Emma Fuhrmann Talks “Magic” and Movies
By: Lynn Barker
10-year-old actress Emma Fuhrmann lives in Dallas, Texas with her family. She started modeling as a baby, was in a lot of commercials and booked a really dramatic role in the TV series “Prime Suspect” as a girl who was the only witness to the murder of her parents. Wow! How did she act that without getting upset?
On July 6thyou can catch Emma in a really sweet family film called The Magic of Belle Isle in which she plays a girl who wants to be a writer but isn’t sure how. When an old Western novel writer (played by the wonderful Morgan Freeman) moves in next door, she sees her chance to learn from him and he cheers up while teaching her.
Kidzworld: Hi Emma. Tell us about your character in “Belle Isle”.
- Emma: I play Finnegan O’Neil. She’s the middle daughter of three girls. She’s like a tomboy and likes be outside building, creating and discovering new things. She finds Morgan Freeman’s character Monty really interesting since he’s a Western writer and she wants him to teach her a few things about writing.
Kidzworld: How was working with Madeline Carroll (Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Spy Next Door) who plays your older sister? We’ve interviewed her before.
Emma (right) with Morgan Freeman
- Emma: She was really nice. We had a lot of fun on the lake chatting about girl stuff. She was really sweet and we went over to her rental house there and she had a dock so we jumped off and swam around in the lake and it was fun.
Kidzworld: Don’t you swim in competition?
- Emma: Yeah, I swim competitively with my Hurricane team, my town team. I’ll do that more this summer.
Kidzworld: You were a model as a baby. Do you remember anything about how you felt about modeling at a very young age?
- Emma: I liked it and my mom always told me that everyone said they liked my blue, blue eyes. There’s one picture of me wearing this little flower shirt and it’s really cute. I remember I had to carry some towels for a commercial photo and I remember how heavy they were. I was so little.
Kidzworld: What are your most fun set memories from “Belle Isle”?
Emma: I liked when Finnegan makes a raft and takes it to the island where she discovers something really special. I also liked Virginia Madsen (who plays her mom). When you weren’t working, you would be doing something fun with her whether you were in the cast or on the crew. She’d have mustache Monday. She bought them from a party store and everybody had to wear them or White Castle Wednesday. She was so much fun. Just like my second mom.
Kidzworld: What it a huge audition process to get the role or was it pretty easy?
- Emma: I was home in Dallas so I did a video audition and sent it in. Then they wanted to see me in New York so my mom and I flew there. I met the (filmmakers) and about two hours later, they offered me the role.
Kidzworld: What is really great about not living in L.A. but living in Dallas with your whole family?
- Emma: It’s not necessary for me to live in L.A. yet because I can easily jump on a plane to get in front of people for roles. Texas keeps me grounded. I really like it here, even though it’s hot here. I have a lot of friends here and it would be hard for me to leave them.
Kidzworld: You have a cute dog. What kind of dog is Kirby?
- Emma: Kirby is a cute, hyper little doggie. She’s sitting in the living room right now and I can see her. She’s like “Play with me!!” She’s a soft-coated Wheaton Terrier. It gets hot here so we shaved her. She used to run from the sun. She’d like in the shade under my dad.
Kidzworld: What is a typical day like for you when you aren’t working?
- Emma: I get up and go to school then come home and do my homework and play outside with friends. Or if I have a project to do I try to finish it then play with my dog and my family. I like to watch “Modern Family” on TV but I also like to design outfits. I’d love to have a fashion line.
Kidzworld: Who is your fave music artist?
- Emma: I like Adele and Taylor Swift and a song by Jamie Grace called “Hold Me”.
Kidzworld: How do you play parts like a girl who saw her parents murdered (In “Prime Suspect” on TV.)? Isn’t that upsetting even if you are acting?
Emma: Looking through the character’s eyes, kind of puts you in the moment and you know what she’s gone through since you’ve read the script and know how she feels. You try and figure out what she’d be thinking at that moment in time. She’s thinking about her parents and that the guy who killed them is coming after her. That was really fun to play. I leave it there. I don’t take the character’s feelings home. I get more upset when I miss filming and am not working. I keep the memories. My room is decorated with some of the stuff from my work.
Emma and movie "family" on mustache day
Kidzworld: What activity or game are you and your friends obsessed with right now?
- Emma: I like “Mario”. There’s the Ap called Draw Something and we play that together. I just got an e-mail address and I got “Just Dance 3” which is so much fun. It’s like a workout. My mom and I do it together.
Kidzworld: What acting projects are coming up for you?
- Emma: I just did a short film called “Raspberry Jam” and got to see it at the Dallas Film Festival.
Kidzworld: Why will kids and teens really enjoy seeing The Magic of Belle Isle?
- Emma: It’s a good wholesome family movie. It’s serious but funny too. Morgan Freeman is funny. He sings on set.