grit (noun): firmness of character; indomitable spirit.
It's why the Coen brothers cast Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit.
Having scored rave reviews, the fourteen-year-old rookie actress is campaigning for a hotly debated supporting actress Oscar nomination. Or should it be leading actress? Steinfeld's Mattie Ross instigates the action and holds her own with A-listers Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. What's not debatable is that she's up against formidable competition in both actress categories, from Natalie Portman's Black Swan and Lesley Manville's Another Year stunner to supporting front-runners Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech) and The Fighter's Amy Adams.
Sophia Savage's two-part video interview is below.
Steinfeld's role models are two actresses who started young and maintained longevity, Natalie Portman and Jodie Foster. Like them, she plans to attend college, but she is waiting to see where her new career takes her before enrolling in high school (she's been home-schooled for the past few years). The Coen brothers cast the L.A.-area native after an exhaustive search and multiple auditions. She says: "It's almost as if they are one person and they have the same mind."