‘Edge of Seventeen’ star discusses work on coming-of-age comedy

MIAMI (WSVN) - The upcoming movie “The Edge of Seventeen” puts a spotlight on those awkward teenage years, but off camera, the teenage star of the film is anything but awkward.

Hailee Steinfeld stopped into Miami, Wednesday, to talk about her work in the critically acclaimed coming-of-age comedy. The “Pitch Perfect 2” star plays Nadine Byrd, a high school junior trying to deal with her best friend falling in love with her really popular older brother.

Meanwhile, the character is facing her own romantic challenges. “She is growing up as a teenager, going through high school, trying to figure out life, trying to figure out how she can find that human connection and conversation and love,” said Steinfeld. “She doesn’t necessarily know where to find it, and it’s kinda her journey of figuring all of that out.”

The film, originally titled “Besties,” stars some big Hollywood names, like Kyra Sedgwick as Nadine’s mother and Woody Harrelson as her history teacher and reluctant mentor. “The cast is amazing,” said Steinfeld. “They are all so incredible, talented and amazing people, and I had the best time working with them.”

Steinfeld, in particular, sang Harrelson’s praises. “He’s amazing. He really is just the best person ever,” she said. “He was so much fun to work with. Yeah, best sense of humor ever.”

The vibrant, collaborative mood on the set made this movie a joy to work on for Steinfeld. “This was one of my favorite films I’ve ever made. Because of that we had so much freedom given to us by our director to improvise and, really, just live,” she said.

Steinfeld, an Oscar nominee for her star turn in “True Grit,” said she immediately felt a kinship with Nadine. “So much in this script I felt connected to, and I felt like I could identify with this character and the characters in this movie,” she said, “but I guess the story itself, feeling so special and so unique and so honest, is really what I fell in love with.”

Though “The Edge of Seventeen” is a film about high school students, it is rated R. It hits theaters Nov. 18.

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