Although she is only 13 years old, actor Julia Butters has already worked with Quentin Tarantino, Michael Bay, the Russo brothers and most recently Steven Spielberg. Her breakthrough came in Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” where she stole the scenes as Trudy, a pint-sized thespian whose commitment to her craft jolts Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton out of paycheck complacency. In Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical “The Fablemans,” he again plays an actor, though this time a decided amateur: Reggie, protagonist Sammy’s younger sister whom he enlists to star in his teenage filmmaking efforts. Butters says her own approach to acting falls somewhere between the two characters.
“I’m a mix of a bunch of different techniques,” she says. “A part of me is very serious and devoted. And part of me is there to make friends, and so excited to be there.”
Calling “The Fablemans” “one of the most emotional movies I’ve ever made,” Butters said he was simply thrilled to be on behalf of Spielberg’s longtime production shingle, Amblin. But when he landed the role of Reggie, he was encouraged by his reaction to his audition. “She said, ‘I think you’ve portrayed her well without even knowing who she is.'” Still, admits to feeling the pressure — if self-imposed — to land the role of the acclaimed director’s sister.
“It was definitely a challenge not only to be on Steven Spielberg’s set and not be smart the whole time,” she says, “but to immortalize her sister and bring an essence to her. [Spielberg’s sister Anne] to the character.”
After meeting the real-life Anne, Butters says she lived up to the portrait Spielberg and co-writer Tony Kushner painted on the page.
“He came to set for a big family scene and he hugged me for about a minute,” Butters recalls. “She is such an elegant woman. I am so incredibly grateful that I got to represent her.
Given Spielberg’s pedigree with great performances from young actors as far back as Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore in “ET the Extra-Terrestrial,” it’s no surprise that he says he not only made her feel comfortable on set, but also empowered her. . “If he likes it, he’ll come out clapping and smiling, and it makes you feel so amazing about yourself,” Butters says. “[He] You’re like that legendary uncle you’ve never met, but you think is so cool – and then you meet them and
They are awesome.”
Having recently finished filming “Queen of Bones,” in which she stars opposite co-star prodigy Jacob Tremblay (“Room”), Butters says she’s been writing a lot, and would love to direct or write a project in the future. Otherwise, she hopes to work with “a female director” or Martin Scorsese (“that would be fun to learn from,” she says), but her current plans include “taking some time to figure out what I’ve got.” What I really want in life.”
In describing the challenges she has faced so far in describing her “Fableman’s” work, Butters once again invokes the ambition of her previous character, Trudy. “Being able to represent someone from the real world and bring them to the screen to live forever, that’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she says. “It’s the closest I’ve ever come to a biopic, and it’s definitely high on my list.” He also credits this and Tarantino’s film for preparing him for the challenges and responsibilities of building a career.
“Hearing and experiencing such serious acting at such a young age has really helped how I look at it and how seriously I take it.”