23-year-old Hailee Steinfeld is an artist of ambidexterity, showcasing supremacy across an impressive repertoire of on-screen roles in film and television, most notably in the award-winning movies True Grit and The Edge of Seventeen, while also boasting a long-standing discography in pop-leaning music. Currently executive producing and starring in Alena Smith’s historical drama series Dickinson as the trailblazing female poet of the 1850s Emily Dickinson and simultaneously riding the success of her newly released EP Half Written Story, Steinfeld is no stranger to balancing a multitude of highly-acclaimed, creative roles.
Garnering an Academy nomination at just 14 years old for her supporting role in True Grit, Steinfeld’s adolescent growth largely occurred in the spotlight, and a majority of her learned virtues stem from her various character embodiments. “There are characters that I’ve played that have taught me so much about who I am,” she says. “Even though I’m not necessarily going through exactly what these characters are going through as I play them out in my real life, I still get to grow through those experiences and learn about myself every step of the way.” For Steinfeld, acting provides an exploratory insight into her own identity as she enters different mindscapes in pursuit of perfecting her entertainment abilities.
On the essence of her fearless, history-based character in Apple TV+’s Dickinson, Steinfeld recognizes the importance of both upholding the statutes of the path-forging poet’s society-shifting work and the modernization of her narrative for today’s world, citing the role as a contemporary reflection of issues in the 21st century. “One thing I love so much about this show is that it is in no way putting anyone in a box,” she says. “I think that we are moving closer and closer to that in our world today. What’s so wild about this show is that it takes place hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and yet we’re still dealing with some of the issues that they were then. Our show looks at that time through a modern lens.”
On music’s terrain, Steinfeld is continuously discovering her sound with each studio session she traverses, and her latest project, Half Written Story, is certainly one of her most eye-opening bodies of work to-date. “I find that I’m in this constant experimental process when it comes to music,” she explains. “With [Half Written Story], I really just wanted to make songs that sounded the way I felt when I was going through what it is I’m talking about in each song, and I feel like I accomplished that.”
Seeking inspiration entirely from her personal experiences and aspiring to instill an unwavering sense of confidence in her listeners, Steinfeld harmonizes the lessons she’s learned from heartbreak, specifically on her chart-topping track “I Love You’s.” She expounds, “The ultimate message behind that song is realizing the importance of making a decision for yourself and sticking with it. I think when we experience pain or heartbreak we’ll look for something to distract us from that. I mean, I have in the past, anyways. I finally got to a point where I was like, I just need to regain my sense of self here.” Hoping to share that epiphany with the world, Steinfeld’s musical prowess is one of melodic self-growth and good-natured, lyrical wisdom.
At a safe distance, photographer Connor Franta captured Hailee Steinfeld in tranquil, self-isloation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, below. Leaving V with a final word of advice in these times of uncertainty, Steinfeld soothingly states, “Do your best to maintain a positive attitude and, most importantly, breathe.”
Hailee Steinfeld gets candid about writing her emotional EP, ‘Half Written Story,’ with ET’s Katie Krause. The 23-year-old talks about heartbreak, love and what she went through to write this album, which is out now:
Hailee Steinfeld reflects on ‘True Grit’ as the 10-year anniversary of the film approaches. She also talks to ET’s Katie Krause about ‘Dickinson’ season 2, ‘Pitch Perfect 4’ and what could be next for Spider-Gwen in the next ‘Spiderverse’ project:
With the release of Hailee Steinfeld’s debut album “Half Written Story” Part I, Vogue Hong Kong talked with Hailee about how she coped with the pandemic, background of her music and advice for those who want to join the music industry:
Oscar nominated actress/singer Hailee Steinfeld released her first EP in five years and it shot to #1 on Canadian iTunes. Lindsay Dunn speaks to her about its Canadian connection and the music she has rediscovered in quarantine:
I’ve been gathering answers to a question that has been on my mind: what is the role of an artist in a pandemic? Today I spoke to Oscar nominated actress and popstar, Hailee Steinfeld:
Hailee Steinfeld tell us the story behind her new song:
If pop music is a means of escapism, I’d debate that we need it more than ever. Thanks in part to Hailee Steinfeld’s “Half Written Story,” the first of a two-part project, that door to “anywhere but where I really am” is cracking open just in time for the weekend. That’s not to imply that Steinfeld’s new music is happy-go-lucky sugar pop; on the contrary, it’s a raw and emotive body of work for the starlet.
I spoke to Hailee in the beginning of March, just as the global lockdown began to hit the Western nations. Here are a few excerpts from that interview–and check out “Half Written Story,” below.
