AnnaSophia Robb (Because of Winn-Dixie) stars as a newcomer to the town who teaches her neighbor Jess (Josh Hutcherson) to embrace his imagination in the family fantasy film, Bridge to Terabithia.
AnnaSophia Robb on Katherine Paterson’s Beloved Book: Robb read both the best-selling book and the film's script at the same time. “I thought it transitioned into a movie, or a script, beautifully. They did a really good job of capturing the heart and soul of it. …I fell in love with the story, like I'm sure many of you have. It's just a really timeless tale about friendship and imagination. Every interview I go on, I find like a new message and new meaning. There's something different every single time. I think Katherine Paterson did a really beautiful job and I applaud her. I admire her, too, because she's a really good writer.”
Playing a Social Outcast in Bridge to Terabithia: “I think kids can be scared of people who are different from them. And also, Leslie, she's a fun person, and I think a lot of people were jealous of her. I know Madison...the character Madison…she's in school as the little goody two-shoes. She's jealous of her so that's why she's mean to Leslie, who just wants to be nice to everyone and be accepted.”
Imagining CGI Creatures: Using her imagination to figure out how to act opposite CGI characters fit in perfectly with the theme of the film. “It does. It does. It was a challenge, but it was a good challenge. It was fun. I think just reacting to tennis balls and a man who had a blue suit on, it was hard for me, but I had seen paintings. You know, of all these mythical Terabithian creatures. I really tried to visualize them when I was acting in the scene so I could act like they were attacking me and feel like if the thing was this big, or this big, I would vary how much I would...I guess…react.”
Racing Co-Star Josh Hutcherson: Director Csupo said it was tough to get Hutcherson to agree to letting Robb win one of the footraces. But Robb said she never got frustrated or wanted to trip her co-star. Robb said laughing, “No, actually. He's a boy, so he's extremely competitive. What can you say? All the boys there [were]. We, at the beginning, were trying to work out the timing, and Josh says he was just trying to work out the timing. But really, he wanted to show everyone that he was faster than the car that was driving, you know, trying to film. That's really what he was trying to prove. But we finally got it worked out.
I was tired by the end of it. I mean, just running back and forth, back and forth, doing all these different things. And at lunch, he goes, ‘Let's race!’ I was like, ‘Okay. Fine, Josh, we'll race. Fine. Whatever you want.’ So we say go and I take off, but then I stopped, and I'm just... You know, I walk back. I'm just feeling comfortable because I'm all tired. He gets to the end and he's all excited. He turns around and he's like, ‘Yes! I won! I won! I won!’ He turns around and he's like looking for me, and then he realized it was a hoax. His face was so disappointed I actually felt kind of guilty. I was like, ‘Jeez. Wow, he takes it really serious.’ But he's definitely a fast runner.”
Her Character’s Fashion Sense: As Leslie, Robb got to wear a lot of interesting outfits. “Oh my gosh, I loved all of Leslie's clothes,” admitted Robb. “Every day when I came to set, I just wanted to change as soon as possible because they were so comfortable and so cool. But you know, dressing like that is a lot of work. It's a lot of layers. Leslie had a fashion designer, funnily enough, making all the clothes and a whole team of people who worked really hard on dyeing them and adding little stitches. It was a ton of work for them, and it turned out beautifully.
I wish I could dress like Leslie. I didn't really get any say in the clothing. The fashion designer had it pretty much figured out. I just kind of went along with anything she said because she did a great job. And I got to keep, I think, two pairs of pants.”
Finding Her Own Terabithia: Acting doesn’t always put her in that happy place and Robb confessed she actually finds her own Terabithia in books. “I just get really involved in the characters in the books, and I love to just escape. And I daydream a lot. (Laughing) Not a lot. Not in school! I don't daydream. I'm quite serious about school. But like when I fall asleep or when I'm waking up in bed, just imagining things and sometimes if I have a really good idea, I'll write it down. I try to keep my imagination alive as possible because that's what's really important, and that's how people are individuals.”
Robb enjoys writing – when it’s not assigned at school. “I do. I like to write. I like to write letters, I like to write my thoughts down. I don't necessarily love to write reports or anything. I get kind of bored with that in school. I like to do creative writing. I just think about stuff. I do have several journals but I get really lazy, I have to admit. You know, I get like, ‘Okay, well, I should be writing all this stuff down.’ You know? When I die and get old, there should be a documentary, or like a diary that I can publish so that people will know what it's like to be in the acting business, but I don't because I would rather go to bed (laughing). So I should, and sometimes I do. When I have trouble on my mind, I'll write it down and then that makes me feel better. But I don't write everything down.”