`Mean Creek' star too young to watch own film

Carly Schroeder, 13, saw her first R-rated movie after acting in one

August 31, 2004|By Susan King | Susan King,LOS ANGELES TIMES

HOLLYWOOD - Carly Schroeder's friends have been teasing the 13-year-old actress that she needs to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian to see her latest film, Mean Creek.

The harrowing R-rated youth drama, which won the Humanitas Award at the Sundance Film Festival, deals with a revenge prank that goes wrong. Schroeder's Millie is the only girl among the group of teen-age boys who embark on a Deliverance-style river trip that turns into tragedy.

"I don't get how I am too young to see my own movie," says the lanky blond actress. "It's crazy."

Schroeder admits she was hesitant to do the movie when she first read the script because there was so much "cussing in it and there was pot smoking." But after she "slept on it," Schroeder decided to do the film "because it does have an important message that a lot of movies try and hide."

Being the only girl and the youngest by two years in the cast, Schroeder says she was "pampered" by two of her co-stars, Ryan Kelley and Trevor Morgan. They even took her to her first R-rated movie, Freddy vs. Jason.

"I am not quite sure I needed to see it," Schroeder says, laughing. "I was shaking through the entire thing."

The Indiana native has been acting since she was 5.

"I was seen on a Shake `n Bake commercial by Kin Shriner, who played my TV dad on Port Charles. He said, `That's the girl I want to play my daughter.' My mother didn't want to go to California because all of our family was in Indiana."

But Schroeder persuaded her mom to let her audition. "I said, `Mom, how often do people get flown to California to go to an audition?' I am glad she listened to me."

She spent 7 1/2 years on the ABC soap. "I was America's sweetheart on the show," says Schroeder, who also appeared on Disney's Lizzie McGuire comedy series.

The eighth-grader admits she's obsessed with the reality-show genre. "My favorite is Road Rules X-Treme, which is on MTV. I like Fear Factor. It's pretty cool."

And she has just finished working with a New York writer to develop a children's reality series about dream jobs.

"I am not quite sure what the title is," she says. "We are hoping to pitch it in 2005."

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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