Emma Roberts doesn’t have a typical summer job – but being a movie star might just beat working at the mall. After starring in Nancy Drew, the 16-year-old is heading to England to shoot a new movie called Wild Child. “It’s about a spoiled California girl who gets shipped off to boarding school because her dad can’t handle her any more,” she tells PEOPLE. “She has attitude. She’s sassy.”
Before she left, we caught up with Roberts to talk about boys, turning ‘Sweet 16’ and mean girls.
In movies like Nancy Drew, you have to kiss your costars in front of the cameras. What was that like?
It was my second screen kiss. It was a little weird at first because it was really embarrassing. It’s kind of embarrassing but after the tenth take it was like, okay. We did almost 30 [takes] because we did something like seven different angles. A lot of times you get so worried about the kiss you forget the lines. Then you’ll lean in for the kiss and everyone is like, “You have a line,” and then you’re all embarrassed. That happened a lot.
So, do you date in real life?
Yes. My curfew is like midnight. I have to be back in the house and in bed. My mom is usually up. I feel like she never goes to bed!
Does that mean you have a boyfriend?
Um, yeah … But I’m not going to talk about it.
Darn. Well, what do you like to do with your friends?
I don’t work on the weekends, so I get to see them every weekend and have sleepovers and hang out and go to the movies.
Do you hang out at the mall?
I used to do it a lot when I was younger. I never found it fun. Me and my friends don’t understand why people just hang out at the mall. They don’t shop or eat or go to the movies; they just hang around. That doesn’t sound like fun. I’d rather be at my friends’ house. Most of the time a bunch of friends come over and we hang out and go swimming and do nothing.
Does filming all these high school movies make you miss going to a regular school instead of being home schooled?
I miss school a little bit, the whole being with your friends. But I like what I do and a lot of schools wouldn’t let you leave [to work.]
At least you don’t have to deal with mean girls and cliques, right?
[During filming] I was dressed in my Nancy Drew clothes and we were shooting in Long Beach. I was walking around … and nobody really knew I was shooting a movie there. These girls were laughing at me. I turned around to see why they were laughing at and they gave me a mean look. So I turned back around and walked into a trailer. I smacked my face into it. And then they laughed even harder. It was really funny.
How did you celebrate turning 16 in February?
I had a sweet 16 party in L.A. We had photo booths and a DJ. I have all the pictures. We had a Tarot Card reader, a psychic there. It was really, really cool. We hung out and ate and danced and talked.
And what about that other rite of passage – getting your driver’s license?
I took the test a month and a half ago and I failed! I blocked a turn lane. I haven’t gone back. It was, like, during rush hour traffic and I was very nervous! After I get my license, I’ll get a car.
Maybe a flashy red convertible?
I have to get something safe. I really like the Volkswagon Touareg.
Do you feel pressure to be thin or look a certain way because you’re famous?
I don’t. I’m very happy with myself. I don’t really fall into the peer pressure or media pressure. I don’t diet. I probably should exercise more for my health. I do just anything with my friends, run on the treadmill or do yoga or go to a dance class. And I take tennis.
Is there anyone in Hollywood you look at as a role model?
I really like Drew Barrymore and Reese Witherspoon. Both of them are really great actresses and have had great careers and have been acting since they were younger. It would be cool to work with them.
Other young stars make headlines for their partying. Ever worry it could happen to you?
It doesn’t freak me out. I’m not the kind of person who would fall into that kind of stuff.