Ladygunn magazine is a print + online publication with headquarters in New York, Los Angeles, and Stockholm. They are an independent publication with an emphasis on music, people, and fashion. Hailee Steinfeld appeared on Ladygunn in April 2016.
“Something people don’t know is that I started making music around the same time that I was getting into acting, but acting took off and music became more of a side project over the years,” she shares. “Now it’s my full focus. When I signed with Republic Records and was put in the studio with the most incredible writers and producers, I had a hard time trying to verbally translate what I wanted. Because I was with the best of the best, they were able to help put that into words and songs for me. I owe a lot to the people that I made the EP with—Mattman and Robin, Max Martin, Julia Michaels, and Justin Tranter.”
When I comment on how an earnest shout-out is a bit unusual for certain celebrities, she puts it in perspective for me: “I’ve been involved in film since I was thirteen. I’ve been studying acting since I was eight. One thing I learned—the easy and the hard way—is that you’re nothing without an amazing writer, director, cast, and an amazing set of producers. You’re nothing without the people that surround you! Launching into music knowing nothing and being paired with some of the best writers and producers out there, I’ve learned so much from them in such a short amount of time. I feel like I owe a lot to them for that.”
Then again, I shouldn’t be so surprised at how reflective Steinfeld is. Considering her age—she turned nineteen in December—the girl has accomplished a lot in a short span of years. She was only thirteen when she landed her breakout role as Mattie Ross in the Coen Brothers’ epic Western True Grit (2010), based on the classic novel. And she was only fourteen when she was nominated in the category of Best Supporting Actress for the said role, making her one of the youngest Academy Award nominees in history. In 2013, she starred as the leading lady in Romeo & Juliet as well in the big-screen adaptation of the fan-favorite sci-fi novel Ender’s Game. Last year, she nabbed a role in the cult music comedy Pitch Perfect 2.
All that said, you’d think she would have no trepidation about walking onto a stage to sing, but like any sane person, even Academy Award nominees get occasional stage fright. “The idea of going out on stage, whether it’s seventy people or fifteen thousand, the thought of having one shot to do whatever it is that you’re doing is terrifying!” Steinfeld admits, adding, “But there’s also this idea that I can go out there and be myself… Whereas in film, there are always scenes that we just have to get out of the way and once we do, we’re fine. And those scenes, I am always obviously nervous [to do] them, whether it’s because of an actor that I’m doing the scene with or if it’s something that’s outside of my comfort zone. I think with each there are things that make me nervous, but music more than the other.”