Los Angeles native Hailee Steinfeld took her first acting class at age eight and, only five years later, gave an Academy Award-nominated performance as Mattie Ross in the Coen brothers’ frontier western True Grit. Although she was taking vocal lessons and recording song covers in a studio at the time, as acting became a serious pursuit, her musical beginnings were sidelined in favor of the screen. When the opportunity to combine the two interests arose in the musical comedy Pitch Perfect 2, however, Steinfeld became an a capella singing Barden Bella and began creating her own music.
In November 2015, the now 19-year-old released her debut EP Haiz (Republic Records), taking its title from a fan-given nickname. Her first single, the pop empowerment anthem “Love Myself,” was a telling, bouncy introduction that didn’t shy away from self-love—literal, or otherwise—with Steinfeld confidently singing, “Pictures in my mind on replay / I’m gonna touch the pain away … Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else.” Last week, Steinfeld released the music video for “Rock Bottom,” the second single off of the EP and featuring DNCE (a band she admits she’s “so obsessed with”). Collaborating with the four-piece was an obvious choice; Steinfeld’s friend Joe Jonas was working on DNCE’s debut EP at the same time Steinfeld was working on hers, and with the same team. As Steinfeld tells it, Jonas cut the second verse on the song and “it felt right.” The result is a catchy tale of a turbulent young relationship, perhaps best encapsulated by the lyric, “We play hard with our plastic guns.”
Actress Hailee Steinfeld worked with renowned film directors the Coen brothers when she was just 13 but has revealed she found appearing in the musical Pitch Perfect sequel more intimidating.
The 19-year-old is in Australia to launch her latest single, Rock Bottom, as she promotes her other career as a pop star.
Originally, though, Steinfeld became known for her acting talent in the movie True Grit alongside Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, and directed by the Coen Brothers, and was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the dark western at the age of 13.
Yet stepping on to the already-established Pitch Perfect 2 set was a scarier experience, according to the actress.
“I was actually late to the process. They had already started working on the movie by the time I got there so I was really already stepping into a world that was already established with the first movie, and then I was kind of late already, so I had a lot of catch up to do,” Steinfeld said on Network Ten’s The Project on Monday.
Picture 01: Thank you so much @HaileeSteinfeld I love you soooo much ?????
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Picture 03: LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL ANGEL I AM THE HAPPIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHAT AN INCREDIBLE DAY I LOVE HAILEE ??
Picture 04: Today has been a dream come true! @HaileeSteinfeld I love you with all my heart! I can’t stop smiling! ??