Emma Roberts Finds a Mermaid
You might have caught her show on Nick called "Unfabulous" where she acts and sings. Emma Roberts first hit big screens a few years ago as Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz's daughter in the movie Blow. Emma will star as the famous teen detective Nancy Drew in a new film. Now, you can catch her co-starring with JoJo and Sara Paxton in the fun film Aquamarine.
Emma doesn't really talk about it but Julia Roberts is her aunt. Actor Eric Roberts is her dad. We did see a family resemblance when we sat down to talk recently in Beverly Hills with the brown-eyed brunette. Really cute in flower pattern shrug over an orange tank and jeans, the young actress was bubbly as she talked about fun on set, mermaids and her music. Check it out.....
TeenHollywood: You and JoJo were picked to co-star in Aquamarine right away. Did you know her before this?
Emma: Actually, I was shooting "Unfabulous" and she was hosting "Teen Nick"; "Teen Nick" sometimes tapes in the same studio as us. And so they told me 'Oh, Jo Jo's taping "Teen Nick", she's hosting.' And I am a huge fan of hers and so I asked if I could go over and meet her, and they said 'Yeah, sure.' And I met her and she was so nice and just a great girl. And so I had to get back to shooting; when I got back to my trailer, she had written me a note and said 'e-mail me sometime' and so we e-mailed back and forth on our Sidekicks. Then, they told me I was going to be reading with her for this and I wrote to her and said 'it's going to be so fun'. We were in the audition room for like two hours, just having fun, yeah.
TeenHollywood: You and Sara live five minutes from each other. Did you know each other before the film?
Emma: We had never met each other before and we were in Australia and we were like 'Where do you live?' She said 'Yeah, I live like five minutes from there.' And I was like 'No way!' We hang out when we're not busy.
TeenHollywood: How familiar were you with the mermaid story?
Emma: Obviously there's The Little Mermaid and Splash so there hadn't been a mermaid story in a while. I thought I really wanted to do something like that.
TeenHollywood: Sara is pretty obsessed with mermaids. Did you like mermaids when you were younger?
Emma: loved mermaids; yeah, I would go to the beach and cover myself in the sand as a mermaid. So yeah, I think every little girls dream is to be a mermaid or to see a mermaid.
TeenHollywood: You also did a research paper on mermaids. What did you find out that you didn't know before?
Emma: Well, that people from different cultures and centuries have the same idea of what mermaids are, so that's kind of interesting. So maybe they did exist or do, so that's maybe a cool thing to think about.
TeenHollywood: In the movie, if you help a mermaid you get a wish. What would you wish for?
Emma: That's a hard question; it really depends on the situation at the time, but probably just to have a long, healthy and happy life for myself, my friends and family. That'd probably be it, yeah.
TeenHollywood: What did you guys do while you weren't shooting? Did you go anywhere or did you hang out in each other's rooms?
Emma: Yeah, we were in each others rooms all the time. We would go to the beach and we would ride bikes. I had a light purple one and JoJo had a red one and Sara would sit on the back of one of them. We would ride into town and go shopping or go eat.
TeenHollywood: So pretty much like the movie.
Emma: Yeah, it's kind of funny.
TeenHollywood: What was the best part of shooting?
Emma: Probably one of the best parts was that Sara got to ride on the front of my handle bars in the movie, which was really difficult at first because I'm probably the weakest one out of all of them. Yeah, they were like 'Yeah, Sara's going to be on your bike.' And I said 'You mean, JoJo's?' And they said 'No, yours.' So we had to get lessons.
TeenHollywood: Did you ever want to put the mermaid tail on?
Emma: I did, but they made it just to fit Sara's body, specially formed.
TeenHollywood: Your character Claire is afraid of the water. Are you afraid of the water in real life or are you like a fish?
Emma: I love the water. It was so difficult cause we were in that tank and it was so much fun. I would always be swimming around, having a great time, and the director, Liz, would come to me and say 'You look like you're having way too much fun over there. You need to look like you're struggling out there.' So I had to slow down and do the doggy paddle really slow.
TeenHollywood: The girls have real living, talking starfish "earrings". You did a voice for the starfish?
Emma: I remember when we were shooting the movie, I went to Susan Carsonis, the producer, I was like 'I would really like to do the starfish voice, I can do a really good starfish'. She was like 'No, we've already got people do that, Emma. I don't think you're going to be able to do that.' So I was like 'ugh.' So when we went back to do ADR (additional dialogue recording) they're like 'Here's your star fish voice.' And I was like 'I get to do it? Yeah!' So we all did three different voices and they laid them all on top of each other to make them sound all cool.
TeenHollywood: What's your inspiration for a starfish voice?
Emma: Well, starfish are kind of carefree and laid back so they have these high voices; high pitched.
TeenHollywood: Since all of you girls are into music, did you talk about music or talk about doing anything together?
Emma: No, we didn't. All of us just kind of bonded on a normal teenage girl level and never really talked about that. Obviously, we're all fans of each other; JoJo had just finished her music video, so they sent it to her and we all watched it together, and so that was really great. So yeah, we're all fans of each other. It's cool.
TeenHollywood: How did you like covering the Weezer song, "Island in the Sun"?
