SUNDANCE, Utah — AnnaSophia Robb has starred alongside mega movie stars like Johnny Depp and Hilary Swank, nabbed a Critics’ Choice nomination for her role in the fantasy film “Bridge to Terabithia” and next will get the chance to show off her dramatic chops as Charlize Theron’s daughter in “Sleepwalking,” in theaters March 14.
In the film, Theron’s character abandons Robb, but offscreen, the Oscar winner offered plenty of guidance to her 14-year-old on-screen progeny. “She helped me get down in that mental spot,” Robb says, referring to the film’s heavy material, “but then afterwards, she would bring me right back up and dance and have fun. We’d hang out all the time.” One of their more memorable outings: a bowling session where Theron taught her how to smoke herbal cigarettes for her role — but only under one condition. “She made me sign this thing that said I’ll never smoke again,” Robb recalls.
This story first appeared in the March 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Theron’s protective gestures aside, Robb insists that, despite being the youngest on the set, “they treated me just like everybody else.” She lived in the same building as the cast, including Dennis Hopper and Nick Stahl, and joined in games of Monopoly and Pictionary, movie nights and dinners. She even celebrated her 13th birthday playing laser tag with the producers.
It’s quite the life for a teenager, hobnobbing among A-listers and jetting to exciting locales like Tokyo during press tours. “You can get anything there. It’s a little overwhelming,” she says. The starlet managed to pick up a mint-colored knit hat there, which she wore to the interview, with a pair of Pierre Hardy ankle boots, a Kenneth Cole sweater, a Jigsaw London top and black skinny jeans. “I’ve been style-conscious all my life,” she notes. That said, “when I was little, all I wore was velour. That’s not exactly stylish. That’s just kind of tacky.”
For now, the Denver native has no plans to live the Hollywood high life year-round. With the help of an on-set tutor, she has been able to balance being a real kid in Colorado with her burgeoning career, which includes playing a young Rachel Bilson in “Jumper,” and doing stunts alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the upcoming action-adventure comedy “Race to Witch Mountain.”
“I just don’t want to miss anything,” says Robb, who wants to join the swim, track and debate teams when she enters high school in the fall. She also plans on studying political science and psychology in college. “I have no need to live in L.A.,” she says, sounding sage beyond her years. “I could have more meetings, but I like it at home.”