How True O’Brien Inspired Cousin Hailee Steinfeld to Become an Actress

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Hailee Steinfeld had her first big acting break at 14 with her starring role as Maddie in True Grit. She displayed her impressive acting skills and was nominated for a number of awards for that role.

But where did she get the inspiration to start acting in the first place? Her impressive showbiz career all began with inspiration from her cousin, True Laurita O’Brien.

How True O’Brien Inspired Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld’s older cousin, True O’Brien, inspired her to begin modeling and acting when she was eight years old. O’Brien is an Emmy Award-winning actress and is three years older than Steinfeld.

True Laurita O'Brien has been dating her former Days of Our Lives co-star Casey Moss since 2015True Laurita O’Brien has been dating her former Days of Our Lives co-star Casey Moss since 2015 (Credit: Joe Seer / Shutterstock)

She had begun doing acting, commercials, and modeling, and Steinfeld was inspired to step into Hollywood after she watched a commercial her cousin had done.

Days of Our Lives actress True O'Brien in a stunning backless dress by American fashion designer Michael Costello at the 41st Annual Daytime Emmy AwardsDays of Our Lives actress True O’Brien in a stunning backless dress by American fashion designer Michael Costello at the 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 22, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California (Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock)

After the success of her performance in True Grit in 2010, Steinfeld told Vanity Fair about her start in the industry and how it all began with her cousin: ”Well, I was eight years old, and I have an older cousin who is three years older than me, and she was doing acting, commercials, and modeling at the time and… to see my cousin doing that was really inspiring and I wanted to do it. So I went to my mom and I asked her if I could do it, and for the act the part of it, she made me study for a year. For the modeling, I signed with a print agent before I signed with a theatrical agent, so I had been doing that for about a year before the acting really started to pick up for me.”

True O'Brien accepts her Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series award during the 43rd annual Daytime Emmy AwardsTrue O’Brien accepts her Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series award during the 43rd annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles on May 1, 2016 (Credit: Joe Seer / Shutterstock)

While her cousin may have inspired her, Hailee’s success as an actress can be attributed to her raw talent. But her success is also thanks to her mom.

Her mom, Cheri Steinfeld, needed to know she would take acting seriously before investing money into her daughter’s acting career. So she enrolled her in an acting course before she could begin auditioning for roles.

How Hailee Steinfeld Started as an Actress

Her mom gave her an ultimatum when she first showed an interest in showbiz, which was to either do modeling or acting. Her mom wanted her to be a good actor, not just a mediocre one, and that requires focus.

The acting classes she enrolled in obviously paid off because Steinfeld’s breakout role at 14 was critically acclaimed. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as Maddie in True Grit.

Hailee Steinfeld with her parents Cheri (née Domasin) and Peter SteinfeldHailee Steinfeld with her parents Cheri (née Domasin) and Peter Steinfeld (Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock)

She is one of the youngest nominees of all time for that award. Hailee’s mom helped shape her career into the success that it is today, which she continues to expand.

Hailee Steinfeld’s Career Successes

Hailee Steinfeld’s first performance was on Back To You in a guest-starring role. But her first big gig in front of the camera was in a Soda Pop Girls commercial.

She then went on to act in a multitude of films, and she continued to go from success to success. She went on to win a Golden Globe nomination for her leading role in The Edge of Seventeen, had a major role in Pitch Perfect 2 and 3, and voiced Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man: Into the Multiverse.

Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine Franklin in the 2016 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film The Edge of SeventeenHailee Steinfeld as Nadine Franklin in the 2016 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film The Edge of Seventeen (Credit: STX Entertainment / Gracie Films)

Steinfeld worked on Dickinson in 2019 in the lead role of Emily Dickinson. She has also modeled for Miu Miu and released pop songs that have reached the top of the Billboard charts.

Steinfeld was approached to play Kate Bishop in the Marvel series Hawkeye on Disney+. Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, said that Steinfeld is “the dream version of the character.”

What Is True O’Brien Doing Now?

What is True O’Brien doing now? She signed with Ford Models and modeled for major brands like Guess in her teenage years. She also did a perfume ad with Justin Bieber.

She then went on to play Page Larson on NBC’s Days of Our Lives, for which she won an Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series Emmy Award.

True O'Brien inspired her maternal first cousin, Hailee Steinfeld, to become an actressTrue O’Brien inspired her maternal first cousin, Hailee Steinfeld, to become an actress (Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock)

Hailee Steinfeld has gone from success to success. And it all started with the inspiration from her cousin that pointed her in the right direction.

But from that moment, thanks to her incredible talent, determination, and mom’s influence on her approach to her acting career, she was launched into success at the tender age of 14 with her starring role in True Grit. She has gone on to experience a meteoric rise in her career, with acting, modeling, and singing accolades.

In early 2016, Hailee Steinfeld seemed to have booked a mini world tour — without the concerts — to promote her new music.

Hailee Steinfeld wears her hair down as she arrives at Haneda AirportHailee Steinfeld wears her hair down as she arrives at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on April 1, 2016 (Credit: Kento Nara / Future Image / WENN)

The pop star flew out of Los Angeles and stopped in Australia before finally landing in Japan.

Despite catching a bug in Melbourne, the pop star perked up as she was warmly greeted in Tokyo by her Japanese fans.

Hailee Steinfeld wears a monochrome ensemble as she arrives in JapanHailee Steinfeld wears a monochrome ensemble as she arrives in Japan (Credit: Kento Nara / Future Image / WENN)

Hailee was photographed arriving at Haneda Airport in Japan wearing a jacket that says “Tokyo.” She opted to go comfy for her flight from Australia to Japan.

Hailee Steinfeld carries a Versus Versace backpack over her Adidas "Tokyo" track jacketHailee Steinfeld carries a Versus Versace backpack over her Adidas “Tokyo” track jacket (Credit: Kento Nara / Future Image / WENN)

She arrived at the airport wearing a t-shirt and loose black trousers underneath her Adidas “Tokyo” track jacket.

Hailee Steinfeld's feet in white Adidas sneakersHailee Steinfeld’s feet in white Adidas sneakers (Credit: Kento Nara / Future Image / WENN)

The actress also sported a pair of white Adidas “Stan Smith” sneakers and a backpack from Versus Versace.

"Thank you for an incredible trip Tokyo. I can't wait to see you again! ❤️ - #haiz"“Thank you for an incredible trip Tokyo. I can’t wait to see you again! ❤️ – #haiz” (Credit: Hailee Steinfeld’s Instagram)

Hailee performed her hit songs for her Japanese fans, beginning in Kobe and ending in Tokyo.

The then 19-year-old was overwhelmed by her fans, and took a video from the stage while performing “Love Myself.”

You can order Hailee’s travel go-to sneakers by Adidas at Nordstrom and Zappos.

Adidas Originals White "Stan Smith" Bold SneakersAdidas Originals White “Stan Smith” Bold Sneakers, $103.53 – $117

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