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The Stars Are Out for Kit

By Samantha Group | null null , null
Abigail Breslin, Julia Ormond and Chris O'Donnell in a scene from Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann)<br />
Abigail Breslin, Julia Ormond and Chris O'Donnell in a scene from Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann)

During a press day for Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, the stars who worked on the movie took over a hotel in New York City and talked to journalists about the movie. Kid Reporter Sam Group was there, and she got to talk to the director and the amazing actors who worked on Kit Kittredge!

Question for Kit Kittredge director Patricia Rozema

Scholastic News Online: Since Kit Kittredge is a period piece, did you use antiques and other items from the time period, or did you shoot some of the scenes with a green screen?
Patricia Rozema: Oh, all the cars were there and the props were there. No green screen. The houses were sets, and everything inside was really there.

Questions for Max Thieriot (Will), Madison Davenport (Ruthie), and Zach Mills (Sterling), three of Kit's friends in the movie

SNO: This is for Max, What do you think your character struggled with the most?
Max Thieriot: He probably struggled the most with just life in general and just to deal with the reality of the real world and taking care of a kid, you know, like a younger child. I mean, because I am sure in the movie Will was accused of stealing, but he really didn't do it, and I am sure that was hard for him.

Director, Patricia Rozema, on the set, of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
Director Patricia Rozema on the set of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann)

SNO: What do you like best about the profession of acting?
Madison Davenport: I like being the character, to be able to play someone whom you're not. Just to be able to portray a character and be able to become it and put on the costume and be someone new.
Zach Mills: I like the attention. No, just kidding. I think pretending to be someone I'm not, I like putting on those clothes and being Sterling.
Max: On top of that, probably being able to meet all the interesting people and the places you get to go to.

Question for Julia Ormond and Chris O'Donnell who play Kit's parents, Margaret and Jack Kittredge

SNO: What do you think your characters struggled with the most?
Julia Ormond: I think they both struggle with job loss, and there is a certain sense of shame with the father, but they all feel it because that is their loved one. And they all try to help out. All of them struggle.
Chris O'Donnell: I think that a loss of a job is huge. I remember my dad lost his job. For me, it was very easy to relate to Jack Kittredge when he leaves because I leave sometimes, and I have five kids at home, so I know what it is like.

Stanley Tucci, and Joan Cusack, in a scene, from Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
Stanley Tucci and Joan Cusack in a scene from Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann)

Question for with Wallace Shawn (Mr. Gibson) and Stanley Tucci (Jefferson Berk), the editor of Kit's local newspaper and a magician who is boarding with the Kittredges

SNO: Wally, you've been in The Princess Bride, and Stanley you've been in The Devil Wears Prada. How do you prepare for movies that take place in two different times and two different worlds?
Wallace Shawn: The truthful answer is what would I be like in these different circumstances that are being given to me. If I were a totally different type of person and actor—a superior kind—I might also study that period and add circumstances that are not in the story. But in fact, I basically play the part as me with a few different circumstances that wouldn't exist in 2008 and do exist in that period.
Stanley Tucci: And, yeah, I do the same thing. Whatever story you're telling, whatever the period, your job as an actor is to tell that story truthfully. And that first has to come from the script. So we hope that when we've first taken the job that the script is really telling the story and there aren't these false motions or movements throughout the story. And if there are, we try to correct them. In researching a film, just doing something really simple like looking at photographs can be very beneficial to an actor because you can somehow take that into your memory and into your body. You can even watch a documentary about that period, whatever it is, if it is a period where there were film cameras. Or reading books or going to museums or looking at paintings. All that stuff is going to help you understand that period much more and the behaviors of those periods. But, ultimately, as Wally says, it has to come from you, as a person.

Be sure to check out all of Sam's coverage of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl in our special report!

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Samantha Group is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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