Breslin (right) with August: Osage County co-star Meryl Streep.
Claire Folger/The Weinstein Company


Fresh-faced Hollywood vet ABIGAIL BRESLIN is all grown up -- but still a kid at heart -- in back-to-back blockbusters Ender's Game and August: Osage County.

Like any other 17-year-old, Abigail Breslin is pondering college plans. But the Hollywood vet already is getting quite the education.

On the set of her December drama, August: Osage County, she shot scenes with A-listers like Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor, an experience she likens to acting school. “I was working with people that I’ve watched in movies since I was born, so to actually be on set with them was extremely daunting and terrifying,” she says. “But they were all so open to me.”

Still, Breslin admits, sometimes the learning curve feels steep. She recalls filming her first scene with idol and co-star Meryl Streep: “I just kept telling myself, ‘Just get through your one line,’ ” she says. “I did, but then they gave me all these things to put in a backpack [during the scene], and of course I dropped three of the items, so I freaked out. But Meryl just ad-libbed. And it was like an a-ha moment: That’s how a pro handles it.”

Though Breslin has been making movies since she was 6 — earning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod at the age of 10 for her breakout role in Little Miss Sunshine — she still feels very much like the baby of her tight-knit, New York–based family (which includes older brother Spencer Breslin, also an actor). In her new intergalactic drama, Ender’s Game, an adaptation of the popular young-adult novel, her experience growing up in a close family informs her character. “Of course the circumstances are the extreme,” says Breslin, who plays Earth-bound Valentine Wiggin, whose brother is shipped off to camp on another planet. “But I can definitely relate. I’m on the road so much, it’s hard to keep one foot in each place, so I’m in constant contact with my family.”

And the family keeps a close eye on the teen, who still calls her parents if she’s going to be out late. In her downtime, the high-school junior likes to write and record music, go to parties with friends and check out the latest horror flicks at the local Cineplex, where, she admits, she gets a lot of attention — but not for the reasons you might think. “My friends and I are really loud and obnoxious,” Breslin laughs. “So we’re always getting shushed!”