Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Abigail Breslin

The star of this week's Janie Jones drops by for a chat about movies, music, and her career.

by | October 28, 2011 | Comments

Since her acting debut in Signs (at age six) and Oscar nomination for Little Miss Sunshine (at age 10), Abigail Breslin has taken an unpredictable path in her film roles, appearing in everything from family movies to heartstring-heavy dramas to unabashed horror-comedy — as Zombieland‘s gun-toting scamp Little Rock, she got to indulge in what few of her young peers are allowed; namely, blowing away hordes of the undead. This year, Breslin’s already lent her voice to probably the best, and certainly the most original American animated feature, Rango, and she’ll soon appear (alongside practically everyone else in Hollywood) in the romantic comedy New Year’s Eve; while next year brings a transition to teenage roles — including a high school murderess in the very Heavenly Creatures-sounding Innocence. In this week’s Janie Jones, Breslin plays the title character, a 13-year-old girl set adrift from her single mother to reconnects with her boozy rock-n-roll dad, played by Alessandro Nivola. We sat down with the young actress to talk about the movie and her music, where she sees her career headed, and her Five Favorite Films (with a little assist from her mom).

Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944; 100% Tomatometer)


One would probably be Meet Me in St. Louis, which I love. Meet Me in St. Louis I love because I love Margaret O’Brien, and I actually got to meet her in person — she was so sweet and so cool. She was my favorite. So I love that movie.

Insidious (James Wan, 2011; 67% Tomatometer)



I guess I’ll have to do one horror movie because it’s my thing; I love horror movies. So my favorite horror movie would be… [pauses] I guess I’ll just go with a recent one that I really like right now, which was Insidious. I actually really liked that. It was kind of like, in some ways kind of campy, but it was so fun the way it was done. I loved the storyline of it all, and the ending was really cool.

The Help (Tate Taylor, 2011; 74% Tomatometer)



A recent movie that I really liked was The Help. I thought The Help was really, really good. And I love all the actors in it, who I thought were just amazing. I love Jessica Chastain, and Viola Davis and, you know, Emma Stone too, ’cause I worked with her. And Octavia Spencer. I thought they were all amazing.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962; 89% Tomatometer)



Oh, the Bette Davis one — What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? I really like… I really love that movie. She’s kind of like really crazy and creepy. It’s one of the most — it’s not really a horror movie, but it’s so eerie and creepy.
.

Prancer (John D. Hancock, 1989; 69% Tomatometer)



And then finally I love… [long pause] Can I think about the last one? [Breslin’s mother intervenes: “For sentimental reasons the one you always loved was Prancer,” she suggests, laughing.] Oh yeah, I loved Prancer. Oh my god. [Laughs] I actually, really— okay, yeah, I’ll put that. So that movie, for sentimental reasons, and just because I still love it. It still has to be watched every Christmas. [Mom laughs in the background. ]

How many times have you seen it?

Oh, probably over a hundred. Especially when I was younger, I watched it like every day.

Do you know I’ve never seen it?

Oh my gosh, shame on you! Now you must.

Next, Breslin talks about Janie Jones, starting her music career, and her mini-obsession with Little Rock.

 

So, Janie Jones. I was impressed that you did all your own singing and playing in the movie. Was that something that attracted you to the part, or were you already performing music?

Abigail Breslin: Well I’d never really done music before, except for, you know, church Christmas parties and stuff like that. I’d never sung that much before, so it was definitely nerve-racking to come in — especially with Alessandro, who was such a good guitar player and singer. So that was definitely nerve-racking, but at the same time it was a lot of fun and it kind of inspired me to learn more. I taught myself guitar and took more vocal lessons, and now I actually have my own band; so that’s kind of cool.

How’s that going?

It’s going well. The band’s going good. It’s called CABB, with two “b”s, and actually our first song is coming out today and it’s called “Well Wishes.”

What kind of music do you play? “Who are your influences?”

