2004 – Reel Movie Critic.com interview

Headline : Annasophia Robb of “Because of Winn Dixie”
By : Reelmoviecritic.com

The ten-year-old star of “Because of Winn Dixie” was in Chicago recently to promote the film based on the popular novel.

GS: What do you like best about “Because of Winn Dixie?”

AR: I think this movie will help people understand the real value of having support from your family, friends and the community in general.

GS: Many films aimed at youngsters have a fairy tale ending that is not realistic. This was not the case here in that Opal’s (Annasophia’s character) mother not only left her and her dad (Jeff Daniels), but she is not coming back. A key message of the film is that one can adjust to events that are unfair. What do you think about this serious aspect of the film?

AR: It helped me appreciate how fortunate I am. But it was good to see that with a loving single parent father, Opal could still be happy even though she still wanted to have a mother.

GS: What was it like working with veteran actors like Cicely Tyson and Eva Marie Saint? What did you learn from them?

AR: If you wanted some advice you had to ask for it, which was OK. One thing I saw in both of them and Jeff was that about a minute before a scene would start, they would close their eyes and get into character. Even during the day, they preferred to be called by the name of the character rather than their real names.

GS: What do your friends think of your acting career?

AR: It’s OK. The older kids talk to me more than they used to.

GS: What type of roles are you working on as a follow up to ‘Winn Dixie?’

AR: I’m auditioning for new parts and want to do more lead roles in different types of films.

GS: What actors do you tend to follow?

AR: Dakota Fanning from “Hide and Seek,” although I don’t see certain films because they are R rated.

GS: Dakota Fanning was the best thing in “Hide and Seek.” It was one of those films that tried so hard to be scary that like some of the films that are (e.g., M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village”), once you reach the moment of the film that holds the surprise, it’s not as interesting. The plot itself may have some interest but it all leads to one moment. ‘Winn Dixie’s’ plot however, did not play games with you.

AR: “Because of Winn Dixie” covers a lot of ground in that it gives many points of view. What would I be like if I did not have a mother? Otis (Dave Matthews) is being free and having freedom and not being locked up. Miss Franny (Eva Marie Saint), it’s books and having someone care for her as a friend and being nice to her. Amanda (Courtney Jines) it’s having someone being kind to her.

GS: What’s next after Chicago?

AR: We’re leaving today for Los Angeles to look at some new projects.

Annasophia Robb will likely be seen again in a variety of roles that are child friendly. We’ll be sure to let you know when her next project is slated. In the meantime, if you are looking for a very kid friendly movie for your young ones, be sure to see Opal and her dog Winn Dixie.

George O. Singleton © 2004