There’s this very polarizing topic of being productive while on lockdown. What’s your feeling about that?
Yeah, what’s funny is I’ve kind of gone back and forth on it. I’ve gone back and forth where I do feel, you know, I could get so much done. I have so much time on my hands, but at the same time, it’s kind of been, I think a blessing for a lot of people realizing the importance of just slowing down for a minute and taking a moment to appreciate what we do have access to, you know, and who we have around.
How are you passing the time?
I have done more vacuuming randomly than I ever have in my entire life. My life is sort of a constant cycle of packing and unpacking and sometimes I never fully unpack, and I’ve got one foot in one foot out the door, and so I’ve just kind of been like, nesting a little bit. I’m not used to being home like this. And I’m making my space as creative as I can. I’ve ordered some equipment to build a little home studio, which is actually something I wanted to do for the longest time. And I’ve finally been able to get around to it. I’ve also been working out a lot. My dad’s a personal trainer. So we’ve been getting really creative with our workouts.
It all sounds pretty relatable.
I also got a puppy recently, so she’s been keeping me pretty occupied, and it’s been wonderful actually being able to be home with her and train her in love affair so
Your song “I Love You’s” is about going through a breakup and not wanting to jump immediately into a new relationship, Can you give us a bit of the backstory there?
I went through a breakup and entered a new relationship probably too soon after that breakup. And I guess there’s never really like, a designated time you’re meant to let go by, you know, before jumping into something new. Your heart wants what it wants, and you listen to your heart. You know, I’m no expert at this, with relationships and what have you. But I’m learning as I go. And I realized that sometimes you don’t necessarily realize the importance of taking time to heal. I think a lot of times we, I mean, I’ve been in situations where I think I’ve convinced myself I’m okay. When maybe I’m not deep down. But anyway, I went into this one relationship. And when that ended, I felt like the wind had been just knocked out of me. I just was like, completely heartbroken. And I felt very hopeless. And so I made the decision of needing time needing that time that I needed in the first place to just heal and focus on myself and, you know, really gain clarity within myself that I had lost for quite some time. So that was kind of where the idea…when I first heard this song, I was like, “This is exactly what I said to myself.” So when I heard this for the first time, it resonated with me on a spiritual level. Continue reading “Hailee Steinfeld Releases ‘Half Written Story’ | V Magazine”
The “Love Myself” singer-songwriter joins the ‘Morning Mash Up’ on Hits 1 and (sort of) addresses those Marvel rumors:
Steinfeld dished on how much harder it is to write some songs than others during a conversation with Hits 1’s ‘Morning Mash Up’:
When you get an Oscar nomination at 14 years old starring opposite Oscar winner Jeff Bridges in a film from Oscar winners Joel and Ethan Coen your lot is cast as an actor in the eyes of the world. Such was the case for Hailee Steinfeld after her breakout role in 2011’s True Grit.
But like many, Steinfeld is blessed with multiple talents. The list of greats who succeeded in both music and film is a stunning one, from Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra to more recently Jared Leto and Beyonce. And despite the fact there is a proven track record of talented musicians who have dual talents (Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell were also acclaimed painters) there does sometimes remain a prove it to me attitude from fans when it comes to actors who make music.
Steinfeld proves it without a doubt on her stellar new Half Written Story, the first of a two-part collection out this Friday (the second half of the project comes out later this year). When you hear her intimate, her attitude in the joyous pop, the production and the passion she brings to the first five songs it is clear her love of music is genuine.
When you talk to her about everything from the Weeknd and Billie Eilish to the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac it is even more evident that, to paraphrase Elvis Costello, Steinfeld’s aim is true.
On the eve of the release of Half Written Story I spoke at length with Steinfeld about her passion for music, rediscovering vinyl during the pandemic and revealing so much of herself on the new songs.
People have gone different directions in releasing music during this time. What was your thought process in releasing the EP now?
It was a combination of things for sure. These are songs that I am so proud of and have had for a while now. This is a project that, unbeknownst to everyone else, has been pushed quite a bit. And if I could have put this music out the day I wrote it I would have. But obviously there’s so much to take into consideration. I was also away working on a TV show [Dickinson] and this was always sort of my time that I carved out for music. I try and do my best in working with my teams and making it so that I can focus on one at a time. So that whether it’s music or acting it’s getting 110 percent of me. So it is a very strange time to be putting out music. But I also sort of feel music has such a unique ability of connecting people and bringing them happiness. And for me music is such a release. And any time a favorite artist of mine drops new music it’s like there can never be a wrong time for that. Continue reading “Q&A: Hailee Steinfeld Opens Up On Personal ‘Half Written Story’”