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Dickinson Star Hailee Steinfeld on Why Emily Could Be a Hero for the Millennial Generation

Hailee Steinfeld portrays literary icon Emily Dickinson in the new series from Apple TV + (Photo courtesy of Apple TV +)

While most of us think of the iconic poet Emily Dickinson as a rather eccentric under-appreciated reclusive spinster, Hailee Steinfeld and Dickinson are turning many preconceived notions of this literary genius on their head.

Steinfeld, now 22, began her career with the movie True Grit at age 14, where she beat out 15,000 actresses and received an Academy Award nomination. This was followed by Bumblebee, The Homesmen, and Enders Game. Currently, she is making her mark in movies, music, and now as the leading lady and executive producer in Dickinson, now streaming on the new Apple TV +.

The fresh new half-hour dark comedy series audaciously explores the life of rebellious young poet Emily Dickinson. Set in the 19th century, this coming-of-age story portrays Emily as an unexpected hero for the Millennial generation.

While completely underestimated by her parents, played by Jane Krakowski and Toby Huss, she rejects the conventions of her society, sex, and family and instead fills volumes of notebooks with her poetry that details her vibrant fantasy life.

Steinfeld takes viewers into the world of the brilliant poet, whose irrepressible spirit, defiant attitude, bold vision, and daring love life resonate more than ever, especially at a time when many of us feel like outsiders in our generation. “I feel like we have come a very long way. But in the grand scheme of things, not much has changed,” Steinfeld exclusively told “Women are still very much fighting to be understood, considered equal, and respected. My big hope is that women feel that they are seen and heard.”

What attracted you to Dickinson? I’m sure you get choices and you’re not only acting in the series, but you are producing the show as well.
I wanted to do this because this series felt so different than anything I had really ever come across. This show tackles so many conversations and so many themes that are somehow still relevant today as they are in the 1850s. The minute I met writer-creator Alena Smith (Newsroom) her and I had a conversation, I knew I wanted to be involved in Dickinson.

Please talk about the acting part of the show and the producing aspect of it.
As far as acting in it, I read this and felt like I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play this literary icon. And as far as producing, this is my first-time executive producing and I have always been interested in that, and of course, I wanted it to be something that I felt was truly special. So, this was that. It’s been really exciting to be a part of the conversation and certain decision-making processes that I’ve never been a part of in the past. So, to be a part of that on the project that I feel so connected to is extremely exciting. Continue reading “Dickinson Star Hailee Steinfeld on Why Emily Could Be a Hero for the Millennial Generation”

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How Emily Dickinson Helped Hailee Steinfeld Find “A More Fearless Approach to My Art”

To play a young version of 19th century poet Emily Dickinson in one of Apple TV+’s first series, Hailee Steinfeld had to don period-appropriate clothes, including a waist-cinching corset and layers of petticoats, costumes that she says required the help of “one, if not two, women.”

The singer-actress and star of Dickinson points out, however, that unlike “what the women of the time went through,” she “could loosen [her corset] up at lunch and to go to the bathroom.”

But when it came to the social struggles Dickinson faced in trying to make an impact as a woman, Steinfeld can’t help but see similarities to the present day. “There are so many parallels,” Steinfeld tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Here’s [someone] who in her time had to fight fearlessly for her rights and her voice to be heard, just to be understood as an artist and as a woman, and that is very much still happening today. I think we’ve come a very long way, but not much has changed. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

She also felt comforted and inspired working on a set led by a female showrunner in Alena Smith.

“She created an environment where I as a young woman in no way felt scared or uncomfortable,” Steinfeld says. “I felt like I could come to work every day and work in a space that should be the way it should be for any woman in any workspace and just in life in general, so I hope that this is part of what already feels like a big change happening.”

Steinfeld, 22, spoke to THR about taking on her first series regular TV role, her first project as an executive producer and her new song, “Afterlife,” which is featured in, and was informed by, the series.

What drew you to this project?
I truly felt like this was so different from anything that I had read. I try to be very specific with what I spend my time doing, and I want it to be something that I believe in and feels interesting and cool, but this was all of that on a deeper level. I’m executive producing this as well, and I wanted to show up as something more than just an actor. I wanted to be a part of this on a deeper level.

