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Hailee Steinfeld and Brittany Snow are Pitch Perfect

May 13, 2015

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By: Lynn Barker

You know teen Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit, Romeo and Juliet and Ender’s Game. Brittany Snow played Chloe in Pitch Perfect and mean girl Amber von Tussle in the movie musical Hairspray. Now, you can catch both talented young actresses in Pitch Perfect 2.

Hailee (left) and Brittany (center) performHailee (left) and Brittany (center) performCourtesy of Universal

Hailee was a huge fan of the first film and was over the moon when she landed a role as a Bella in the fun, musical sequel. Turns out Hailee has a great singing voice. Who knew? Brittany loves playing Chloe and was looking forward to returning to the role. From what the ladies are saying, they had a mega blast making the new film.

Q: Hailee, as a fan of the first film, how would you compare the two? And Brittany, as a veteran of the first film, what was different for you?

  • Hailee: From more of an outsider’s standpoint, I think the girls maybe had it down the second time out and there were statements made in the first movie that come back in the second. The banter is so real and genuine and spontaneous. My character is really good about just going with the flow and agreeing with everything so in terms of improv, it was fairly easy. (To Brittany) What do you think?
  • Brittany: I think on this one, Elizabeth Banks (as director) really gave us the freedom to try things out even if they didn’t work. She knew that the more time given for improv (improvisation), the more little things could be picked up along the way. There was a lot more improv on this one. A lot of it doesn’t make it but you got the sense that we tried new things and we felt safe with each other because we knew each other better so there was a collaborative atmosphere this time around.

Hailee with director/actor Elizabeth BanksHailee with director/actor Elizabeth BanksCourtesy of Universal

Q: Hailee, how many times did you see the first film and how excited were you when you realized you got a part in this movie?

  • Hailee: Oh my gosh, I don’t know how many times I saw that first movie. A lot. I actually recently just watched it again like last week with a friend who’d never see it before so that was kind of fun. But, being such a huge fan of the first movie, knowing that I was going to be a part of the second one was just so surreal and so exciting and it’s amazing to be a part of this.

Hailee gets a warm welcomeHailee gets a warm welcomeCourtesy of Universal

Q: The girls in the film have quite a sisterhood. How hard is it to maintain friendships like that in Hollywood?

  • Brittany: I think in any industry it’s always hard to find those people that you gravitate towards and have life-long friends. I’ve been really lucky to make some of my best friends on films and keep them throughout my life. One of my best friends and my roommate, actually, Kelley Jakle (who played bitchy Bellas leader Jessica), I met on the first movie and I guess that is the epitome of working on a movie and being sisters. She is somebody that I’ll be friends with forever. I think there are a lot of girls and guys in this business that have the right intentions and you find them and you hold on to them.

Q: Hailee, we haven’t heard you sing in films. What was it like singing in the movie and singing in front of someone to get the role?

  • Hailee: I was just looking for the right opportunity to explore it because, as an actor, wanting to sing is viewed in a different sort of way so I think I was looking for an opportunity to find a way that I could sing somehow. So, when this came along, it’s obviously a dream role. The first time I sang live in the movie was when I sing live for the Bellas, when I audition for them. The first time that you will hear me sing live is me singing live for the Bellas.

Hailee as Emily with Anna Kendrick as BecaHailee as Emily with Anna Kendrick as BecaCourtesy of Universal

Q: And, (to Brittany) how did she do?

  • Brittany: Amazing. She’s not going to say that but she has an amazing voice. I was completely shocked because (to Hailee) I had no idea you could sing like that and getting to hear you live, it was…
  • Hailee: (joking) Don’t talk it up.
  • Brittany: It’s very soulful and, for being so young, you know, you’ve got a lot of heart in there.
  • Hailee: Thanks!

Q: Are a lot of record labels contacting you? Are you looking forward to going on tour? 

  • Hailee: I don’t know that a lot of labels have seen this movie yet. I’ve visited friends on tour and going to concerts is one of my favorite things in the entire world and I think to be able to have that live reaction is something you don’t get as a (film) actor. We kind of got a taste of that shooting our finale over the course of a week. We were able to perform in front of a live audience. If I were ever to consider going on tour I would have a lot of work to do up until that point but it would be something that would be cool to experience.

Brittany (Chloe), center) and Hailee (Emily, far right)Brittany (Chloe), center) and Hailee (Emily, far right)Courtesy of Universal

Q: Do you play any instruments?

  • Hailee: Air guitar (laughter), air drums, I don’t. I only wish I did.

Q: Hailee’s character has to find her place in this well-established group. Was there any sense of that with this group of actresses and Brittany, was there any hazing of the new kid when she came in?

  • Brittany: Well, we don’t like to talk about it but we beat her and made her sing while doing push ups…
  • Hailee: And that wasn’t all.
  • Brittany: No! We were really excited to meet her and when she walked in, we were really glad that she liked the first film so well and she became a part of us very quickly. There wasn’t any sort of uncomfortable (time). I think that is because of how genuine she is so I think that it was very seamless how it all happened.
  • Hailee: I do think there are some similarities between me and my character in terms of being the deer-in-headlights, being completely new and very eager and a fan of everyone. Walking into a world that was already established was as equally intimidating as it was exciting and thrilling but I had a very warm welcome and all the girls were really helpful in getting me caught up.

Q: Hailee, you are a new girl on campus in this and you are a high school senior. Any university plans yourself?

  • Hailee: I’ve realized, in the last four years, that with all the traveling that I’ve done and all the movies that I’ve made, the world is my classroom and I’ve experienced things that I don’t know you can necessarily get from reading a history book. College has always been an interest of mine and I really would love to fully pursue that when I’m in a place where I can give myself to an education of four years and go to a university and take the time and really focus on that because I do find that balancing school and work is like working two fulltime jobs and it’s not easy. So, at the right time, that will definitely happen.

