By Kate Hogan
Updated April 29, 2011 07:30 PM

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

Four years ago at the Oscars, Abigail Breslin was America’s beloved Little Miss Sunshine. But on Wednesday, with long blonde tresses, the teen looked all grown up on her way into a Vanity Fair Tribeca Film Festival bash. Breslin was recently asked to go from red to blonde for her role in New Year’s Eve, where she shares the screen with Sarah Jessica Parker. And luckily, the young actress seems to like the change. “Yes, I am enjoying it. It’s kind of fun,” she told PEOPLE while arriving at the party. “It’s different, because I was so dark before.” In fact, Breslin’s dye job was so drastic, she practically looked like a different person to some. “My friends didn’t even say ‘hello’ to me,” she continued. Then “they’d [say], ‘Oh, you have blonde hair now?’ I guess people are kind of taken off guard by it.” Though the starlet is growing into new roles, not to mention growing up — she turned 15 earlier this month — she says her years in show business aren’t wearing her down just yet. She joked, “I feel the same age.” —Jeffrey Slonim