[Laughs] Who are my influences! I kind of like… I love Adele, I love Foster the People, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, The Vaccines. And then my best friend, who’s also in the band, she kind of likes different stuff, like Lady Gaga; so it’s kind of like a merger of the two.

Is music something you might consider pursuing as well as acting?

Yeah, I mean definitely. We’re working on an album right now. It’s definitely something that I love doing and can hopefully, you know, do both.

You and Alessandro kind of have a bond on screen — did you become close off-screen to get that dynamic?

Well, I mean, the first time we met was on set — except, actually my brother Spencer did a movie with Alessandro’s wife, Emily, so we met when I was three. [Laughs] I don’t think we “met.” So when we first met on set, one of the first scenes we did was a very awkward and uncomfortable “first meeting” scene, and it kind of worked out well — as we got to know each other, as the characters got to know each other, we got to know each other in real life. So that was kind of cool.

You first meet him in Little Rock. Was that a coincidence, or did you have that written into the script?

[Laughs] No! Because of my character in Zombieland?

Yeah.

Well, what’s interesting is that while I was filming Zombieland I was reading this script, and my character was “Little Rock,” so… [laughs] I actually really like the city Little Rock in real life.

You need to find a way to work this into all of your films.

[Laughs] Exactly. I need to find a way. It’ll be like a thing. Every movie that you see of mine will have, like, “Little Rock Dry Cleaning” or something like that.

And then you’ll know it’s an “Abigail Breslin Film.”

Then you’ll know — you will know. [Laughs]

You can go back into your old films and have it digitally inserted.

Yeah, I know! [Laughs] I need to go back into all of them. You’ll see Little Miss Sunshine and instead of it being at, like, Redondo Beach, it’ll say “Welcome to Little Rock” in a really cheesy voiceover. It’ll sound really bad, but it’ll work!

Looking at your film choices since your Oscar nomination, you seem to be taking pretty varied roles — from Zombieland to character work in Rango and now this — is there a plan to it?

I don’t really have a set plan of what I feel like I should do, but I definitely like to play characters that I’ve never played before, and do different ones. I just feel like I’d get bored playing the same character over and over again. So I do try and do different roles, but there’s no set plan. I just go script-by-script, and if I like the character and the story, and if it’s a character that I’d want to know in real life, then that’s sort of why I do it.


Janie Jones is released in theaters and on VOD this week.