Why did you want to venture into television?
It’s this new turn in our world — everything is streaming. When I knew that this was Apple’s first experience in the TV world, it just felt so exciting to me that it would be mine and theirs together. Working on something episodically with new directors and not knowing what’s coming next with scripts, the whole idea just seemed really exciting to me and very different than what I know.

What has your work on the production side entailed and been like?
I am a part of conversations that I have in no way been concerned about as an actor in the past, from preproduction to postproduction. I’ve only ever really known showing up and doing my job and walking away and realizing it’s completely out of my hands — hopefully it turns out great. This one, I care so much and feel so in it.

Do you see yourself doing more producing in the future?
I would love to continue, absolutely. It would be really fun to produce projects that I’m not necessarily acting in. Continue reading “How Emily Dickinson Helped Hailee Steinfeld Find “A More Fearless Approach to My Art””

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Hailee Steinfeld: ‘I missed every high school dance and prom, yet I found my way to the Met Gala’

Hailee Steinfeld, the 22-year-old Oscar nominee and pop star, has briefly transformed before my eyes into an old-school diva, her husky, measured voice suddenly a funny and theatrical wail. “Don’t bring that up!” she cries, in mock outrage. I’ve asked about Katniss Everdeen, the tortured heroine of the Hunger Games franchise, and a role Steinfeld was reportedly close to getting in 2011. Does she ever look back… “… and think what my life would have been like?” Steinfeld interrupts. “No!” she sputters once again, her lip beginning to dramatically quiver. “Not at all!”

It’s a rare moment of levity in a conversation that starts off professional and businesslike but grows looser as it goes on. “I truly believe everything happens for a reason,” Steinfeld says, taking a second bite at losing out to Jennifer Lawrence. “There are so many parts that I wanted or didn’t get… But I think, weirdly, it’s the same feeling of having missed every high school dance and prom, and yet I somehow found my way to the Met Gala. I feel like I’ve made up for it.”

Steinfeld has had remarkable staying power for an actor who, if she weren’t quite as brilliant as she is, could easily have peaked at the age of 14. That was how old she was when she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in True Grit, the Coen brothers’ dusty 2010 western that marked her film debut. Alongside a cast of stars including Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, Steinfeld proved miraculous – projecting strength, fire and world-weary pluck, all while dressed in the patchy wardrobe of an old man.

From there, rather than disappearing into the child-star void, she has carved out a diverse and interesting career in film and music. She comfortably cemented her place as a leading lady via the 2016 should-be classic The Edge of Seventeen and last year’s genuinely endearing Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, voiced Gwen Stacy in the stunning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), immersed herself in music, and this week makes her major television debut in one of the wildest and most inventive surprises of the year: Dickinson on Apple TV+.

It is also one of the more under-the-radar treats on the new streaming platform, possibly because it is tricky to pitch succinctly. But, if you were to try, it would sound something like this: Dickinson is a playful and revisionist take on the young life of reclusive poet Emily Dickinson: a half-hour oddity that smoothly oscillates between comic farce, teen drama and heartbreaking tragedy. It is about the allure of the dark and naughty, the pursuit of agency as a young woman living in a world set up to work against you, and features rapper Wiz Khalifa as the embodiment of Death. It could have been a disaster. Even Steinfeld was surprised it wasn’t. Continue reading “Hailee Steinfeld: ‘I missed every high school dance and prom, yet I found my way to the Met Gala’”

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Dickinson Already Renewed for Season 2 at Apple TV+

AppleTV+ must like what it’s seeing from the first season of Dickinson, its upcoming dramedy about a young Emily Dickinson. According to THR, the subscription streaming service has already renewed the series for a second season, which has already begun production.

Yesss. This presumably means we won’t have to wait too long between seasons one and two. (Yes, I am basically already a fan of the show based on the gorgeous, irreverent trailers that have been released… and also my undying love for Emily Dickinson.)

Dickinson stars Hailee Steinfeld as the eponymous character. Set in the 1800s, it tells the story of the young poet with a “modern sensibility” The series will explore social and gender constraints of the time told by a writer who doesn’t fit in it. The series is written by executive producer Alena Smith, who wrote for Showtime’s The Affair, and HBO’s The Newsroom. It is directed by executive producer David Gordon Green, of Pineapple Express and Vice Principals.

