She was born into the spotlight, but the untameable Emma Roberts is earning her own place in Hollywood.
It was a role Roberts had to have. “I read James Franco’s book the day it came out. I fell in love with it,” she says with a smile. “It captures youth in a very honest and strange way that a lot of books seem scared to do.” But first-time director Gia Coppola had already cast the part. Roberts was crushed, until her phone rang one morning. “I’d gone out on Halloween and stayed out really late,” she explains with a laugh. “I got woken up by my house phone. My manager said, ‘Someone fell through on Palo Alto. Can you go and meet Gia right now?’ I was still half in my cat costume from the night before and jumped out of bed into the shower. I was like, ‘I’m going, I’m going!’ A week or so later, we were on set!” She laughs in a way that implies she’s happy but not surprised by the outcome. She tucks away her iPhone as we sit down to talk about her compelling life.
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What were your teenage years like?
“It’s funny...I turned 23 this year and I don’t think I realized I wasn’t a teenager until then. It feels like a week ago. My teenage years were fun and interesting because I had such a different life from most people. I was working, and I spent so much time in New York. The city was amazing, and it was the beginning of my adult life. I’m feeling nostalgic now! But my little sister just turned 13—she has become this angsty teenager who has such attitude toward me and my mom. I feel so bad. Now I know what my mom went through with me! My little sister will be like, ‘With my friends—bye.’ I’m like, ‘Wait, I’m cool! Talk to me on the phone!’” [Laughs]
Do you have advice for her?
“Now I’m telling my mom not to let her go to parties! [Laughs] My only advice is ‘Don’t let other kids tell you who you are because that carries over into your adult life. Some people just aren’t good people to be around.’”
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It can take a long time to learn that lesson.
“I think I’m still learning it. I had friends for 10 years that I had a falling out with and now don’t speak to. It’s hard in your early 20s because everyone’s going on their own path and friendships just fall apart. I’ve known one of my best girlfriends since I was 11 and we still talk every day, but others just don’t last. I used to make fun of my parents for not having friends. Now I see why! It’s hard to find authentic people to keep in your life.”
Emma Roberts dishes on show biz and being Julia Roberts' niece on the next page...