Tag Cloud

dc Drama Acorn TV Nickelodeon OWN streaming Endgame Watching Series spinoff Premiere Dates docudrama Lifetime Christmas movies cops quibi comedies documentaries blockbuster talk show Television Academy NBC ITV Travel Channel stop motion Calendar halloween Winter TV Marathons 2019 Spike indiana jones sports stand-up comedy football Spectrum Originals TV renewals social media canceled Mystery Teen Starz justice league screen actors guild 72 Emmy Awards VH1 tv talk archives FXX 24 frames Pet Sematary OneApp indie USA Network unscripted Chernobyl Awards batman Lionsgate sequels IFC Box Office news MTV free movies award winner name the review Mary Tyler Moore Comedy Central BAFTA political drama San Diego Comic-Con game of thrones Toys Spring TV Walt Disney Pictures australia Writers Guild of America a nightmare on elm street period drama The Purge ABC Family festival Lifetime Song of Ice and Fire space E! christmas movies 2017 Stephen King Food Network book Red Carpet Mindy Kaling Cannes sag awards Syfy Amazon Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Emmys The CW james bond LGBT breaking bad foreign Paramount canceled TV shows Classic Film Academy Awards Rocketman stoner Countdown TNT WGN richard e. Grant Photos TCA 2017 historical drama DC Universe ESPN spanish versus criterion Rock Hear Us Out Esquire casting Ghostbusters Baby Yoda New York Comic Con Masterpiece 21st Century Fox toronto cats animated adaptation Ovation crime drama TCA Awards Brie Larson green book movie Epix IFC Films cults satire dragons PBS kids Musicals Interview hispanic vampires Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TLC video on demand A&E franchise facebook Grammys comic what to watch RT History Disney Plus Disney Pop TV Women's History Month FOX ratings remakes cars harry potter Elton John strong female leads cancelled TV shows halloween tv Hallmark Christmas movies Cosplay BBC mockumentary police drama Nat Geo Warner Bros. HBO Max Holiday renewed TV shows dogs Turner asian-american Musical deadpool A24 Fox Searchlight Sundance TV joker Amazon Studios mutant Peacock comics best movies adventure festivals 007 Tomatazos toy story discovery Shondaland X-Men The Witch TV Land Biopics AMC zombies spain Christmas nature witnail Universal Mudbound venice Dark Horse Comics Comics on TV 2015 Crackle natural history Hallmark Fox News Sneak Peek MSNBC 2016 game show Marvel aliens Mary poppins Summer Avengers based on movie critics Black Mirror Sundance Now Western Music PlayStation Bravo Sundance slashers revenge italian Amazon Prime Video serial killer GIFs FX Fall TV Television Critics Association 20th Century Fox supernatural elevated horror zero dark thirty crossover YouTube Red children's TV RT21 Marvel Studios DC streaming service parents Set visit biography National Geographic romance Black History Month cancelled emmy awards 2020 DirecTV USA finale robots child's play binge ghosts Binge Guide politics Fantasy Disney+ Disney Plus First Reviews south america E3 true crime die hard psycho zombie Extras Super Bowl rotten movies we love BBC America Ellie Kemper Emmy Nominations Rom-Com thriller nfl Star Wars mission: impossible japanese WarnerMedia nbcuniversal Trivia films doctor who composers Film Festival Certified Fresh cartoon American Society of Cinematographers scorecard Country Horror boxoffice Tubi hist President laika Quiz The Academy miniseries Apple TV Plus independent Comic Book TCA concert SundanceTV Best and Worst dark Sony Pictures singing competition Vudu TCA Winter 2020 Adult Swim black sitcom hollywood Tarantino video theme song Rocky SDCC CBS All Access FX on Hulu TIFF Year in Review series TV Cartoon Network First Look spanish language Arrowverse YA chucky BET Turner Classic Movies Trailer crime crime thriller rotten Tumblr superhero HBO Go Netflix Pop anthology PaleyFest DC Comics latino History all-time Family Awards Tour Polls and Games Superheroes DGA screenings CW Seed Reality Competition CNN GLAAD Disney streaming service blaxploitation ID Columbia Pictures MCU Netflix Christmas movies psychological thriller CBS Amazon Prime The Walking Dead Discovery Channel disaster obituary Video Games Creative Arts Emmys cinemax technology Heroines Schedule diversity transformers spy thriller Crunchyroll cooking Nominations Showtime HBO worst twilight comic books Pixar science fiction APB Opinion Pirates Oscars Trophy Talk Sci-Fi TCM Winners 45 YouTube VOD 2018 NYCC reboot Pride Month Lucasfilm rt archives Logo LGBTQ Funimation GoT See It Skip It scary movies BET Awards Action Superheroe Star Trek Anna Paquin Election The Arrangement CMT fast and furious ABC Thanksgiving Kids & Family Paramount Network Animation documentary golden globes war medical drama werewolf travel Hulu comiccon Freeform El Rey 4/20 classics BBC One Disney Channel VICE Character Guide Holidays Film Podcast sequel 71st Emmy Awards Valentine's Day Comedy SXSW Reality romantic comedy reviews Martial Arts television Apple TV+ cancelled television french spider-man Captain marvel Apple directors Shudder jamie lee curtis TruTV cancelled TV series Marvel Television anime dramedy TBS dceu universal monsters YouTube Premium Britbox Mary Poppins Returns teaser Infographic worst movies