Sometimes I just want to take every well-adjusted young Hollywood star and, through magic or some sort of empowering summer camp, save them all from falling victim to the industry’s child-star curse. I want them to stay innocent and down-to-earth and well-spoken. I guess you could say I’m the Holden Caulfield of Hollywood. It’s okay, don’t call me a hero. The latest star I feel this way about is Hailee Steinfeld, who shot to stardom a couple of years ago when she was nominated for an Oscar for her incredible True Grit performance. (She should have been nominated for Best Actress instead of Best Supporting, if you ask me, but you didn’t ask me, so whatever.) Now she’s starring in the highly anticipated and highly angina-inducing Ender’s Game adaptatation, as well as Romeo and Juliet and a number of other projects. And she’s only 16 years old. But she hasn’t let it go to her head, as she proves in a new interview for Glamour magazine, in which she speaks out about bullying.
Hailee admits that she herself was a victim of bullying to the point where she had to be pulled out of school, but she’s determined to use her experience to help other young people:
“Bullying is something I went through, from third to sixth grade, when I got pulled out [of school]. I still go through it. And if I can be the person who says, ‘Trust me when I tell you it will be OK,’ then I will be that person.”
Hailee supports the Trevor Project, which combats bullying against gay and lesbian youth. I think it makes her such an excellent role model that she has achieved fame but has not lost sight of how her own experiences can influence and teach the young people who look up to her. Plus, Hailee has an incredibly mature outlook when discussing the bullies themselves:
“Often bullies are taking something [personal] out on others. If they use that energy to make someone smile, we can save so many people in the long run.”
I think it’s so wonderful that she’s able to look for the root of the problem and search for a way to fix it instead of simply villainizing the bullies, which would be so easy to do, but doesn’t necessarily lead us to solving the issue.
I hope Hailee can remain this grounded, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her career.
(Photo: Brian To/WENN.com)