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Actress Abigail Breslin Transitions to Older Roles

November 21, 2011

It seems like there’s one nearly every year: a precocious kid actor who steals the hearts of moviegoers and Oscar voters. But from Tatum O’Neal to Hailee Steinfeld, adorable child stars have long faced an uphill battle in making the shift to an adult career. Many have struggled to prove that there’s more to their talent than just playing cute.

Abigail Breslin is well acquainted with that particular conundrum. At the age of 10, she earned a supporting actress Oscar nomination for 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine.” She had the memorable role of Olive, a chubby, somewhat dorky girl whose eccentric family rallies behind her efforts to win a beauty pageant. Since then, Breslin’s slowly been transitioning into more grown-up parts, playing Ryan Reynolds’ daughter in the romantic comedy “Definitely, Maybe” and tackling more serious fare in the somber drama “My Sister’s Keeper” opposite Cameron Diaz, not to mention her turn as feisty younger sister to Emma Stone’s gun-toting tough girl in the horror sendup “Zombieland.”

Now 15, she stars in the just-released “Janie Jones,” an independent drama about a teenager who is introduced for the first time to her estranged father (Alessandro Nivola). Dad is a rock star, and she joins him on the road as the two work on their relationship. The film is available as a rental on iTunes and OnDemand.

“To anyone who said, ‘Well, she got an Academy Award nomination because she was a cute kid,’ I would say, ‘Look at her in this movie,’ ” said David Rosenthal, who wrote and directed the film and cast Breslin without even auditioning her for the part. “You see why she’s really a star." Read More