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Oscar Nominee Trivia File: Hailee Steinfeld

Can you imagine being nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 14, for the only feature-length movie you've ever done?!

Meet Best Supporting Actress nominee Hailee Steinfeld, who in just one year has gone from family nights around the kitchen table to star-studded premieres, television interviews and award shows.

Here's the "Extra" scoop on young Hollywood's 'It Girl'!

Hailee Steinfeld Oscar Nominee Trivia File

Her Early Years

Hailee was born in Tarzana, a suburb of Los Angeles, on December 11, 1996. Her mother is an interior designer and father is a personal fitness trainer. She has an older brother, Griffin.

She Caught 'The Bug'

At 8 years old, after seeing her cousin in a Bratz Dolls commercial, Hailee caught the acting bug and decided she wanted to try it.

Study First, Fun Second

After telling her parents she wanted to act, her mom insisted she study for a full year. Hailee took classes at Cynthia Bain's Young Actor Studio in Studio City, where she worked with a number of coaches.


After studying for a year, Hailee's mom sent out her headshots and she eventually signed with Coast to Coast Talent group. From age 9 to 11, she only did print work.

Student Films

At age 11, Hailee began auditioning but was turned down for roles because she was "too green." While waiting for a big break, she did two student graduate films.
Here is a trailer for the student film "Without Wings" ...

She's Got 'Blingatude'

In 2009, Hailee starred in a Kmart 'Blingatude' commercial (wearing bedazzled jeans) for back-to-school season.
Watch the spot!

Star Power

Long before the Coen Brothers discovered her, Kelsey Grammer did! In 2007, Hailee was cast in an episode of his short-lived FOX sitcom "Back to You."

There Are No Small Parts

Along with "Back to You," in 2010 Hailee appeared in an episode of FOX's comedy "Sons of Tuscon."

How She Heard About the Role

Her mom's cousin's husband was watching the news and saw there was an open casting call for the remake of the western "True Grit." Hailee's mom called her agent, Meredith Fine, and asked, "How can we get in on this?

Her Big Break

Haliee auditioned for the role in January 2009 and was called back to read with casting director Ellen Chenoweth. While she auditioned for some commercials ten or more times, for this major movie she auditioned only three times.

You Got the Part!

It was about 7 PM when she got the call she was cast in "True Grit." Hailee was in her room and was called downstairs by her mom to pick up the phone. According to Hailee, "her heart was beating out of her chest." As soon as her manager told her she was Mattie Ross, she began jumping up and down and her father took pictures.


Hailee was familiar with riding horses before "True Grit" (maybe it helped her land the part), but she had never shot a gun (she was only 13!). To help her prep for her gun-shooting character, she went to the shooting rang with her father.

The Bad Boys Jar

A month into filming "True Grit," Hailee created a Bad Boy Jar — where she charged co-stars and crew every time someone cursed. The punishment was $5 for the 'F' word and $1 for any other word. This idea was inspired by her mom and teacher, who didn't want her picking up any dirty language. She made a total of about $340. After filming wrapped, she donated all the money to an Alzheimer's research foundation.

Pass the Pigs

On set of "True Grit," Hailee and Jeff Bridges played the dice game Pass the Pigs. According to Bridges, it's "one of my favorite games to play on the set, it's sort of a craps for kids," adding that Hailee "scored very well."

Bieber Fever

Hailee met teen heartthrob Justin Bieber when they both introduced the nominees and winner of the 2011 Best Animated Film Golden Globe award. When she later appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Bieber said Hailee was "really nice and talented," and "cute."

A Star Is Born

For her critically acclaimed role as Mattie in "True Grit," Steinfeld is nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, among nominees Amy Adams ("The Fighter"), Helena Bonham Carter ("The King's Speech"), Jacki Weaver ("Animal Kingdom"), and Melissa Leo ("The Fighter").