Hailee as college Freshman EmilyHailee as college Freshman EmilyCourtesy of Universal

Q: What would you like to study at college?

  • Hailee: I have to honestly say it changes all the time. I think part of my thinking in that it will happen at the right time, is I can’t decide between now and six months from now as to what I want to study. I think that’s part of why I’m saying I’m not necessarily ready because I really don’t know. (To Brittany) What would you do?
  • Brittany: I know now but I’m a little old (everybody poo poos this. She’s in her 20’s). That’s one of my biggest regrets though is not going to college.
  • Hailee: I think the beauty is that you can go at any time. When I was going through high school, there was a lot of pressure. In my community too, that’s a big thing with parents. It was all about “What college is your kid going to?”. The difference in my family is that my parents always supported my brother and I a hundred percent with what we wanted and, luckily, we found something that we’re decently good at and that makes us happy.

Q: Did you have a favorite scene to shoot in Pitch Perfect 2?

  • Brittany: The slumber party scene was actually really fun because we actually were in a big tent and sleeping in various positions very close to each other. Rebel (Wilson) went on an improv for a really long time and I decided to sing Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” and I went up to Liz (director/actress Elizabeth Banks) after and said “I’m sorry. I don’t think you’re really gonna buy that song and she said “Oh, no, we might” and I guess they did. It was fun that that made it in there. But, we sang that entire song probably about twenty times. It’s always a good song to bring girls together.

The Bellas' slumber partyThe Bellas' slumber partyCourtesy of Universal

Q: Another fun scene in the film was the Riff-Off.  Were you guys having as much fun as it looked and were you there when the (Greenbay) Packers were there?

  • Hailee: We were. I didn’t realize that a group of like the manliest men in the world were such fans of Pitch Perfect. It was quite shocking to the extent that they would go into their trailers between set-ups and come back and show us videos of them doing the numbers from the first movie, like full on.
  • Brittany: They each had their own parts and they knew the dance and everything.
  • Hailee: It was really impressive.  Riff-Off is one of my favorite scenes in the first movie so to be a part of this one really, really was fun.
  • Brittany: Having Adam DeVine and Skylar Astin back and Ben (Platt). When Ben is professing his love to you, I think that is like my favorite of the whole thing when he goes on his spiel. So sweet. I love it.

Hailee as Emily with Ben Platt as BenjiHailee as Emily with Ben Platt as BenjiCourtesy of Universal

Q: Were there any scenes where you couldn’t keep a straight face when Rebel Wilson was improvising?

  • Brittany: Most. It’s improv but she comes with a plan and she knows what she’s doing beforehand. She has a list of various things she could say and sometimes she waits until the last minute to say the one that is the craziest so you never know what’s gonna come. But, she’s extremely smart so she knows how to make sure that these are the things she’s thought about and work within the scene. She always wants to surprise us.
  • Hailee: Yeah. Always.
  • Brittany: She likes that shock factor. I think she’s is really excited when we’re all like (She makes a shocked face).

Q: You are both beautiful, accomplished young women. Do you have any advice for young women who want to get into the film industry?

  • Brittany: I’m still learning every day about myself and this business that I’ve been in since I was twelve years old but there is definitely perseverance for being in the business this long and constantly working at it and striving to get better and go to the next step because you never really get there. It’s like this peakless mountain. Even the best actors want to do something better so you are constantly trying to challenge yourself. So, my advice is to be grateful for what you have and strive for more and not give up if you know you have “it”. I constantly try to remind myself of that.
  • Hailee: I second everything you just said. I think it does feel a little weird giving advice but I can share some that people I’ve worked with have given to me. One thing that sticks with me that happens to be the most simple is to have fun. Once it becomes anything other than fun, is I think when we realize we’re not in the right place. Someone (actor Jeff Bridges) told me that when I was thirteen years old and that was when I was having the most fun and I have not stopped having that much fun since I started. I think that’s really important.

The Bellas in troubleThe Bellas in trouble

Q: You both started very young in this industry. Was there a time when you thought you were missing something, not having time for the regular things?

  • Hailee: Other than seeing prom pictures on Facebook and Twitter of your friends who just went to prom last night, no (laughter).
  • Brittany: Awww.
  • Hailee: It’s funny. It’s one of those things where when I’m getting ready for an event, my friends see those pictures the next day on my Twitter and when they get ready for their events, I see it. I think there are some obviously crucial moments throughout high school or young adulthood that stand out but again, I feel like I have been in places in this world and attended certain events that I don’t know that I would have been able to if I were anywhere else so there’s that.

Q: Do you girls know what you are doing next and would you want to come back for a “Pitch Perfect 3”?

  • Brittany: I think I found out through Twitter that there was a rumor that “Pitch Perfect 2” was happening. I was like “What?” I’m just grateful that I got asked back and definitely, I would love to do “Pitch Perfect 3”. I was joking that Chloe (her character) might be 40 years old when she comes back and she’s still gonna be a Bella but yeah.
  • Hailee: I don’t really know what I’m doing next. This has been a big thing on the calendar. I’m really, really excited for this to finally come out. It’s been a year now since we made the movie which is crazy because it feels like it was just yesterday, really but if I were to have the opportunity to come back and have a second experience with this, I would love that.
  • Brittany: I was about to say I’d do “Pitch Perfect on Ice”.
  • Hailee: Don’t go there.

Pitch Perfect 2 PosterPitch Perfect 2 PosterCourtesy of Universal

Pitch Perfect 2 is in theaters May 15th!