Emma: Well, yeah, it's funny because in Australia we had to shoot the 'Last Splash' scene and that was the song that was playing. So we probably heard that song about a hundred times and I got back to LA and they asked if I wanted to sing that song. I was like 'Yeah, I guess.' I had heard it a trillion times so I know it by heart already. So yeah, I got into the studio, and I had so much fun doing it and I love the song. I like Weezer so it was cool.
TeenHollywood: Sara did a song for the soundtrack as well. Have you heard it?
Emma: Yeah. Sara has the song that's playing in the previews called 'Connected'. I actually called her when I heard it and I said 'Don't you just love that song!' And she was like 'That's my song.' 'Are you serious? I want it.' Yeah, I liked it.
TeenHollywood: You're going to be playing Nancy Drew. What case will you be solving and are you signed on to do more?
Emma: I'm actually working on Nancy Drew right now. We just finished the first month of it. It's going to be Nancy Drew goes to Hollywood and she solves a movie star mystery. And yeah, there's a possibility of doing more than one.
TeenHollywood: Was that a series of books that you read when you were younger?
Emma: To be perfectly honest, I didn't read it when I was younger. I'm starting to read them now. It's kind of funny, 'cause all the adults have read them and the other kids have read them and now all the younger kids are reading them. So, it's just me and my generation are the ones who haven't read them. But I'm starting to read them now.
TeenHollywood: Who else is in Nancy Drew?
Emma: Tate Donovan is playing my dad. Max Thieriot is playing my boyfriend, Ned. Rachael Leigh Cook has a part in it. I was really excited to meet her. I love her so much.
TeenHollywood: What kind of music do you listen to when you're just kicking back?
Emma: I listen to Sara and Emma; they're on my iPod. Who else do I listen to? Michelle Branch, The Veronicas – I love The Veronicas, Teddy Geiger, who else, Skye Sweetnam, yeah.
TeenHollywood: Have you ever had to move away from a best friend?
Emma: Luckily, I've never had to be in that situation; I've moved around schools a lot, but I have lost friends in that way, but we're still in LA and we all hang out. But, yeah, luckily, I've never had to move away from any of my really good friends cause I don't know what'd I'd do; I'd be really sad.
TeenHollywood: What was different about shooting this film from shooting your TV show?
Emma: It's a lot different. On the TV show, I play a character that's more like me. I can relate to her a lot. Being in movies, you play a totally different character than yourself most of the time, especially for this. You shoot the movie in three months and you're done, you're never going back to it. And on the TV show, you shoot for three months, and then you take a break and then you go back to it; it's kind of like another home, you always go back there. We're going back to shoot the third season in the summer.
TeenHollywood: What would you say is the most difficult scene to shoot for you?
Emma: Scene 35. (laughter) Yeah, I remember the number, really, it was the only number I knew. It was the first time when we see Aqua by the pool. We probably shot that scene for a week and a half or longer. We did every angle known to man times a hundred. It was really crazy, but it was a really important scene because it was when we first saw her. It was a night shoot so it was really weird because the next week, we had morning shoots and I wouldn't be able to get to sleep. Yeah, that was probably the longest scene.
TeenHollywood: What is your favorite beach in the world that you've been to?
Emma: Definitely the beach in Australia, hands down. I mean, the sand is so soft and white, and the water is crystal clear and warm. And then you come home to Malibu and there are boulders in the water, and dirty water, and cold, freezing.
TeenHollywood: Do you have a movie star crush or someone you'd like to work with?
Emma: Probably Matt Damon, he's really cool; I'd like to work with him or Brad Pitt.
TeenHollywood: You look a bit like Penelope Cruz. Have you had any other offers to play her daughter?
Emma: Thank you, she's beautiful, I really like her. But I actually saw her the other night at my birthday dinner at the Chateau Marmont and she was there and it was really sweet. She came up to me and said hello and no, no one's ever asked me to play her daughter again. Hopefully, one day, 'cause we really had a good time working together.
TeenHollywood: What about co-starring with your aunt Julia?
Emma: Not really; we don't really talk about that stuff when we're together, we just talk about normal stuff, but maybe some day.
TeenHollywood: Is there any good advice you've read for being an actress in Hollywood?
Emma: I read magazines and they always have quotes from celebrities and they always say to stay grounded and just don't get caught up in the hype and everything. So I guess that's just good advice to give, cause you can get caught up in everything; just remember where you're from.
TeenHollywood: What do you think is the hardest thing for girls 13 to 17 to tackle these days?
Emma: Probably just the world in general. Everyone wants to know what you're going to do when you grow up. You have to graduate from school, you have to do all your homework, apply to college. It's just a really stressful time in someone's life and plus you have to maintain your friends and spend time with your family. It's just tough.
TeenHollywood: Do you want to go to college?
Emma: I really do. I'd probably study photography or fashion. I would like to go to NYU or Columbia, somewhere in New York. I love New York. I feel at home and I just love it there so much. But I love LA too cause I grew up here and my friends are here and everything.
TeenHollywood: Do you have a favorite designer or a favorite line of clothing?
Emma: I love Juicy Couture. I've loved them since I was younger. Today, I'm wearing True Religion Jeans, C&C Shirts. I really like Petrazelia. They have really cute stuff, I really like them.
TeenHollywood: Where do you want to go that you haven't been yet?
Emma: I want to go to England so bad; the fashion there is amazing and I love their accents, and it just seems like a really fun place to go. I would love, love to go there.
Lynn Barker is a Hollywood-based entertainment journalist and produced screenwriter.