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The actress stars in and executive produces Apple TV+'s Dickinson

By Jeff Nelson
January 14, 2021 02:26 PM
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hailee steineld
Hailee Steinfeld
| Credit: Monica Schipper/Getty

Hailee Steinfeld is looking back on a decade in the spotlight.

In the new issue of PEOPLE, the star reflects on the 10-year anniversary of True Grit, in which she made her acting debut alongside Jeff Bridges. Steinfeld famously beat out 15,000 other girls for the role. And when she earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod for the role at age 13, people warned her how her life would change.

"Nothing in my life, in fact, has changed — other than my schedule," the Dickinson star, now 24, says.

Still, she missed out on some typical teenage milestones.

true grit
Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges in True Grit
| Credit: Everett

"I remember all my friends were going to a winter formal or a home­coming dance, and I was either at home or work­ing," recalls Steinfeld, who adds she "definitely made up for it" by attending premieres and awards shows, including the 2011 Academy Awards. "I think about the dress that I was so excited about and was made so per­fectly [by Marchesa]. I remember the red carpet and how freaking massive it felt and then getting in there and sitting around the most iconic and incredible people."

Steinfeld remains grateful she got to work alongside Bridges, who revealed in October he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

"He was and is a gift of a human. I can't believe I get to say I worked with him on my very first movie," she says. "I am forever grateful for him, and I'm sending all of my love and positive vibes."

Despite being thrust into the spotlight at a young age, Steinfeld managed to avoid the public growing pains that often befall child stars. She credits her family, including parents Cheri and Peter and older brother Griffin.

"The people in my life, family and my close inner circle have remained the same; they're my rock, and they're keeping me grounded," she says. "They love and care about me and will whip me back into shape if I ever step out of line."

Because of the coronavirus crisis, Steinfeld has been able to hunker down with loved ones and working on music in her new home studio.

"This is the first time I've spent this amount of time with my family since I was very young, and I've really enjoyed that," she says. "And there's been a lot of time and space to learn and grow as an individual. I am constantly reminded how fortunate I am. I feel so lucky that I get to do what I love. Everything that comes along with it is just a bonus for me."

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Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson
| Credit: Appletv+

And Steinfeld's schedule remains jam-packed. In addition to working on new music, she's currently filming Marvel's upcoming Disney+ series Hawkeye. And season 2 of her quirky period comedy Dickinson, which she executive-produces and stars in as the illustrious poet Emily Dickinson, is streaming now on Apple TV+.

"I love that this is a character who is so unapologetically herself," Steinfeld says. "This was something that truly felt like unlike anything I had ever read. And Especially for a period piece about Emily Dickinson, it was not what I was expecting. It's fun and fresh and wild and different. I was very excited, of course, to go back to do a season two because this is a show that I love and I'm very proud of."

New episodes of Dickinson drop every Friday on Apple TV+