Fictional characters don't come much more self-assured than Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old heroine of True Grit, and the young actress who plays her in the Coen brothers' remake shares some of that moxie. Cinching a man's belt over her thick wool coat helped her get into Mattie's mind-set: "When she straps on that belt," says Steinfeld, "you can tell she feels ready." Steinfeld felt ready too. She remembers no jitters, only the surreal elation of her very first take with co-stars Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges. When the Coens called, "Cut," she recalls, Bridges turned to her with a twinkle and asked, "How are you doing? It's fun, right?" Truly.
See Hailee Steinfeld talk about her favorite performances: