Emma Roberts has leading lady written all over her! She was born into a family of stars so its no surprise she’s becoming one her self.
Roberts was born in Rhinebeck, New York to actor Eric Roberts and his then girlfriend Kelly Cunningham, who broke up shortly after her birth and faced each other in court over accusations of domestic violence. After Eric Roberts evicted both Cunningham and his daughter (then seven months old) from his house in 1991, his sister, actress Julia Roberts, bought them a house. She also sided with Cunningham in the custody battle over Emma, resulting in a rift between her and her brother for the years to come. While Eric Roberts lost the custody battle and hardly saw his daughter while she was growing up, Julia Roberts became friends with Cunningham and would often spend time with her niece. In early 2001, Emma Roberts’ half-sister, Grace Nickels, the daughter of her mother and her stepfather, former L.A. Guns bassist Kelly Nickels, was born. In a 2005 interview, Roberts stated that she is “definitely closer to [her] mum and stepdad and [she doesn't] see [her] real father much.”
Since her natural father, Eric Roberts, got married to actress Eliza Simons (née Eliza Garrett) in 1992, she also has a stepbrother, Keaton Simons, and a stepsister, Morgan Simons, both children from Eliza Simons’ first marriage with James Simons.
During her childhood, Roberts spent a lot of time on the sets of the films that her aunt, Julia Roberts, was starring in, and wanted to follow her father and aunt into the movie business since she was five years old. Although her mother initially opposed, wanting her to have a normal childhood, Roberts made her acting debut in Ted Demme’s 2001 drama Blow — the first movie she ever auditioned for — at the age of nine. In the film, she portrayed Kristina Jung, the daughter of Johnny Depp’s character, cocaine smuggler George Jung. As the film is rated R, her mother reportedly will not allow Roberts to see it before she turns eighteen, but director Ted Demme made her a tape with her scenes.
In 2001, Roberts also had a role in Leif Tilden’s 10-minute short film, BigLove (which also starred her future step-father, Kelly Nickels), and was an uncredited extra in one of Julia Roberts’ scenes in America’s Sweethearts. She went on to appear in smaller roles in two family films; in 2002’s Grand Champion as the sister of the main character Buddy (Jacob Fisher), and in 2003’s Spymate as the kidnapped daughter of former secret agent Mike Muggins (Chris Potter), who tries to rescue her with the help of a spy monkey. Grand Champion was not released until August 2004, when it was given a brief theatrical release, while Spymate was not released until February 2006, when it was given a theatrical run in Canada.
At age thirteen, Roberts became a teen idol, starring as the lead character Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous, which debuted in September 2004. While Nickelodeon wanted to cast her for the role from the beginning, series creator Sue Rose was not convinced of her until she saw Roberts auditioning for the role, singing a song and playing along on the guitar. The teen sitcom earned Roberts a 2005 Teen Choice Award nomination and two nominations for the 2005 Young Artist Award. The series became one of the network’s most-watched programs and was quickly renewed for a second season. It wrapped its third and last season in December 2007.
As her character on Unfabulous writes songs and plays guitar, Nickelodeon soon considered a career in music for Roberts, similar to other actresses/pop singers such as Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan. Roberts first contributed the song “If I Had It My Way” to the soundtrack of Disney’s 2005 film, Ice Princess. It was followed by her debut album, Unfabulous and More: Emma Roberts, which was released on September 27, 2005 and is also the Unfabulous soundtrack. The album peaked at #46 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers.
In 2006, Roberts returned to the big screen, starring alongside Sara Paxton and singer JoJo in Aquamarine, which was filmed in Australia. In the film, two teenagers (played by Roberts and JoJo) find a mermaid(Paxton) in their swimming pool. Roberts also contributed a cover version of Weezer’s 2001 single “Island in the Sun” to the film’s soundtrack. She became a spokesmodel for Dooney & Bourke, and designed her own Dooney & Bourke handbag, named after her.
In 2007 Emma starred as Nancy Drew, which released in theaters on June 15th, 2007. The DVD released on March 11, 2008. She also became a spokes model for Dooney & Bourke and even got to design a bag for them called ‘The Emma’. She also became a spokesmodel for Drop Everything and Read.
In 2008 Emma had a leading role in the film Wild Child which has been released in other countries except the US which is finally being released on November 17, 2009 for US.
In 2009 she has Hotel For Dogs(now on dvd) Which is based off the book by Lois Duncan. She then has two indie films being released in 2009, Lymelife(now on DVD), which after being selectively released in April is coming to dvd on September 22, 2009, and The Winning Season(now on DVD), which is currently waiting a release date. She was also annouced as the new face of Neutrogena and will be endorsing the products in tv ads.
In 2010 Emma appeared in Valentine’s Day (now on DVD) which has a long list of other big names including her Aunt Julia. She made a cameo in the Japan version of Memeoirs of a Teenage Anesiac which released March 27th in Japan. She has 5 other movies to follow: Twelve(which had a limited release on July 30th in the US and is now on DVD), 184.108.40.206(released June 2nd in the UK and is on DVD now), Whats Wrong With Virgina, and Its Kind of a Funny Story (released limited in the US on October 8th and is now on DVD), The Art of Getting By (released limited on June 17th, 2011 and on DVD Nov. 29th).
In 2011 Emma was casted in her first horror film, Scream 4 as Sidney Prescott’s cousin which released on April 15th 2011 and is now on DVD! She was casted in another indie, Celeste and Jesse Forever and is now on DVD! Emma became a college student this Fall in NY where she attends Sarah Lawrence!
In 2012 Emma put her college life on hold to focus on her film career. She has recently wrapped filming another indie movie entitled, Adult World(now on DVD). Her indie film Virginia(What’s Wrong with Virginia(2010)) finally got a distribution deal and is expected to get a theatrical release on May 18, 2012 (Now on DVD). Emma’s indie Celeste and Jesse Forever releases to select theaters on August 3, 2012, which stars Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg (DVD release on February 5, 2013).
In 2013 Emma has Adult World (DVD release on June 10, 2014) which will make its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. Then Empire State (Now on DVD) which will premiere at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in March. From there they will most likely get a limited theater release followed by DVD/Blu-ray. The film We’re the Millers (Now on DVD) is expected to release August 9th in the US! Then the latest film she wrapped filming on recently Palo Alto is in post-production. Emma is returning to TV as the star of Fox’s Delirium. The actress has been cast in the lead role in Fox’s pilot based on the bestselling young adult novels by Lauren Oliver. Delirium did not get picked up by Fox, but then Emma got the chance to appear on the third season of FX’s American Horror Story entitled “Coven” as infamous Madison Montgomery.
In 2014 Palo Alto was released in select theaters on May 9, 2014. Emma has also signed on to season 4 of American Horror Story which is entitled “Freak Show”. She also has a new indie in post-production, Ashby. Emma also recently received the Shining Star award from Maui Film Festival. Delirium will see the light of day by debuting the pilot on hulu.com for a limited time on June 20, 2014. Emma will be seen again with James Franco in the film Michael. She has also signed on to her second horror film February to be released in 2015!