The Carrie Diaries AnnaSophia Robb
By: Lynn Barker
You’ve probably seen a younger AnnaSophia Robb in Bridge to Terabithia, Soul Surfer and Race to Witch Mountain. The now 19-year-old star takes on playing the teen version of “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw in the new series "The Carrie Diaries". It’s the 1980’s; big hair, the dawn of MTV and paging rather than texting. Young high school Carrie’s dreams of success in the big city are just forming.
What made Carrie, Carrie? We’re checking in with AnnaSophia about how she personally relates to the character and getting a brief comment from hot Austin Butler (yeah, Vanessa Hudgens’s guy) who plays Carrie’s love crush in the show.
Q: You’re taking on the role of a very iconic character. Can you talk a little bit about how you added your own flair to Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker in “Sex and the City”)? And then if you had any sort of challenges or fears of taking on that character?
- AnnaSophia: When I landed the role, I remember having a conversation with (the producer) and she said, “We don’t want you to emulate carrie performance. I loved the show “Sex and the City.” I still watch it. I try to watch an episode every night even though that doesn’t really happen because we work long hours, but I’d like to. Really my character is a combination of the books, the script, what I’m bringing to the role, (the producer’s) vision for the character, and myself. And I realized, as we go on, I feel like I’m becoming more like Carrie or Carrie is becoming more like me. It’s sometimes hard to determine which one is which.
- I realize that some of the things that, when I’m reading the script and I’m talking with (the producer) or the director, I’m like, “Okay. Well, this is what I’m struggling with,” or “I don’t think she’d do this” or “I think she should do this”. I realize that I wish Carrie would just calm down about these things. It’s faults in myself that I see in Carrie because we’re similar in many ways. I want to just calm her down when really I should just let my own neurotic self come out. That’s what’s been happening over the course of time. So it’s really just feeling it out. I don’t know the entire plot for the entire season so it’s a growing process.
Q: Have you been in touch with Sarah Jessica Parker? And if so, can you tell us what advice she gave you or what she said?
- AnnaSophia: When I landed the role, she sent me a very lovely note just kind of giving me her blessing and encouraging me and telling me how excited she was and how dear the part was to her, and so that was huge for me because I was obviously nervous. I was, like, “Is this okay?” And so it just meant a lot to be able to have her blessing. So I sent a thank-you note back.
Q: Carrie finds Manhattan magical and exciting. Because you grew up in Colorado, how old were you the first time you saw Manhattan, and what was your reaction to it the first time you went there?
- AnnaSophia: The first time I went to Manhattan, I was, I think 10. I was doing press for Because of Winn Dixie and it was fantastic. I remember I stayed at the W Hotel, and I think it was for press. I was just so enamored with the chandeliers, and I remember just sitting, not being able to sleep, partly because of the time difference, but sitting at my window and trying to count how many cabs went by. I couldn’t believe that there were so many more cabs than regular cars because I had never seen that before. Every time, I remember, I’d always get off the plane and get a soft pretzel.
Q: And now, as a teenager, what things strike you about Manhattan?
- AnnaSophia: Well, living there now, I just really appreciate being able to walk everywhere. It’s so convenient and there’s so much culture. You know, there’s always something going on. I’m living alone for the first time, which is a little bit lonely, but if ever I’m feeling down, you can just walk out on the street, and it sort of envelopes you, and there are things going on. You can hear music being played and people’s conversations and just sitting at a café is a whole world in itself.
Q: As you portray a teen in the 1980’s what do you like about that era?
- AnnaSophia: The ’80s is very on trend right now. I do like the hair. Actually, all senior year, I was thinking about getting a perm because I really wanted curly hair, and then I got this part, and I was, like, “I don’t need to get a perm, now, I have curly hair!” But I love the ’80s. I think it’s such a romantic time, and there was such an explosion of culture and wild fashion that sometimes we never want to look back upon, but it’s fun to bring back out; the colors and the art. I just think it’s a really vibrant time, and it’s beautiful. Our show is really fun to watch just because it’s so visually alluring. We have fun with the big boom boxes and the music. I mean, we have some Wham in there and The Bangles and Madonna.
Q: Austin, anything ‘80’s-weird you’ve had to do?
- Austin: The other day, we were filming something where I had to type in a phone number (on a pay phone), and there were seven digits. And so I was typing ten, and they had to tell me to only press seven. I thought that was interesting. That type of thing.We had to look up payphones on the web.
“The Carrie Diaries” starts tonight on the CW!