Abigail Breslin

Abigail Breslin

Actress

Biography

Abigail Kathleen Breslin (born April 14, 1996) is an American actress and singer. She appeared in her first commercial when she was three years old and in her first film, Signs (2002), at the age of five. Her other film roles include Raising Helen (2004), Little Miss Sunshine (2006), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, No Reservations (2007), Nim's Island (2008), Definitely, Maybe (2008), My Sister's Keeper (2009), Zombieland (2009), Rango (2011), and August: Osage County (2013). In September 2015, she began acting in the horror-comedy Scream Queens on Fox, in which she had her first regular role on a television series. Breslin was born in New York City, the daughter of Kim (née Walsh) and Michael Breslin, a telecommunications expert, computer programmer, and consultant. Her father is of Jewish descent. She has two older brothers, Ryan and Spencer, who are also actors. The Breslin siblings live in New York in a "very close-knit" family. Her maternal grandmother, Catherine, died in June 2015. She is named after Abigail Adams, the second First Lady of the United States. Breslin's career began at the age of three when she appeared in a Toys "R" Us commercial. Her first acting role was in Signs (2002), directed by M. Night Shyamalan, where she played Bo Hess, the daughter of the main character, Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). Signs garnered mostly positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing $408 million worldwide. Breslin's performance in the film was praised by critics. David Ansen of Newsweek wrote that she and co-star Rory Culkin gave "terrifically natural, nuanced performances". In 2004, she appeared in Raising Helen, in which she and her brother Spencer played siblings, but the film fared poorly. Breslin had a small role in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. In the independent film Keane, she played Kira Bedik, a young girl who reminds the mentally disturbed protagonist William Keane (Damian Lewis) of his missing, abducted daughter. Keane had a limited theatrical release and grossed only $394,390 worldwide but it received positive reviews and Breslin's performance was praised by critics. Meghan Keane of The New York Sun wrote that "the scenes between Mr. Lewis and the charmingly fragile Kira, winningly played by Ms. Breslin, bring a captivating humanity to the film". Breslin's breakthrough role was in the 2006 comedy-drama Little Miss Sunshine, where she played Olive Hoover, a beauty pageant contestant, the youngest in a dysfunctional family on a road trip. She was cast at the age of six, years before filming was started. Her co-stars, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin, both stated that they were "astounded by her seriousness of purpose during shooting." Little Miss Sunshine was a critical and commercial success, grossing $100 million worldwide. Her performance was highly praised; Claudia Puig of USA Today wrote that, "If Olive had been played by any other little girl, she would not have affected us as mightily as did." She received nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the fourth youngest actress to be nominated in that category. In September 2009, Breslin filmed in Des Moines, Iowa, playing the title character in the film Janie Jones: a 13-year-old girl who is abandoned by her former-groupie mother (Elisabeth Shue), and informs Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola), a fading rock star, that she is his daughter. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. In 2011, Breslin voiced Priscilla, a cactus mouse in the animated comedy Rango, and appeared in the romantic comedy New Year's Eve. In 2013, she appeared in the thriller The Call. The film received mixed reviews from critics. Andrew Barker of Variety wrote that Breslin "acquits herself well enough for a problematic role in which she's forced to cry and scream nearly continuously. "The Call grossed $68 million worldwide. In 2013, Breslin also appeared in Haunter in the role of Lisa, a ghost who bonds with a future girl living in her house to stop an evil killing spirit with the help of his many victims. Breslin also starred in the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card's novel, Ender's Game The film received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics but it was a disappointment at the box office, grossing only $125 million worldwide from a $110 million budget. In July 2012, she was cast in August: Osage County, the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, alongside Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Meryl Streep. August: Osage County was released in December 2013, and received mostly positive reviews. In 2014, Breslin appeared in the crime drama Perfect Sisters. In January 2015, she was cast in the first season of Fox's horror-comedy anthology series Scream Queens, which aired from September 2015 to December 2016.

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