Was ‘True Grit’ Hailee Steinfeld’s First Movie? She Calls the Experience ‘The Absolute Time Of My Life’

Actress Hailee Steinfeld is young, but she’s been in show business for quite some time. She’s currently promoting a new project, Dickinson. What was her very first movie? Let’s take a look back.

Hailee Steinfeld stars in the new series ‘Dickinson’

Apple TV+ is here, and with it comes a whole host of exciting new series. Most are releasing week to week, but one of them, Dickinson, dropped an entire season with the platform’s release on Nov. 1, 2019. And Steinfeld stars in it as the title character.

Dickinson is a uniquely dark comedy about the beloved poet. It’s both modern and era-specific, and Steinfeld shines as Emily, with a supporting cast that includes Jane Krakowski (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Wiz Khalifa, and John Mulaney. All ten episodes are available to stream to those who have purchased a subscription to the new service.

Here’s what else you may know Steinfeld from

View this post on Instagram

They see me rollin… #BumblebeeMovie

A post shared by hailee steinfeld (@haileesteinfeld) on

This is Steinfeld’s first time leading a TV series, but the young actress is more than qualified. She’s been acting for several years, and is known for a host of film roles, including True Grit, Romeo & Juliet, and Ender’s Game, all of which she starred in in her teen years.

Steinfeld’s career has only continued to prosper. She starred in Pitch Perfect 2 and 3, along with the coming-of-age film The Edge of Seventeen. Last year alone, Steinfeld voiced Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and portrayed the lead character in the Transformers movie Bumblebee. Oh, and she’s a musician, singing original songs for many of her recent productions.

Steinfeld became an Oscar-nominee at a young age

Hailee Steinfeld at the screening of 'True Grit' at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on December 9, 2010
Hailee Steinfeld at the screening of ‘True Grit’ at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on December 9, 2010 | Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Steinfeld was nominated for an Oscar for True Grit at the age of 14, which she said in a recent Wired Autocomplete interview is “insane.” “The coolest part about that experience is no one that I made the project with [was] concerned about winning anything. It was just about getting together and creating art,” adding that she was “incredibly honored to be nominated at all.”

“I was 13 years old when I made that film,” said Steinfeld. “And it was the absolute time of my life. The Coen Brothers are — I have no words to describe them. They are the ultimate. That cast was absolutely incredible. I could not think of a better first movie experience. It was, and is, hard to beat.”

On getting cast the part in ‘True Grit’

As it was her first movie, a lot of preparation went into trying to get the part in the film. “Right before everybody was about to go away for Christmas vacation, I started working with my [acting] coach on the material, in hopes of getting an audition,” she said. “If not, I was preparing to make a tape and send it in. And sure enough, I was called in at the end of break.”

“Then I went in, I had three auditions over the course of, I think, a month,” Steinfeld continued. “And then a week later, after my last audition, I was on a plane, and I was in the middle of nowhere shooting a movie called True Grit.”