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An Oscar Nom Validates Hailee Steinfeld's Early Career Path

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The 14-year-old Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee says she's been raised to remain "grounded" despite all the fame she's achieved as a result of her "True Grit" performance.

A 14-year-old already settled on a career path? Yeah, Hailee Steinfeld, we guess an Oscar nomination does pretty much validate your early vocational decision.

Steinfeld, the “True Grit” star who’s in the hunt for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, tells PopcornBiz she does feel all the acclaim shows she made the right choice – even though she knows there are still plenty of options to choose from.

“It's funny because before I started acting and I was doing different sports and everything, I would invest a lot of time and effort into it, as well as my parents,” Steinfeld said at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where she received a Virtuoso award for her performance. “I'd get good at whatever it is and I'd say, 'Okay. I want to do this for the rest of my life,' and it'd change the next day.”

“I love being athletic and I used to ride horses, and I think that I found with acting, performing, doing this, you get to do that stuff. So overall it's just something that I love, love to do,” she explained.

She’s still ready to find a new love and run with it. We asked if she could pick her favorite film genre, the kind of movie she likes watching, for her next role, she couldn’t instantly decide: “It's interesting because when I think of different genres, I feel like I think of comedy, drama and thriller and then horror,” she said. “Recently, this past year I've been introduced to the genre of westerns. So there really is so much to learn, and so many things. It's all about loving the character and loving the material itself, whatever it is. With reading a bunch of scripts now, I'm able to kind of adjust to different kinds of things. If I love it, then that's the thing.”

She’s also picked up plenty of professional lessons from her top-caliber co-stars, including Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. “There's a lot, but I have to say that the first thing that comes to mind that every actor on the set of 'True Grit' was just so happy to be there and they brought such joy to their work. That's just so contagious, and I see exactly where I want to be when I'm at that stage. They've set such great examples for me, and the actors and the Coen Brothers have given me the advice to have fun and not take anything too seriously. They've all given me the perfect example of that.”

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