When Abigail Breslin starred in Little Miss Sunshine she had more movie-making experience than the film's director. And she was just ten years old at the time.
In front of the camera since she was three, New Yorker Abigail has steadily been racking up her screen credits. After starting out making commercials she graduated to the silver screen at the tender age of six when she was cast as Mel Gibson's daughter in the science fiction thriller Signs
. "It was the coolest experience ever! I hadn't done any other movie roles, so I was really nervous," she says.
That performance led to a variety of TV work, including Law & Order
. More feature film appearances followed, including 2004's Raising Helen
alongside her older brother and fellow child actor Spencer Breslin, a cameo in The Princess Diaries 2
, and a part in dark psychological drama Keane
But it was her enchanting turn as beauty pageant wannabe Olive Hoover in 2006's offbeat, low budget comedy Little Miss Sunshine
that marked her out, leading to comparisons with the young Drew Barrymore and Dakota Fanning. The performance won her the best young actress gong at the Critics Choice Awards the following January, bringing with it a chance to practice making acceptance speeches. "Oh my gosh, this is so cool!" she said, thanking her parents "who have supported me forever".
Further confirmation of her acting talent came when she was also short-listed for a 2007 Academy Award in the best supporting actress category, becoming the fourth youngest Oscar nominee. Being showered with glittering accolades doesn't seem to have gone to youngster's head, however. If acting doesn't work out, she says, she'd like to be a vet.