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Emma RobertsSimply Fabulous!
By Lauren Brown
Simon SpotlightCopyright © 2007 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneJust Having Fun
How do you stay a normal, all-American, everyday girl when you've spent your entire life smack dab in the middle of Hollywood? Just ask Emma Roberts! This five-foot-two, hazel-eyed cutie has her very own TV show, has starred in several major movies, and has had more than her fair share of face time with some of the biggest celebrities in the world. (In fact, she's even related to one of them.) Hanging out on movie sets is as normal for Emma as running around on a playground is for other kids. She's been a regular on soundstages and back lots since she was just a newborn baby! Emma has had an amazing opportunity to start her career early in life. Emma has enjoyed so much excitement in her life, it's hard to believe she's only sixteen!
Now no one would dare deny that the acting gene runs rampant in Emma Roberts's family! Her dad is Eric Roberts, from the hit ABC sitcom Less Than Perfect. Her aunt is the beloved actress Julia Roberts, who has an Academy Award displayed proudly on her mantel! And Emma's grandparents are renowned and established acting teachers. But her acting career isn't just about following in the footsteps of her famous and talented relatives and wanting to join the "family business." It's about making her lifelong dreams come alive. Emma's pursuing an acting careerbecause she's following her heart.
Emma was a young child when she became confident that acting was her destiny. She often entertained her friends and family by re-enacting scenes from her favorite TV shows and movies. She was a pro at captivating any audience she could find with her dead-on impersonations and a variety of funny accents. So at nine years old, Emma effortlessly landed her first movie role in a big-budget film called Blow, which just happened to feature one of the biggest movie stars in the world. You might have heard of him - his name is Johnny Depp! Ever the ultimate professional, Emma wowed her famous costars with her confidence and commitment to making her performance in Blow one for the history books. They all agreed that she was wise beyond her years, and they knew she was on her way to becoming just as famous as her dad and aunt (maybe even more famous)!
Some people might assume that because Emma grew up in a family full of Hollywood heavyweights, she walks into her auditions with a chip on her shoulder. Or they might assume she doesn't even have to audition at all! Others might think nothing of the fact that her family is famous but assume that since Emma is young and successful she must have an inflated ego. After all, Hollywood has churned out plenty of horror stories about young stars who make ridiculous demands (like insisting on bowls full of green M&Ms in their dressing rooms, or expecting chauffeurs to drive them around town).
The stories can get even worse when it comes to Hollywood offspring-turned-actors. Many of them think they deserve leading roles without even auditioning and other crazy things like that just because they have a famous relative. But you will never catch Emma Roberts acting in such a disrespectful way. It makes no difference to her that she's been hanging around movie sets since she was two weeks old. It doesn't make Emma feel any more special than her other young Hollywood peers that her aunt Julia won an Oscar. Yes, Emma happened to grow up in a family full of Hollywood heavyweights, but she would never dream of pulling any kind of rank! When the Birmingham Evening Mail asked Emma what she thought of her famous aunt Julia, she simply responded, "If my career goes the same way as hers, that would be great!"
When you take away the part about being famous, Emma is just an average sixteen-year-old girl. And Emma's mom, Kelly Cunningham, makes sure fame will never change her daughter. If her mom ever notices even one tiny difference in Emma's attitude, the plug will be pulled on Emma's acting career on the spot. "We keep Emma grounded, teach her respect, not let her be spoiled and encourage her every day to appreciate what's been given to her," Kelly explained to the New York Post. Emma's fans look up to her because they can identify with Emma's offscreen life.
Emma recently left the Archer School for Girls in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles in favor of home schooling. Emma wasn't all that sad to leave her friends behind, as she has stayed just as close with them as ever. "My friends are so important to me. I'm lucky that I've had such close, strong, true friends ever since middle school," Emma told Justine magazine. "We keep our friendships strong by hanging out together every weekend. We go to the movies or the beach or shopping or just hanging out. When I need to hear a friendly voice, they're a cell phone call (or a Sidekick e-mail) away!"