In addition to Steinfeld, Dickinson stars Jane Krakowski, Toby Huss, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt and Adrian Blake Enscoe, and I cannot wait for it to premiere. We will update you with news on Dickinson Season 2 as it comes. In the meantime, lean into the Dickinson Season 1 hype.

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Niall Horan’s ‘heartbreak’ over split from Hailee Steinfield inspired new album

The 26-year-old singer/songwriter is preparing to release his second solo record, after his first album Flicker in 2017.

‘Going through heartbreak helped write the ballads, even some of the happy songs – the sad songs that are dressed up as happy songs sometimes,’ he told Billboard.

‘I have stuff that I want to write about on my mind all the time. I had just gone through a break up, which helps when it comes to writing songs, I guess. It helps vent the emotions.’

Niall split from 22-year-old Pitch Perfect actor Hailee after about a year together.

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Hailee Steinfeld Announces New Single Tied to Apple TV Plus’ ‘Dickinson’

Actress, singer and producer Hailee Steinfeld is set to release a new single entitled “Afterlife” on Sept. 19, a track she created for her upcoming Apple TV Plus series,”Dickinson.”

“This is a song I’m incredibly proud of, and I feel like after embodying this character, I have a more fearless approach to my writing,” Steinfeld shared at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York City on Saturday Night.

“Dickinson,” a period piece about Emily Dickinson with a modern, comedic twist, is Steinfeld’s first-ever full time television series, and with it she experienced another big first by unveiling the show at the event: “Dickinson” is the first Apple TV Plus series to debut to the public, and it did so well-ahead of the Nov. 1 launch of the new streaming service.

Series creator and showrunner Alena Smith described “Dickinson” as a “crazy psychedelic version of the 1850s.

“It’s this giant weird crazy collage, and the music is this direct root straight into her brain,” Smith explained. “With Hailee as our lead, who has a double life, as also a pop star and musician…my hope is that the music will make you feel everything that Emily has trapped inside and wants to burst out.”

For Steinfeld, who doubles as an executive producer on the half-hour series, the music was a main factor in drawing her to the project. The music of Billie Eilish, for example, is a backdrop to the show, and “Dickinson” even brought on rapper Wiz Khalifa to play Death in a guest role. (Other guest stars include comedian John Mulaney and “Girls” alum Zosia Mamet, who’ll do a parody of Louisa May Alcott.) The modern-day additions serve as tools to help convey thoughts within Dickinson’s mind, which are depicted here as wild, whimsical and far more imaginative than what is usually assumed to be the static life in which she was living in 19th century Amherst, Mass.

“She sits in the corner of her room [writing] and looks out the window and there’s a world out there — but even a bigger one in her mind,” Steinfeld said, adding that the show has “incredible comedic moments and this dark humor and dramatic moments and everything in between, and it really reflects everything in her poetry, which is every possible emotion.” Continue reading “Hailee Steinfeld Announces New Single Tied to Apple TV Plus’ ‘Dickinson’”

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Hailee Steinfeld is apparently “not Asian enough” to play Kate Bishop

There are rumors that Hailee Steinfeld might be joining the Marvel x Disney+ universe as Kate Bishop, Hawkeye’s protege. However, there are fans who are skeptical of the casting choice because the actress is “not Asian enough.”

Next Shark cited tweets accusing Marvel and Disney of whitewashing Kate, who’s allegedly Asian in the “Young Avengers” comic series. “Hailee Steinfeld doesn’t even look like Kate Bishop, if they won’t hire an Asian woman to get Asian [people] more representation they could at least hire someone that looks like comic Kate,” a netizen wrote.

Based on the tweets, it seems like people weren’t aware that Hailee has Filipino ancestry. But it’s also understandable for people to perceive her as a predominantly White woman.

Here’s the kicker though: It was never confirmed that Kate is Asian in the comics. Even “Young Avengers” artist Jim Cheung said in a Tumblr Q&A that he “definitely never thought of her as Asian at all, but I can understand how people might interpret her that way from my art style.” He added that her ethnicity was never discussed in the comics, and many are saying that fans only assumed her ethnicity. So her identity is open for interpretation at this point.

