AnnaSophia Robb plays ‘Leslie Burke’ in Bridge to Terabithia. She is 13 years old and lives with her family in Colorado. Previously she starred on screen opposite Johnny Depp in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.
What did you like about it and what did you see in Leslie that you related to?
I read the book and the script at the same time and I was amazed at how beautifully they transitioned the book into a script and a film. I love Leslie’s character and the story of friendship and imagination and bullies and giants and trolls and squogers. I think it’s a really timeless tale for all ages and almost everyone can relate to it.
What do you think the message is for kids?
There are so many messages. Some of the main points are about friendship and just enjoying your friends and valuing them. Also, to treat others how you’d want to be treated and just try to be accepting of people for who they are. It also shows you how to use your imagination, because it keeps you young and it’s a really fun thing that you can experience with a friend. It also talks about families and people going through some tough times, but you have to work through it and friends can help you with that. It also talks about bullying…
Were you ever bullied?
Not really…maybe I have, I try to forget it usually.
But did you ever feel like an outcast, the way she does coming to a new school?
Yeah, I have. I’ve felt nervous and sort of out of place at times and I felt at times uncomfortable with who I am in a setting. And that’s kind of a form of bullying, people looking at you with really judgmental eyes.
How do your friends at school treat you?
Well, I’ve gone to the same school for about eight years, so I know pretty much everybody in that whole school. A lot of the people treated me totally different. At first it was a little awkward for them, they really didn’t know how to take it. They weren’t really mean to me, just because I was their friend—I was kind of friendly to everybody—but they would be a suck up, and it was weird. It was like, ‘why are you extra nice and paying a ton of attention to me …they wouldn’t really pay much attention to me before I started this. It was like, fake. But I’ve seen bullying at my school and it happens all over the board—it happens when you’re old and it happens when you’re young. It’s sad, but hopefully people will learn how to deal with it and try to make friends with their bullies.
What do you do when you want to escape from reality?
I read books.
I like fiction fantasy. I love Harry Potter, I love Lord of the Rings. I love Bloody Jack and Summer of Kings. I could go on and on and on…..
Is making movies related to books a coincidence or not?
I find there’s really good literature that I think is important to make into a movie because a lot of kids don’t read and I find that kind of sad—they think: ‘Oh reading, I’m tired of it. I hate to read.’ When I was little I really didn’t like to read. I didn’t like it at all.
What changed that?
Well, my dad read Lord of the Rings to me and I found a genre of books that I really enjoyed and it happens to be that a ton of people like fiction fantasy books. It really struck a chord with me because I loved to play pretend when I was little.
Are there any actresses you look up to?
Well, there are a lot of women and men who are actors who have picked really good roles and are really powerful in their acting. I just recently worked with Charlize Theron.
On which movie?
On Ferris Wheel, and she was amazing, she is so a hundred per cent committed every day to everyone on the set. I play her daughter. I really love her and also I admire Jodie Foster. She went to college and I want to go to college. She went to college and she maintained a career. I’m not saying that I want to do acting for the rest of my life; I would love to because it’s been nothing but fun and really great for me, but I want to go to college and I want to help people and I want to travel and learn different languages and try to be more worldly because I feel the world is getting more and more homogenized.
What did you think of New Zealand? Did you get to travel and see much?
Yes, I went on some road trips, actually I went on some road trips with Josh.
We went to Rotarua, which really smells but it was fun. It’s the Maori kind of capital—Maori are like the Native Americans there—and they did their dance and it was cool. They’re sticking their tongues out and banging on the ground. And I was kind of like, ‘wow, that’s weird.’ Sometimes when they dance, they cry and you cry because it’s so heartfelt and real and animal nature.
So you and Josh hung out a lot then?
Yeah. We became really good friends. And it was fun for me because I got to take a relationship off set and bring it into our characters.
Do you still keep in touch? Text or IM each other?
Yeah we do, sometimes; now everything is so hectic and chaotic, but it’s really been nice to travel with him—it’s like seeing an old friend.
There weren’t any crushes going on?
No, well he has a girlfriend right now so…
And you don’t have a boyfriend?
No, I don’t have a boyfriend.
Do you have boys who are friends? Just friends?
Mmm hmm. Josh is one of my just friends. The New Zealand boys are really good friends. Some of the boys at my school – I feel like I’ve known them for a little too long, that I just can’t like them. I can’t have a crush on them because I just know them too well. I’m just so tired of them, they’re just such boys!
What do your parents do?
My dad is an architect, he does modern architecture, and my mum is an interior designer but she’s given it up for me, to travel
Do you have siblings?
No, just me. I have six girl cousins and they’re my best friends. And I have a dog, a MaltiPoo named Bellarue. I’m really super close with my parents and I spend a lot of time with them. A little too much time, actually!
Is the movie with Charlize the next thing you have out?
No, The Reaping with Hilary Swank is coming out in March. Then I did Ferris Wheel with Charlize Theron, West Texas Children’s Story and I’m working on Jumper right now, I have a small role in that.
How are you balancing it with school?
It’s difficult. I have a tutor that travels with me. But it’s hard because I have to try to stay up with my class and be on the same page so when I get back to school I have to be on the same work page.