Hailee Steinfeld, best known for playing opposite Jeff Bridges in the Oscar-nominated True Grit, takes on a lighter and more modern role in John Carney’s Begin Again.

Hailee Steinfeld On 'Begin Again'

Steinfeld’s character Violet is the daughter of Ruffalo’s music-business executive Dan, who is estranged from her mother, played by Catherine Keener. Working with Ruffalo and Keira Knightley – a singer/songwriter in the romantic comedy – was an experience the 17-year-old Steinfeld won’t soon forget. One of her highlights on the Begin Again set was when she met Knightley for the first time.

“I met Keira for the first time on camera, which was not necessarily planned, but that was exciting,” Steinfeld told uInterview exclusively. “It was the first time I ever did anything organic like that, so that was pretty cool.”

From their first meeting on set, Knightley, 29, became something of a mentor to Steinfeld, gladly offering the up-and-coming actress some career advice. Even more helpful than the advice, however, was the chance to watch Knightley in action while filming.

“I had so much to learn from her and the beauty of what I get to do working with such incredibly talented people is just being in their presence, I’m able to pick up on so much,” revealed Steinfeld. “Sometimes at the end of the day, it’s not what they say, it’s what they do that really stands out to me. And Keira was just all around so amazing, and I’m such a fan of hers and to be able to work with her was truly special.”

Ruffalo, who is nominated for an Emmy for his turn in HBO’s the Normal Heart, was just as accessible as Knightley. Steinfeld recalls having in-depth conversations with the actor off camera from which she learned a great deal.

“Just from having conversations with [Mark] and working with him alone, everything, there’s so much to take in,” Steinfeld told uInterview. “He’s so incredibly talented and he has such a presence, and he’s such a great guy. I really enjoyed working with him.”

In addition to learning a bit about honing her craft and navigating the movie business, Steinfeld’s role also gave her the opportunity to try her hands at guitar. “The fact that she could play the guitar was really cool,” said the actress, “and learning how to play was awesome!”


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