Pictured: Emma Fuhrmann. Photo Credit: Kelsey Edwards.

Pictured: Emma Fuhrmann. Photo Credit: Kelsey Edwards.

Emma Fuhrmann might only be 12-years-old, but she has already starred alongside the likes of Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore — a group of talented individuals that could be the envy of any actor. This young girl with an enigmatic spark in her eye has been garnering experience in front of the camera even before she could talk. Modeling since she was 18-months-old and acting since she was five, it should come as no surprise that the jovial brunette speaks like a seasoned actor when discussing getting into character. But her beginnings were humble, according to the actress; in fact, her first role was in a Dallas morning news commercial.

“I had no idea what I was doing, so my mom just said go in there and be cute. So that’s what I did, and I ended up getting the role,” Fuhrmann said.

While snagging roles beside major Hollywood stars was probably not as easy and offhand as merely “acting cute,” as much as it was about showcasing insight and talent, the up-and-coming star says that she always gives it her all in the audition room and on set. It’s really important to Fuhrmann to get the scenes right, as she wants the audience to understand what her character is feeling.

Still, it wasn’t until The Magic of Belle Isle, in which she played Finnegan O’Neil, a young girl who discovers a mentor through Freeman’s character, Monte Wildhorn, a drunk, washed-up writer, that she was able to fully showcase her ability to empathize with her character and transform into the role like a chameleon changings its colors. Before the cast and crew’s eyes, she had become the leading lady. In the film, we see her instantly fascinated by a man who cannot walk, is able to come up with a story in the blink of an eye, and has won an award for one of his novels. He also holds quite a few grudges and a difficult attitude to match. But Finn is not one to be discouraged. She wants to be able to write just like him; however, she has no idea where to begin. Through various trials and errors both in writing and in life, we see a kindred friendship form, with each teaching and inspiring the other as they embark together on a chapter of their own story.

Recently, Fuhrmann finished filming her role in the upcoming comedic film Blended with Sandler and Barrymore, due out in theatres on May 23. The Gideon Film Festival Best Actress nominee told GALO that this is not a typical Sandler flick. It has a lot more heart. Her character, Espn Friedman, has lost her mother and is still trying to figure out how to deal with her loss, when her father Jim (Adam Sandler) goes on a blind date with Lauren Reynolds (Drew Barrymore). Needless to say, the date isn’t all moonlight and roses. Things quickly take an unexpected turn, though, when they all end up at a family resort in Africa (Lauren’s sons included). Forced to spend time together in small quarters, their feelings begin to blossom, which ends up benefiting the five children. The feature’s sure to give you a lot of laughs, but Fuhrmann also promises that you will cry.

But making films is not the only thing that interests this Texas native. She also dreams of having her own fashion line when she’s older, and already has started a portfolio of sorts. She began by drawing red carpet dresses, and then, when she was 11, her interest in fashion changed to all styles, from casual to couture.

“I want to have the average person be able to have fashion from my line and the person who wants to walk the red carpet be able to have something from my line, too,” Fuhrmann said.

She names Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as inspirations, with their fashion success consisting of a clothing line in Wal-Mart stores and their couture line, The Row, available both online and exclusively in Barney’s stores nationwide. With an imagination and pizazz that is found largely in those who dream big, one can expect exceptional things to come from this already brilliant star.

Taking time out of school and filming, Fuhrmann talked to GALO about the roles that changed her life and her career.

GALO: Was there a person or movie that inspired you to start acting? How did you start?

Emma Fuhrmann: You know, that’s a really good question. There are a lot of really good movies. I started really young modeling, and so it was kind of like moving into acting, just trying it and…I mean, I was five at the time, so it’s not like I could go watch a lot of things. I just remember watching The Sound of Music and just something clicking — even though it’s a musical, something clicked. It also gave me my British accent that I can do: “Hello, would you like some tea?” [she says in British accent].

GALO: What was it like to work with Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen, who are two very respected actors in the industry? Was there anything you learned while working with them?

EF: I actually just met up with Virginia. It’s so good to see her. She’s such an inspiring person, because she’s still a working actress and that’s how I want to be. I always want to continue working and doing what I love ’cause it’s fun. But working with Morgan was an amazing experience. I was nine-years-old. It was crazy. I can’t even believe it. I mean it was such a great role for me and he was so much in character, like he was always in character. You could feel this Monte Wildhorn in him. That’s what I want to be able to be like.

GALO: You have a scene in The Magic of Belle Isle where you have to yell at Morgan Freeman, was that a part that came easy or was it intimidating having to yell at him?

EF: You know, a lot of people actually ask me if it was intimidating, and I never actually found it intimidating because I’d already been working with him a week or two. I already knew we were close and I thought it was fun. He’s such a comfort to be around. And he took me off set to the — because we were filming on a lake — little beach sort of thing and he talked to me and we ran the lines. That was a really special moment between him and me that I will definitely cherish forever.

GALO: How did you prepare for your role as Finn in The Magic of Belle Isle?

EF: Well, I prepared by completely stepping into her shoes and analyzing her down to what her room would look like. Just simple things like that can help you figure out your character.

GALO: Your role in The Magic of Belle Isle was more of a serious role. Was there anything different you had to do to prepare for your role in Blended? Did you relate to your character at all?

EF: I feel like because it was more comedy, I kind of had to, while we were on set, focus my mind on ‘would this make the audience laugh?’ But with Adam, he’s always like, “say this or maybe change that line to this.” He’s always making you ad-lib and improv and that’s what I love about working with him. Everybody’s literally cracking jokes on and off set. It’s really fun to work with him. It was an amazing experience and I’m so happy I got to be able to have that experience. I feel like it gave me a new experience I know how to work with now. I’m not the best at improv, so I feel like it was a big long 14-week lesson in it.

How I related to her was…I have a friend who lost her parent and I could relate to that. And how she acts may not be the same, but I could understand that feeling. I just lost my granddad to cancer, so now, I sort of think, maybe I could understand what she feels like even more now. I think, just how she felt in the heart, I could understand it more. My character was still grieving over her mom, so she would still have a spot at the dinner table for her. There would be an empty spot for her mom. And now, looking back, I can understand why she found it hard replacing her and moving on in real life without her. So that’s how I could relate.

GALO: Drew Barrymore got her start when she was very young. Did she pass on any advice to you about her acting days as a child?

EF: Yes, she actually did. She told me to just believe in myself and only do this as long as I love it; do it as long as I’m happy with it and I’m having fun and enjoying every second of it. If I’m not, then I need to stop, because it’s something you have to love to want to do it. And if you’re not doing it for love, then you should stop right now. It’s just such an amazing thing you can do when people go watch a TV show or a movie and they can step out of their life and actually feel for the people on the screen. That’s what I want to do. I want people to forget what’s going on and completely just drown themselves in the scene and the movie or TV show.