In ‘Homework,’ Emma Roberts stars as Sally, a popular teen at an uptown Manhattan prep school who becomes friends with the senior class outsider George. George, played by Freddie Highmore, is a boyish nihilist who won’t be graduating if he doesn’t complete an entire year’s worth of homework in the last few weeks leading up to graduation. Sally’s got her own problems, of course, and the two find their unlikely friendship a source of inspiration and strength — until things get complicated.
Cinematical: Let’s talk about filming in New York — what did you discover about New York that you hadn’t known before?
Emma Roberts: I was staying in the West Village, which is my favorite area now, and I would just go outside everyday and just walk around and wander and sit at little outdoor restaurants and read and hang out and meet up with friends, and it was just the perfect time to be in New York, in April, and I had so much fun. Shooting in New York is just always fun because the second you’re off work, there’s so many things you can go and do.
It felt like ‘Homework’ was a very personal story, and I was wondering if you got any indication that there was a real-life Sally.
Sally’s very similar to me; that’s why I really responded to it, is I really felt like I knew her and I’d felt the things that she’d felt. She’s probably one of my favorite characters I’ve ever played. I have her very close to my heart.
She’s really smart and likeable but also she’s confused. She doesn’t really want to hurt George but she kind of does…
Well, it just shows that she’s a real person, ’cause in real life, people aren’t just one thing or the other. They’re a mixture, and I like that with her it showed that she is a good person but she [does] not always make the best choices. And she is popular and pretty and whatever, but there’s a lot more going on than just that.
It’s an interesting look at a certain subset of New York teenagers.
I felt like this showed teenagers in a real light. Like, yes, they go out, they drink, they talk about real life things, not just clothes and boys. I really liked how teenagers were portrayed in this movie ’cause I felt like it wasn’t ever forced or cheesy.