Like every other teenager in America, she has homework and daily chores to do. Her chores can include anything from doing the laundry to cleaning her room or looking after her sister Grace. And she may be a big-time TV and movie star but even Emma isn't safe from getting grounded! "Sometimes I talk back to my mom and get in trouble," Emma told ELLEgirl magazine. "Don't all teenagers do that?"
In her spare time Emma loves keeping up with the latest fashion trends. Purses are her greatest weakness. She has an insanely huge collection that keeps growing! And if given the choice, Emma would much rather stay home to knit or cook than go out and party with the rest of young Hollywood. As she told MSNBC, "I just hang out with my friends, family, play volleyball, and go to the movies - just normal kid stuff."
As the star of the hit Nickelodeon sitcom Unfabulous, Emma plays Addie Singer. Addie is an awkwardly adorable girl who anyone who has ever been in middle school can relate to. Addie's unique because she gets through the trials and tribulations of growing up by writing and singing songs about the humiliating and sometimes crazy events of her life. It's a role that Emma was born to play because Emma and Addie happen to have a lot in common. They both play the guitar and sing, and they both deal with friends, family, and figuring out how to get their crushes to confess their undying love for them. (Emma's crush happens to be on Adam Brody these days; Addie, on the other hand, loves a popular boy at school named Jake Behari.) Emma explained to Entertainment Tonight why so many girls relate to Addie's life on Unfabulous: "Like some girls, she wants to fit in. She wants to throw the best party, but at the same time she's happy with who she is," Emma said. "She's glad that she's getting through middle school and getting through life."
Emma loves spending her time on the Unfabulous set because the cast is filled with kids her own age. "I'm really having a lot of fun," Emma said on Today. "And it's great - it's a great set, a great show with great people, so I'm having a lot of fun with it." Emma's become really close friends with her cast mates - and they love her, too. Bianca Collins, who plays Addie's outrageous best friend Patti, gushed about their newfound friendship to Popstar! magazine. "Emma's so much fun!" she revealed. "We get along really, really well because we have the same type of personality. It's fun! She's so cute - I love her!"
The word on the street is that Emma will be seeing her name in lights for a long time to come. She earned rave reviews for her role in Aquamarine as a girl who discovers a mermaid in a swimming pool. Making the movie was one of the best times in Emma's life as she became close friends with her famous co-stars, Sara Paxton and JoJo. Emma's new big movie role is quite legendary, starring as the world's most famous teen sleuth, Nancy Drew, in Nancy Drew. "The really cool thing about the movie is that we're keeping Nancy Drew's character the same," Emma told Teen magazine. "She dresses in her cute, old-fashioned clothes and she is still sweet Nancy Drew."
Eloise DeJoria, Emma's costar in the movie Grand Champion, recently predicted in the Chattanooga Times that Emma's career will rival that of her famous aunt one day! "You'll see. Emma has that presence, like Julia [Roberts]. Everything that comes out of her mouth is right on target," Eloise explained. But even with the compliments (and a comparison or two to Julia), a hit TV show, and several movies under her belt, Emma stays grounded. She's just having a blast making her dreams come true. "I'm thrilled to be doing what I love, which is acting - but also being a normal kid," Emma explained to Entertainment Tonight. "I think it would be fun to be famous but I do it mostly because I enjoy acting and I think it's fun."
Emma's newfound fame has also given her another very important job that she takes quite seriously. With so many young girls watching Unfabulous, they look up to Emma and consider her a role model. And since Emma knows this is a big responsibility, she's quite careful to never do anything that might disappoint her fans. Emma's inspirations are her peers in the industry who haven't grown up too fast and have never let their fans down. Emma especially admires the careers of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and she gives singer/actress Hilary Duff big props. "I like that [Hilary] started off with a show on the Disney Channel and grew into this really popular actress doing good movies. I respect her," Emma told USA Today.
While so many other teen stars try to grow up too fast and hang out with a crowd twice their age or appear scantily clad on the cover of men's magazines, Emma plans on being her age for a long, long time to come. Emma really understands the responsibility she carries. As she told Sweet 16, "I know other girls my age are watching what I do, so I want to do it well."
Excerpted from Emma Roberts by Lauren Brown Copyright © 2007 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
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