Hailee Steinfeld was only 13 when she played obstinate 19th-century teen Mattie Ross in the western True Grit. It was her first major role, and it won her an nomination as best supporting actress in that year's Oscars and Screen Actors Guild awards. Hailee Steinfeld was born in California, and "at eight years of age, Hailee revealed to her family that she had a strong desire to pursue acting," says her bio on the True Grit website. She had bit parts in the TV series Back To You (2007, with Kelsey Grammer) and Sons of Tucson (2010), and also appeared in a national Kmart TV ad, before beating out a reported 15,000 other auditioners for the role in True Grit. In long brown pigtails and a gray felt hat, Steinfeld played an Arkansas teen who sets out to avenge the death of her father, and was praised by critics for holding her own with her veteran Oscar-winning co-stars Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. She didn't win the Oscar (it went to Melissa Leo for The Fighter) but the nomination marked her as a rising star. In 2013 she co-starred with Kristin Wiig in the romance Hateship Loveship, and played Juliet in a film version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, with Douglas Booth as Romeo.
The role of Mattie Ross was played by Kim Darby in the 1969 film of True Grit; both movies were based on the 1968 book by Charles Portis… Hailee Steinfeld’s first name is often misspelled as Hallie or Hayley, and her last name as Stienfeld or Stinefeld.
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