In 'Homework,' Emma Roberts stars as Sally, a popular teen at an uptown Manhattan prep school who becomes friends with the senior class outsider George. George, played by Freddie Highmore, is a boyish nihilist who won't be graduating if he doesn't complete an entire year's worth of homework in the last few weeks leading up to graduation. Sally's got her own problems, of course, and the two find their unlikely friendship a source of inspiration and strength -- until things get complicated. (Read our review of 'Homework')
Cinematical: Let's talk about filming in New York -- what did you discover about New York that you hadn't known before?
Emma Roberts: I was staying in the West Village, which is my favorite area now, and I would just go outside everyday and just walk around and wander and sit at little outdoor restaurants and read and hang out and meet up with friends, and it was just the perfect time to be in New York, in April, and I had so much fun. Shooting in New York is just always fun because the second you're off work, there's so many things you can go and do.
It felt like 'Homework' was a very personal story, and I was wondering if you got any indication that there was a real-life Sally.
Sally's very similar to me; that's why I really responded to it, is I really felt like I knew her and I'd felt the things that she'd felt. She's probably one of my favorite characters I've ever played. I have her very close to my heart.
She's really smart and likeable but also she's confused. She doesn't really want to hurt George but she kind of does...
Well, it just shows that she's a real person, 'cause in real life, people aren't just one thing or the other. They're a mixture, and I like that with her it showed that she is a good person but she [does] not always make the best choices. And she is popular and pretty and whatever, but there's a lot more going on than just that.
It's an interesting look at a certain subset of New York teenagers.
I felt like this showed teenagers in a real light. Like, yes, they go out, they drink, they talk about real life things, not just clothes and boys. I really liked how teenagers were portrayed in this movie 'cause I felt like it wasn't ever forced or cheesy.
So you're like the new female badass in the 'Scream' series...
It's an honor. I mean, I've been a 'Scream' fan... Also, I love Wes Craven, and I love Neve [Campbell], Courteney [Cox] and David [Arquette]. I thought [they] have been fabulous in every 'Scream' movie, so to come in and kind of take on this new role -- I play Jill Roberts, coincidentally her last name's Roberts, Sidney Prescott's cousin, and it's just cool because if you had told me five years ago, "You're gonna be in 'Scream' in a couple years," I would be like, "Okay, whatever, I don't believe you." So it was just really surreal.
It's an interesting return for the horror genre, because it originated this sort of meta-horror trend --
Well, 'Scream' has always kind of changed horror; it's always kind of taken a new spin on it, and this one, I think, is going to open the door for a lot of new different movies. Not so much 'Scream' but I think it's gonna really inspire people, because it's just insane. I wish I could say more, but it's utter insanity. I mean, when I was reading the script, my jaw was dropped the whole time.
Because it was...
Because every time you think that you've figured it out and that's the end, it's not.
So, you're helming the new generation of the 'Scream' team. Are there plans for more? You're kind of set up to be the final girl.
Who knows? I guess we'll see. I mean, that would be awesome.
I'm sure everyone is asking you this, but do you like horror movies? What's your favorite?
'The Ring' scarred me for life ... Scarred me for life, but my favorite. I also love 'Shutter Island.' I read the book and saw the movie. I like horror movies -- well, I like scary movies like that because it's just like a mind eff, you know? It's one of those things where you blame yourself for not figuring it out. You're like, "How could I not have seen that coming?" So I love those kinds of movies. I get really scared, though. I can't see 'Saw' or any of those movies. It really freaks me out.
Does that make it easier to be in a horror movie, then?
Yeah, because I would get an adrenaline rush every time someone would chase me or anything. I have a thing about -- even just with friends, like if someone's running up behind me, it really makes me uncomfortable. So in 'Scream,' when we were shooting, we'd be doing chase scenes or whatever, running around, people jumping out, and I would genuinely be so scared. People were trying to play tricks on me all the time.