Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross’s (Hailee Steinfeld) father has been shot in cold blood by the coward Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), and she is determined to bring him to justice. Enlisting the help of a trigger-happy, drunken U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), she sets out with him – over his objections – to hunt down Chaney. Her father’s blood demands that she pursue the criminal into Indian territory and find him before a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) catches him and brings him back to Texas for the murder of another man. Check out what Hailee Steinfield had to say about the film below. ‘True Grit’ was released on Blu-Ray and DVD earlier this week in the UK.

What was your experience like with working on a film like this, with all the fantastic people that were apart of it?

Hailee Steinfeld: REALLY a dream come true, it was so…..surreal. It was dreamlike, really incredible. I’m so honoured and so blessed to have been given the opportunity. It was the role of a lifetime, it was a great part as well.

I came in at the tail-end of the audition process, I was put on tape, then I got a call back two days later to read with the casting director. After that they told us it would be a month before we hear anything at all. Five weeks later I got called in to read for the Coen Brothers. During that five weeks I was working on the material, not knowing if I was going to get a call or not, just being prepared if the time would come. And it did, I was prepared, and ready, and excited. I actually read with Jeff Bridges, Barry Pepper and Dakin Matthew, it was pretty cool for an audition (laughs).

Mattie Ross was such a great character.

Hailee Steinfield: Yeah, back in that time era women were very dismissed, especially young women. I think that she’s not your typical fourteen year old girl then because she does stuff no fourteen year old girl would do, she holds her own, stands up to all these guys, she doesn’t back down. Being a girl, a young woman, doesn’t affect her, that doesn’t stop her.

How was it working with the likes of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon?

Hailee Steinfield: It’s funny because we would be filming and Jeff would be in character, being so amazing, then they call cut and we have fifteen minutes break, he’d flip his eye-patch up and he’d be Jeff again, it was really cool to watch how he works. With Matt I definitely believe he brought humour to the role, he really hit the comedic beats with the timing, I think that lightens up the mood with his character. Matt is a true professional, I call Matt the family man, whenever he had the chance to see his family he’d be on a plain back to them. He’s a funny guy.

It was amazing, you read the script, you see the original, you read the book, you have a vision of what you think it’s going to be. And then you see these guys do it and it’s completely different. Every take they did there was something different, it was amazing me experiencing it being my first thing, that’s how I wanna be (laughs). Working with them was a joy on and off set. I was nervous but I think just being there and seeing what great guys they were, I was more just fascinated at that point than intimidated. Just to be in their presence, that goes for the Coen Brothers and all the actors. They’re so humble that they don’t come off intimidating at all.

What does True Grit mean to you?

Hailee Steinfield: True Grit is never taking a step back, staying grounded, never retreating. Don’t even take a step to the side, only take a step forward. I think that’s what Mattie especially brings throughout this film, you never see her back down. Just having a drive.