You’ve started acting at the age of 7. Did you always want to be an actress?
My sister Madeleine very much likes being on stage, and she loves doing theater performances at school. When I was little, she would always come home after school, dress me up in whatever outfit, and we would put on shows for our parents. I always say that she was my first director because she would turn to me and say “Bark like a dog” and I’d start barking. When she was auditioning for Cartoon Network, I had to go with my mom to take my sister, and they ended up seeing me as well. We both ended up getting it. I was in awe with everything. The casting director convinced my mom, and I ended up going to Los Angeles. It was only supposed to be for a month, and I ended up staying for three. My mom and I fell in love with the city, so we moved out there after my sister finished middle school.
What was acting in Orphan like? Did it feel uncomfortable, stepping too much into that adult territory?
I love playing edgy and crazy characters because they’re so different from what I am. I don’t know why I get all these scary characters; maybe I give up that creeper vibe. There are so many different things that have to lead up to why a person is bad, and it just interests and fascinates me. With Esther I don’t think I really was thinking as myself, I was thinking as that character. As far as discomfort goes, the only one I had was cursing on camera. I was really scared about saying the F word, and all the producers were like, Seriously you’ve walked around the set and you’ve heard us all curse all the time! So, I ended up saying ‘fudge’ in every single take except for three close-ups.
We are so excited to see you play Clove inThe Hunger Games. How did you first hear about the project?
My agent first gave me the book when Lionsgate decided to make the movie. I stayed up all night and I finished it overnight, and I e-mailed them in the morning saying, “I have to be a part of this.” I’d just fallen in love with the series. I think I’ve read the entire series about nine times now. I originally went for the role of Katniss, but I’m 14, so I was way too young for it. I thought I wasn’t going to be a part of it and I was really sad. A few weeks later my manager called me and asked me if I would be interested to read for Clove. In the book, Clove is this muscular career tribute and I’m definitely not. But I kind of knew how I wanted her to be like; I had a good idea of who she was.
I thought it would be fun to go see the casting director again, and show her what I came up with. I didn’t even expect to get the role. When I got the call from my agent I cried. I was at a restaurant and everyone in the restaurant is looking at this 14 year-old girl crying at a table. I never thought that people could cry of happiness. The second time it happened was at the Elle Women Hollywood event last year. I got in the car after the event with my dad, and started crying like, I met so many awesome people. It’s just that overpowering feeling.
You can read the rest of the interview over at Bullett. If you’ve seen the movie, what did you think about Isabelle’s performance? Was she amazing as Clove? Let us know in the comments below!