She captured our attention as the incredibly competitive, Violet Beauregarde. She stole, and broke, our hearts as the girl-next-door, Leslie Burke. She even recreated the iconic Carrie Bradshaw. This extraordinary talent, accomplished to the highest degree, is none other than the lovely, AnnaSophia Robb.
AnnaSophia Robb, 20, was born in Denver, Colorado. It was at a young age that Ms. Robb found interest in the entertainment industry, pursuing a soon-to-be well-crafted skill. She appeared in successes such as, Because of Winn-Dixie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bridge to Terabithia, Race to Witch Mountain, Soul Surfer, The Carrie Diaries, and The Way Way Back. Over the years, she created an impressive resume for herself, acting alongside other accomplished talents such as, Josh Hutcherson, Johnny Depp, and Steve Carell to name a few. Ms. Robb can now be found at NYU, devoting herself to her academics, while seamlessly managing to balance her impressive career. Graciously taking time out of her chaotic schedule, I met with AnnaSophia for what became a very charming interview.
As we have seen through a common curve, many celebrities feel that college is not in their best interest, as it interferes with many of their committed schedules. Why did she choose to take the road less traveled? “Education has always been really important to me. Growing up, I always stayed in school. I went to a public High School and was home-schooled one year, I believe it was fifth grade, and I hated it. I do best in communities, like film sets. It’s all collaboration and so, I love being in class, just talking about what other people liked about the book, or a subject, or history; I really enjoy that dialogue. So, college wasn’t even a question. It was more of, “well, of course I’m going to college!” I might not do it the same way as everyone else, but, I think it is important as an actor to not just study acting. You should study life and college is part of that. Plus, I am interested in a lot of different things and I think college is an awesome opportunity to expand your horizons.”
With education being key, it is no wonder that she chose to attend an institution, such as NYU, for her educational career. Even though she did accomplish the feat of gaining an acceptance to NYU, it wasn’t in her initial plan to attend, was it? “Originally, I was going to go to Stanford, which is an awesome school and it would have been a completely different experience. When I got out of High School, I thought I was going to take time off and go to school and not be interrupted with work. So, after doing the Carrie Diaries and being out of school for two years, gaining some perspective, I realized this is what I really love to do, telling stories in different ways and collaborating on projects and I don’t really ever want to be too far away from it. So, I felt like NYU was the perfect school because you’re able to still be in the world of this business and take meetings, and travel, and go to auditions and such, but at the same time, you’re collaborating with other students and having a semi-normal collegiate experience.”
And those two years off were well spent. Ms. Robb coveted the unique experience of recreating the iconic Carrie Bradshaw. What was it like to be given such an opportunity? “It was so much fun. I had never done television before and I had always been opposed to T.V., because I always felt like it was too much of a time commitment. I never wanted to be away from school for that long. But, I loved it, I absolutely loved it. I loved the pace; they shoot really fast. There are pro’s and con’s to both film and television, but I did like that the characters transitioned slower, throughout the season. It’s like you have, 13 hours to develop a character instead of an hour and 30 minutes.”
With a character so quintessential as Ms. Bradshaw, one would want to do their best to uphold the honor that comes with the name. How did she prepare for that? “Yes, well, I watched all of Sex and the City, of course, and read the books. But, it was mainly creating relationships. That’s what the Carrie Diaries were all about; the friendship and finding yourself, and it was kind of strange, because I felt as though my life mirrored Carrie’s in a lot of ways. Even coming to NYU, deciding, “I don’t want to go here, I want to go here!” So, it was mainly creating relationships and managing to create a bridge between the Sarah Jessica Parker character, the character I wanted to create, and what Amy Harris, the show’s writer, wanted to create. It was figuring out a young Carrie, who doesn’t quite know who she is yet, and still trying to figure it out.”
But if there is one thing Carrie Bradshaw certainly knows, it is high-fashion. With all the incredible pieces she wore, which became her favorite? “Oh, I got to wear a lot of cool clothes, and I didn’t get to keep anything. Not, even a pair of tights! I remember, it was our Prom episode, I wore this really cool, vintage dress. It was pink and ghastly. That was the cool part about our costume designer, Eric Damon, he was so talented. They found this 80’s piece and it was really just garish, but then they fitted it to me and gave it this Oscar De La Renta style, like a high-low cut. It was so cool and elegant. He just took this vintage piece and made it modern and I loved it!”
Unfortunately, the Carrie Diaries has come to a close, but that certainly does not mean Ms. Robb has taken a break. What’s next on the agenda? “Right now, I actually just did a film with Janet Grillo, who teaches at Tisch, over the summer. I did that and it is in post-production now. Then, another film I did called, The Conspiracy on Jekyll Island, I did last Thanksgiving and that is also in post-production.”
So, with all these accomplishments under her belt, all these films completed, what’s next for her career? “I’m trying to figure that out, right now. I think college has been a really good respite and helped me gain perspective to go, “what’s the bigger picture?” It’s not just about making movies and telling stories, but also influencing the world and knowing about current issues and what’s real foundational problems. It’s also about finding out what I really love, because I take a class and I’ll find that I thought it would be interesting to me and it’s not, or I may find different aspects of the class interesting. So, right now, I know that I definitely want to stay in film and I want to create my own projects. I don’t know if I would want to direct, but definitely produce and write. I’m interested in characters and stories, but I haven’t quite found that voice yet. It’s nice, because I have been writing so many papers and I am finding it very quickly.”
Is there any new territory she’d like to cover? “I really want to do theater. So, I’d love to do Shakespeare.”
Now, Ms. Robb has had the delight and fortune of being able to work with incredible actors, such as Johnny Depp and Steve Carell. What has she learned from those experiences? “They are really wonderful people. I feel like people think that super famous people are really stuck up, which is ridiculous, because people are people. They just have an immense respect for their craft and for their crew, I mean, that’s one of my favorite parts about filmmaking, it is a team effort. If anyone is missing or not doing their job properly, it won’t work. I feel like, Johnny and Steve, both really value the crew and they are also extremely prepared. With Johnny, people say, he never screws up, he’s always on point. Both Steve and Johnny are really good at improv and they really work with it. They know their characters inside and out.”
She’s worked with many more incredible actors, but are there any she hopes to collaborate with in the future? “Yeah, there are lots of actors I want to work with. Marion Cotillard, I would love to work with her. I would love Judi Dench. It’s a hard question, because there are so many awesome actors I am dying to work with.”
With all that she has accomplished, the amazing feats conquered, there is a sense of wisdom gained through it all. What advice would she instruct her younger self with? “Don’t stress and just work hard. I spent a lot of time worrying and stressing about things when I could have used that energy to work harder and have been more directed about what I wanted.”
Hard to believe that Ms. Robb is only 20 years old. What will the next 20 years hold for her? “I got one of those books, you know, those five year books. I got one for graduation and I was like, “holy sh*t! I have no idea!” I would like to be graduated in 5 years, but who knows, because I might take semesters off to work. I would also like to be in New York, I’d like to be creating my own films, maybe some theater by then, having a writer partner at NYU, create a dynamic duo!”
It was an incredible joy to have the opportunity to speak with such a refined and talented individual. AnnaSophia Robb is a beacon of grace and style, representing the entertainment community in the best light possible. I can only begin to imagine what the future holds for her, for it is bright and surely infinite.