To say that Hailee Steinfeld is taking a leisurely approach to her first album would be an understatement. Since her first single, Love Myself, came out in August 2015, followed by an EP, Haiz, a couple of months later, fans of the singer have been so desperate for her to release a full-length that they’ve taken to making banners to wave in her direction at live performances. “Hailee, where’s the album??” read a succinct plea at the Capital Summertime Ball at Wembley stadium in June, where Steinfeld was re-creating her spot on the huge 2016 single Starving, featuring Grey and Zedd. “They’re so patient!” says the 20-year-old the following day. “I’m working on the music, and I’m just getting it in the perfect place for them to hear it.” What’s taking so long? “Well, I’m sort of out of the game when I make movies, which is a big reason that it takes me a while.”
Unusually for a pop star, Steinfeld came to singing fame with an Oscar nomination already under her belt – for best supporting actress, at the age of 14, for a brilliant turn in the Coen brothers’ True Grit. Six years on, she has pivoted in a different direction: despite a return to critical acclaim in the 2016 coming-of-age movie The Edge of Seventeen, she is mostly starring in teen-leaning blockbusters such as Pitch Perfect 2 and the forthcoming Transformers spin-off Bumblebee.
She is the kind of famous that means her bodyguard paces up and down outside the room while we talk; tabloids write about her as if every outfit were a showcase for “flaunting” her legs or her abs. She has had to deny she’s dating Justin Bieber. She’s mates with Taylor Swift. She is the kind of famous, then, that means she understands how anything she says that deviates from the path of polite platitudes may be blown out of all proportion. And so she is polite, and grateful for every opportunity, and points to the hard work of people behind the scenes of music and movies, and is ever so nice, and a bit reserved.
Her current single, Most Girls, is a tropical house banger with an intriguing premise, which the video makes plain. A handsome model type tells her she’s not like most girls. Instead of swooning at the sight of his chiselled jaw, she looks disappointed in him and does a runner. “I felt that we’ve been accepting the compliment ‘You’re not like most girls’ for a very long time. I have. I feel like there’s been this golden standard or rule that in order to be special you have to be different to other women,” she explains. You could say that it’s empowerment pop. It’s about being happy in your own skin, rather than simpering to a boy’s idea that you’re only worthwhile because other girls aren’t. “I think this generation of women is more than ever banding together and really lifting each other up, and I think girls and guys are really starting to think that way as well,” she says.
Still, when the video came out, that’s not exactly what the focus was on. “Here I am singing this song about how most girls are beautiful, strong, independent, have so much to offer. And the headlines out of that were: ‘Hailee tries on a bunch of wigs, shows off her midriff,’ or whatever. That’s not what I’m trying to say.”
“Bumblebee,” a spinoff from the “Transformers” film series, is the major Paramount film being shot in Marin, a Paramount spokesperson confirmed Friday.
The spokesperson, who was unnamed, declined further elaboration except to say the film is due for a summer 2018 release.
The Paramount confirmation came as other news surfaced in recent days pointing toward the film.
Deborah Albre, Marin liaison to the California Film Commission, noted that a recent Los Angeles Times story referenced “Bumblebee” as being eligible for $22 million in tax credits — the largest amount assigned to a major film since the state film tax credits program started in 2015.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Albre said of the film project’s tax credits, which are tied into the local economy through jobs and use of area resources.
Last month, Albre and other sources indicated that Paramount was planning to shoot a major feature film in Marin and was building a set in Peacock Gap area of San Rafael.
The location for “Bumblebee,” a prequel to the popular “Transformers” franchise, has been a closely held commodity.
The L.A. Times article, which quotes unnamed Paramount sources, said “Bumblebee” is being shot in Northern California and other parts of the state.
The film, which stars Hailee Steinfeld and is directed by Travis Knight, will be set in the 1980s, and “will have a vibe reminiscent of the 1999 animated film The Iron Giant, which tells the story of a boy who forms an unlikely friendship with a giant robot innocent to the violent ways of mankind,” according to ScreenRant.com.
The California Film Commission website lists the film only as a “Untitled Paramount Project,” but notes in a press release that the $22 million in tax credits is the largest amount to qualify under the program to date.
Bumblebee is said to be a fictional animated character in the form of a small yellow Autobot. The prequel is said to go back in time to when Bumblebee was in his early years on Earth.
“Bumblebee” is one of several Paramount projects being shot this summer in Marin.