Now, we ask you: What do you think of Hailee Steinfeld playing Kate Bishop?

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‘Hawkeye’ Disney Plus Series Eyes Hailee Steinfeld for Lead Role

Hailee Steinfeld could soon be part of the Marvel family. Variety has learned exclusively from sources that Steinfeld has been offered a lead role in the upcoming “Hawkeye” series at Disney Plus.

The limited series will see Jeremy Renner reprise the role of the titular bow-wielding hero that he has played through multiple films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most recently in “Avengers: Edngame.” Should Steinfeld join the series, she would play Kate Bishop. Bishop is a Marvel Comics character who took up the Hawkeye mantle after Clint Barton (Renner). She is also a member of the group known as the Young Avengers. It was reported last week that Jonathan Igla is attached to write and executive produce the series.

Starring in the series would likely represent a long-term investment in Steinfeld on Marvel’s part. Given the Disney-owned company’s uncanny ability to build up onscreen franchises around even their lesser-known characters, it is reasonable to assume that the Bishop character would eventually spin off into either her own standalone series or even appear in the MCU.

Reps for Disney Plus and Steinfeld did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

This would mark Steinfeld’s second TV starring role. She is the lead in the upcoming Apple series “Dickinson,” in which she will play the famous 19th century poet Emily Dickinson.

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Hailee Steinfeld to meet Filipino fans on September 6

Fans of Hailee Steinfeld got a pleasant surprise this Tuesday. MCA Music announced that the Hollywood star will be heading back to Manila for a fan meet at Eastwood Mall’s Open Park, scheduled for this Friday. The best part is it’s free and everybody is welcome provided that the venue does not reach maximum capacity, the music label added.

Hailee’s last visit in the country was in 2016. She also spent time with her fans by doing a series of mall shows in the country. In an interview with Boy Abunda that time, Hailee said she was glad to have finally visited the country.

“It’s so incredible to be here. Coming to the Philippines has been a topic of conversation in my family for years, so it’s incredible that my music is what finally brought me out here,” Hailee said.

Hailee began her showbiz career at the age of 10. Her notable films include “Pitch Perfect,” “Romeo & Juliet,” and “Bumble Bee.” She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her 2010 film “True Grit,” and a Golden Globe Best Actress Nomination for “The Edge of Seventeen.”

Hailee’s maternal grandfather, Ricardo Domasin, was half African-American and half-Filipino from Panglao, Bohol.

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Hailee Steinfeld Reunites With Ex Cameron Smoller

Hailee Steinfeld, 22, and Cameron Smoller, 22, were seen together at the Billie Eilish concert last night after they broke up in 2017. Hailee attended the show wearing a strapless purple dress and let her brunette hair hang on top of her outfit. Cameron matched his ex-girlfriend with the purple theme and rocked a purple t-shirt, along with pants and white sneakers. He had a green hat on his head, as well.

The couple were first seen together in Jan. 2016, becoming official at some point within the next few months. The two split at the end of 2017, with Hailiee starting to see One Direction boybander Niall Horan, 25, soon after that. Hailee and Niall were rarely seen together, but when they were, they made no point to hide their relationship.

A source revealed EXCLUSIVELY to HollywoodLife back in August 2018, “Niall is completely captivated by Hailee and taking things a lot more seriously than her but they are starting something fun that Niall hopes will become more serious,” a source said. “Niall is a relationship guy and wants to pursue that with Hailee exclusively, but she is taking things slower and is definitely wearing the pants in the relationship so far. He’s a bit of a puppy dog for her.”

However, the couple lasted less than a year, with a break up by fall 2018. “Hailee and Niall were going strong over the summer, but split a few months ago and have been trying to keep it low-key,” a source told E! News. “Hailee realized she had a lot on her plate and her work schedule was insanely busy.”

After Hailee and Niall broke up, the “Let Me Go” singer was seen with Cameron at a Republic Records party, according to Page Six. Hailee could be trying to get back together with her ex, or they could just be friends again, since they’ve known each other for so long.

Regardless of whether Hailee and Cameron are back together, we hope they had fun at the concert!