Abigail Breslin Says She Would “Never Want” to Distance Herself From Little Miss Sunshine, But…

While not wanting to "disrespect" her breakout movie, Abigail Breslin admitted she's often "pigeonholed" as a 9-year-old girl, despite now being 25, because of her role in Little Miss Sunshine.

By Lindsay Weinberg Aug 02, 2021 10:01 PMTags
Watch: Abigail Breslin on Recreating "Dirty Dancing's" Iconic Lift

If we ask you to name an Abigail Breslin movie, chances are you'll say Little Miss Sunshine, even though it was released 15 years ago.

The actress was just 10 years old when her big break hit theaters and earned her an Oscar nomination. She's still perhaps best known for her role as shy pageant hopeful Olive Hoover, whose oddball family takes a road trip from New Mexico to California for the Little Miss Sunshine competition. 

Now 25, Abigail reflected on the good—and the bad—that came from starring in Little Miss Sunshine at such a young age.

"Sometimes people forget that I'm 25 years old and not nine anymore," Abigail told iNews last week.

She admitted that's partially based on her physique ("I'm really short" at 5-foot-1, she said, "and I look very little.") However, it's also based on other people's assumptions about her age, thanks to a character she played in 2006. 

She said her agents are often told by casting directors that "she's a little young" for a particular part. Abigail explained, "People tend to want to keep you in one specific pigeonhole." 

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Abigail Breslin Through the Years

Despite how hard it is to land age-appropriate roles, she can still appreciate how much Little Miss Sunshine has boosted her career.  

"I would never want to distance myself from it. It opened so many doors for me and gave me so many opportunities and is the reason why I'm where I'm at today," she shared.

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"I don't want to disrespect it," Abbie added. "It's sweet in a way because I think people felt so emotionally attached to that role and to that film. They want me to be Olive. I understand that. I'll always have a bit of Olive in me, but I want to try new things."

It seems to have paid off for her. She went on to play Catherine Zeta-Jones' niece in No Reservations, Gerard Butler's daughter in Nim's Island and Ryan Reynolds' daughter in Definitely, Maybe before starring in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, My Sister's Keeper, Zombieland, Ender's Game and Scream Queens. 

Most recently, she played suspected murder Allison, who maintains she's innocent after spending five years at a French prison. Director Tom McCarthy has admitted it was initially inspired by the real-life case of Amanda Knox. As Abbie told iNews, "I just immediately fell in love with the idea that there was no villain."

Co-starring Matt Damon and Camille Cottin, Stillwater is now in theaters.

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