, and so is this film, in which she plays a film producer's wife who rediscovers her zest for life during a road trip from Cannes to Paris.
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