Actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld is determined to sell out stadium's on her own but in the mean time she will get by with a little from her friend Meghan Trainor.
As a young actress Steinfeld was nominated for an Oscar and a slew of other awards for the movie True Grit. She went on to various other roles in films such as Ender's Game, Begin Again, and Pitch Perfect 2. Her latest project is called The Edge of Seventeen and stars Woody Harrelson, Blake Jenner and Kyra Sedgwick.
Her debut EP, Haiz, unleashed the radio-friendly hit "Love Myself" and teamed her with the group DNCE for "Rock Bottom." The album was co-written by Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter, the openly gay singer from Semi Precious Weapons.
Her new single is a collaboration with Zedd and the duo Grey. She packs up the music for a tour that brings her to Chicago.
Windy City Times: Hi, Hailee. I'm excited you are coming back to the Windy City.
Hailee Steinfeld: Me, too—always.
WCT: When we last talked, it was on a red carpet. Where does your style come from?
HS: I have an amazing stylist that I work with. I think it is a form of expression. I like to use it as another playful aspect of what I do, going out performing and throwing on what I feel in the moment and comfortable in. Working with stylists is such a collaborative relationship and very fun for me.
WCT: Any costume changes while you are on stage?
HS: I don't during my set, but I have been playing around with fashion city by city.
WCT: Did you meet DNCE on your recent radio tour that led to your singing with them?
HS: I have actually known Joe Jonas for a couple of years. We are partial label mates so that came together through that.
It was so fun being on that tour with them because the song came shortly after so I spent time with them on the road.
WCT: Talk about the new single "Starving." It is quite an eclectic group that got together for that song.
HS: It really is. Zedd and I had been wanting to work on something together for months. We tried to make it happen in the past but timing is everything. That has not been to our benefit.
It finally worked out. He sent me a message saying that this was the most amazing track he had ever heard. I went into the studio where he was. He played me the song and I loved it. Within 24 hours we met Grey and this whole song came together.
WCT: I just watched you in the movie Begin Again. Did you play your own instruments in the film?
HS: Yes, I did.
WCT: Do we know when your new movie The Edge of Seventeen will be released?
HS: Not quite. They are making final decisions as we speak.
WCT: Is there singing in it?
HS: No, there is no singing. It is a very honest telling of what it truly is growing up and being a teenager, making it through high school in one piece, feeling like the smallest situations are the end of the world but then realizing it is not. It has a little bit of humor. It is heartfelt.
It has so much of everything for everybody. I really can't wait for people to see it.
WCT: Blake Jenner from Glee, who also stars in the movie, is so adorable.
HS: He is. He's awesome and talented.
WCT: I noticed you worked on your EP with Justin Tranter. How was working with him?
HS: He is one of my favorite people in the universe. He is so much fun. Creating that EP was my first real experience in making music. I couldn't have asked for a better mentor.
WCT: We definitely need to let your gay fans know about this show.
HS: Yay, thank you. I was at LA's gay Pride and it was really special.
WCT: Meghan Trainor has such a big following from our community as well. How is it touring with her?
HS: She is the bomb. These venues are full when we go out to play and get everyone hyped up for the show. It has been fun. Everything has been so special yet so different. It is definitely a great time.
WCT: What is your plan after the tour?
HS: I don't know. There is still a little time left for me to figure it out. I will be going back home to finish writing and recording. I am looking to do another movie as well.
WCT: Do we know about Pitch Perfect 3 yet?
HS: Unfortunately, I know nothing.
WCT: When you were nominated for an Academy Award, you were so young. Were you able to take that moment in?
HS: It was a lot to comprehend and understand. I definitely realize it more now than I did then but it was an incredible experience that I will never forget.
WCT: Are you doing anything fun while in Chicago?
HS: I hope so. I love it there. I have several friends coming to the show so I am excited about that. I will see you there!