In your new movie, Wild Child, you play a spoiled Malibu princess whose father sends her to a strict all-girls English boarding school. A lot of today's young Hollywood stars find themselves getting into trouble. How do you avoid these pressures?
I always feel bad when I read magazines and see girls going down a bad path, whether it's because of problems with their body image or alcohol. This is just something that me and my group of friends avoid. My advice is to get with a good group of friends that aren't going to pressure you and just know you can say no.
Lots of today's teens feel pressured to take up cigarettes. Do you?
I just think that it's gross. It smells bad, so it's not very appealing to me.
I think that it's weird that [teens] are peer pressured into smoking. It's your decision when it comes down to it. I have been in a situation where I have been asked and I just say "No, no thank you."
In your Nickelodeon TV show Unfabulous, your character, Addie Singer, uses music and creativity to cope with the turbulent teen years. What helps you?
Good friends that I can talk to and exchange stories with who I can also ask for advice. I like writing and love listening to music. I am into [British singer] Leona Lewis right now. I usually try to preoccupy myself by reading, going on the computer, or watching a TV show when I am down.
Many young stars have copped to getting plastic surgery. How do you feel about that?
I am not against plastic surgery. It is difficult for young girls because of the pressure on how they look, but it's not the real world. A lot of actresses may get plastic surgery, but if you ask the person next to you they probably did not. Try to be happy with yourself instead.
Did you ever have an awkward stage?
When I was 7, 8, or 9 and losing my teeth, I was missing all four of my front and bottom teeth so there was a huge gaping hole in my mouth and I was embarrassed. When I look back on my first season of Unfabulous [in 2004] I feel it was a really awkward stage of my life -- and it's captured on film.
What is your favorite type of exercise?
I like riding my bike and working on my abs by doing sit-ups. I sometimes work out with trainer who makes exercising really fun. We play games and jump on the trampoline.
What is your guilty-pleasure food?
Pizza. I would eat it every day, but it's not that great for you, so I try to have it just once in a while. I love sweets, anything chocolatey. I try to not eat too many though, which is hard when I am on location, because there are so many really good, unhealthy snacks and sweets around.
You are the spokesperson for the National "Drop Everything and Read" Day program. Why did you choose this cause?
I love reading. There is nothing better than having a good book that you can't put down, but nobody really reads much anymore. Everyone is moving so fast that they don't have the time to sit down and read a book. I just read the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's and it is 100 times better and totally different than the movie. My mom always read to me before bed and when I was in second grade, I got obsessed with the Junie B. Jones series [by Barbara Park]. There are so many [of these books] that it took me most of second and third grade to read them all.
With actor Eric Roberts for a father and America's Sweetheart Julia Roberts for an aunt, you really do descend from Hollywood royalty. Was Julia Roberts a fun aunt? Do you read to her children?
She is very cool. Sometimes I read to [her children]. They like being read to.
Speaking of your aunt Julia, she is quite vocal about her environmental beliefs. How do you feel about going green?
I think it's really important, especially now. There are so many things to do that people choose not to do and it's frustrating. My family does a good job. We buy all organic foods. We recycle.
If you had to lose one of your five senses, which one would you choose to lose?
I guess I would have to say smell because I want to hear and see people and pick up things and touch them, but there are a lot of bad smells in this world.
If you could pick any one disease to eradicate forever, what would it be?
Cancer. It is such a huge thing that affects everyone. I know people who have had it and it would be great to find a cure.