'Pitch Perfect 2' Star Hailee Steinfeld Gets Real About High School FOMO & Fight Training In 'Barely Lethal'
While the perks of being a young celebrity in Hollywood are likely too many to fathom, there are certainly some drawbacks for young actors wishing to have a normal teenage experience. Hailee Steinfeld, star of Pitch Perfect 2 and the recently released Barely Lethal , is grateful for her blooming acting career, but admits to occasional FOMO. "It always feels like the day after homecoming or prom when all my friends are posting pictures, that's kind of when I feel like I wasn't a part of it," the 18-year-old actress says. "But I realize the reason I'm not is because I'm in another part of the world doing what I love to do. So part of me wishes I could be there, but I have the opportunity to do stuff I love that my friends don't get the opportunity to do," she explains, adding: "So I get to do what they don't, and they get to do what I don't."
Steinfeld's latest big screen venture mirrors this catch-22 in many ways. Barely Lethal surrounds teenage special ops agent Megan, (Steinfeld) who, after watching a bevy of teenage-centric movies like Mean Girls and Clueless, feels like she's missing out on the world of high school. She fakes her own death to get out of her special ops responsibilities and enrolls in a typical American high school. Of course, her want for a normal life is hindered when she realizes teenage life is just as difficult, if not more so, than life as a spy.
"The life I live is kind of like the life that Megan lives before she goes to high school," Steinfeld says. "It's normal to her, it's all she knows." And just like Megan gaining her education from popular teenage movies, Steinfeld (along with co-star Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones) revel in specific teenage flicks. Both girls rattle off their favorites back and forth: "16 Candles, Breakfast Club, Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, Easy A, Mean Girls, Bring It On..."
"What's so great about these movies is they've all stayed with so many people," Steinfeld says. "They are such iconic movies, and they are only done every so often. So to be a part of one that's done at a time where it's needed is great. [Barely Lethal] is for our friends, it's for our generation to call it their own."
But what differentiates Barely Lethal from such iconic teen films as the ones above, is the level of physical skill and intensity demonstrated in the former. "It was fairly physically demanding," Steinfeld says of her role as Megan. "[Sophie Turner and myself] both had over a month of fight choreography training before we started, and the training lasted through the course of the movie," she says. "We had such a good time, and neither one of us killed eachother so that's good."
A film like Barely Lethal, starring two females in the leading roles with a female villain (Jessica Alba) to boot is rare in an age when action films are still male dominated. "What's so great about it is it focuses on — not the power necessarily — but what women are capable of, and what really what anyone is capable of. It's amazing that it starts out with these little girls who grow up to be these brave, courageous women."
See Hailee Steinfeld in Barely Lethal in theaters now. Watch the trailer below.
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