Little Miss Sunshine talks about being an American Girl.
Abigail Breslin's career started with a commercial when she was just three years old and since then has lead to a slew of television and movie roles, most notably 2006's breakthrough Little Miss Sunshine. Now, at the ripe old age of twelve, she takes on the role of Kit Kittredge in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, the first American Girl movie to get a theatrical release.
If you don't have kids (or if you have only boys), then you might not be familiar with the phenomenon that is American Girl dolls. The American Girl company has a line of little girl dolls (and related books) that are each based in a particularly pertinent period of American history -- and that are monumentally popular with little girls, including Breslin. "I loved all the American Girl dolls. I had them all," she tells a room-full of decidedly older journalists at the Kit Kittredge press day.
Title character Kit Kittredge, with her trademark cute blonde bob, "lived" during the Great Depression, and is a window into that era for American Girl devotees. "My grandma grew up in the Great Depression, so I got to talk to her a little bit about that," Breslin explains. "She told me some stuff about how everybody was in the same situation back then, and how they would take a sugar lump and put it on their tongue and then drink tea over it."
Shooting a movie set in the Great Depression had another, less expected lesson for Breslin, whose character is a would-be journalist. "I had to practice the typewriter," she recounts. "I said, 'Where's the screen?' And they said, 'There is no screen.' So that was a little bit surprising!"
Breslin was excited to play Kit because she was one of her favorite American Girl dolls, she tells us, even if she doesn't think she and Kit have much in common. "Kit's a lot more brave than I am," Breslin explains of Kit's indomitable spirit. "She tells somebody, 'No, no. I am going to do this.' I couldn't do that."
But even if the movie deals with the harsh subject matter of struggle, prejudice and loss during one of the nation's hardest eras, Breslin and her co-stars still managed to have fun on set. "I really liked the scene of me and Ruthie (Madison Davenport) in Mr. Berk's room in the closet," she laughs. "We were getting a little bit claustrophobic, but we were laughing the whole time."
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl opens nationwide July 2, 2008.
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