Though we may always remember her thick-rimmed glasses and angelic eyes — or, more importantly, her adorable pink-plaid Oscars dress from her Academy nom — Abigail Breslin has left Lil' Miss Sunshine behind. Her career is fully fledged, from playing SJP's daughter to voicing critters with Johnny Depp, since she smartly got that pesky awards thing out of the way early. Though she's a seasoned Hollywood vet, Breslin is still a 17-year-old girl, which means she plays with her pups, blushes when we mention crushes, and still can't dye her hair wild colors.
Abigail loves music, New York City, and her dogs (you know, like any girl who rubs shoulders with Arnold Schwarzenegger), and to support the latter, she hung out with the chihuahuas from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals at Henri Bendel's exclusive IMPOSTER Faux Fur shopping event. Pups! Christmas songs! Cuddly things! We did all we could to stop ourselves from snuggling into Abigail's faux-chilla vest.
How do you deal with the label of “child star?”
“I kind of just let it happen naturally. I mean, I think that that’s always what you get when you start acting at a young age. I don’t really care too much, to be honest with you. I just keep looking to make movies and trying new things. I search for parts that I feel passionate about and tend to ignore labels. I don’t really read anything written about me.”
You’ve gone from delightful indie hits to big-budget blockbusters. What are you hoping for next?
“You know, honestly, I don’t really search for anything in particular. It always comes down to what scripts I get, but, more importantly, what I feel connected to. You always give the best performance when you feel passionate about something. I don’t have a set out plan; I just go with what I feel at the time.”
Do you have more fun with the indie flicks?
“It’s really good being on a giant CGI set because craft service is really good on it. But, I do like doing indie movies. There’s more of a community vibe, and it’s quicker — which forces you to be a little family with your cast. I don’t discriminate, though; I like whatever. I have fun on pretty much every movie I’ve done. There’s always been a family feel to each set. The director of Ender’s Game felt passionately about the story and characters; even though it was big budget, it didn’t feel it — well, besides the size of the set.”
What are you binge watching, listening to, or reading?
“I’m catching up on Grey’s Anatomy from last season. I’ve been watching that nonstop. I’ve been listening to Christmas music, and I’m really into The 1975. Oh, and the band Dresses. I’m friends with them and they’re sick. But, really, I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music. I just released my Christmas song today on iTunes. It’s called 'Christmas In New York.' I wrote it about a year ago and now it’s out!”
What did you do on it?
“I wrote it, I sing on it, and I play guitar on it. My brother, Spencer, plays some guitar, too. It was really fun to make.”
Who's more fun: a bad boy or a boy scout?
“I think girls, a lot of times, lean towards bad boys because they’re fun. But, you’re probably safer with a boy scout. In the long run, a boy scout is probably the better choice. Bad boys are fun for a little while, though.”
If only you could have both!
“Yes, if only you could have both. Someday, maybe.”
Do you have a pet of your own?
“I do! I have two dogs, two cats, and a turtle. His name is Manny. He’s a Russian tortoise.”
We freaked out when you changed your hair. Do you have any plans for it? Are you going to be blonde for a while?
“Yeah, well, blonde is my default color. I always go back to blonde. I just did a movie where I had dark hair, but I dyed it back — my hair has been through the ringer. I want to try doing a pastel color one day, like lavender or a light pink, but I have to convince people to let me do it.”
What’re you going to do for your 18th birthday?
“I’m so boring right now. I really just want to hang out with my friends, get dinner, watch movies, and maybe do some karaoke. I’m really lame. I don’t like big parties.”
What’s the best or worst Christmas gift you’ve ever gotten?
“I think that every Christmas gift is the best Christmas gift ‘cause someone thought of you to get you that gift. The best one I ever got would be my puppy two years ago. That was really exciting.”
What’s coming up the pipeline for you?
“Well, I have August: Osage County coming up. I just did a movie called Maggie. It’s a virus movie where I play a girl infected by this virus that turns you into a zombie creature. It’s really dark, quiet, and very indie. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays my dad, and Joely Richardson is in it, too.”
What was it like working with Arnold? “It was great! He’s so much fun, and such a nice guy. He’s just very chill — he’s Arnold Schwarzenegger! He’s massively tall, though. It’s really funny compared to my 5’1” frame.”