CANNES, France — When Abigail Breslin stepped onto the Cannes red carpet for the world premiere of “Stillwater” earlier this week, she looked stunning in an emerald Dolce & Gabbana column gown.
Peeking at commentary online, the buzz was the 25-year-old looked the most confident she ever has on a red carpet.
“I felt confident because I thought it was a stunning dress, but I was definitely not confident that I wouldn’t fall down because I am not the most graceful human being. So walking in those shoes, going up the stairs and having a train — it was a little bit stressful,” she admitted to WWD.
Even though the reviews were great, Breslin wouldn’t know because the former child star gave up reading about herself online years ago.
“I’ve always loved what I do; I love being on a set more than anything. What’s the most challenging is knowing you’re going to be scrutinized and criticized and critiqued and analyzed by millions of people. That’s the most stressful part of it. You put that aside in your mind and say I don’t really care what people think, but it’s hard to do that,” she said.
“There’s definitely a lot of stress when I go to a big red carpet — what if people hate what I’m wearing or hate what I look like or my hair is not in the right place? But you have to remember that there are more important things going on in the world and the attention span is so short. In the end, you have to just go with what you feel in the moment,” she said. “I learned that there’s no way I can survive in this industry without getting a thick skin and not paying attention to all of that.
All the Looks at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival
“What you go through in real life, situations that are so much more important than if somebody tweets that they didn’t like your shoes, you just have to keep it in perspective,” Breslin added. “There are just so many far worse things going on in the world, and the people that I care about and the people that care about me, they don’t care what a blog says about my teeth or my makeup.”
And 2020 certainly put things in perspective for the young actress, who lost her father to COVID-19 in the middle of the pandemic.
“It’s been really hard. Losing a parent is something you never want to go through and it’s been very difficult. In this crazy pandemic you never think it will happen to you or someone that you love until it does, so it’s definitely been a brutal year,” she said.
When the tragedy struck, she also shared it with her 500,000-plus followers on Instagram, and she recognizes that moment of vulnerability has helped others. “So many other people have gone through the same thing. It’s important for people to realize that it is happening to a lot of people. I definitely got a lot of people reaching out that have lost loved ones because of this virus and that’s been very touching and comforting that so many people have given their support.”
The loss made the Cannes premiere — long a dream for the cast and crew since they filmed it in nearby Marseille — a reflective moment. “There have been a lot of positive things happening, like this [experience] right now, and they all turn out to be bittersweet at the end of the day. You just have to kind of constantly live honoring the memory of those who aren’t here.”
Attending the premiere alongside costars Matt Damon and Camille Cottin was “surreal,” since the film had been on hold during the pandemic. “For it to finally happen and for all of us to be in the theater together was a really powerful moment.” As for Damon, he’s down to earth despite being one of the last major action stars. “He’s just such a dad,” she says of the father of four.
The self-professed homebody said the lockdown experience wasn’t too different from her normal routine. When she’s not on set, she’s at home playing with her cats, reading, writing and playing with skin care. She’s obsessed with Tatcha Rice Polish and Aesop Fabulous Face Oil.
Working with stylist Sonia Young has helped her find her fashion footing. “She’s definitely been great at understanding how I like to work. I have boobs and hips and I don’t like to wear something just because it’s trendy. As I’ve got older I’ve leaned more toward simplicity,” she said, reflecting on her teens just a few years ago. “I made a lot of questionable choices. I look back and think nobody needs that many chokers and baby doll dresses with fur coats. But it makes me laugh. That’s how you grow, and change and evolve.”
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