Hailee Steinfeld’s 10 Best Roles, Ranked

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Despite being only twenty-five years old, actress and musician Hailee Steinfeld has an impressive career behind her. In her big-screen debut in the Coen Brother’s 2010 hit True Grit, Steinfeld received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Mattie Ross Many fans of the movie think she gave the stand-out performance, even amongst seasoned co-stars Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.

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Recently, Hailee has shown her versatility as an actress, taking on an array of roles from the great American poet Emily Dickinson to Marvel comics fan-favorite Kate Bishop. In the past year, her performances have gained more attention than ever before and viewers have seen just how much she has grown as an actor since 2010.

10 She Starred With Mark Ruffalo in Begin Again (2013)


hailee steinfeld and mark ruffalo in begin again

Appearing alongside seasoned actors Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, who plays her father, Steinfeld portrayed Violet Mulligan in John Carney’s Begin Again. She and Ruffalo have a brilliantly executed distant father/rebellious daughter dynamic throughout the movie and watching their relationship improve is an emotional journey for viewers. Violet and Knightley’s character also form a close relationship and are able to learn from each other. Steinfeld builds on her acting talents during the movie by also playing the guitar in a particularly memorable musical moment on a rooftop in New York City.

9 Steinfeld Shone In Shakespeare In Romeo & Juliet (2013)


romeo and juliet 2013

There has been no shortage of big-screen Shakespeare adaptations released throughout the years, especially those of Romeo & Juliet, arguably his most popular play. Carlo Carlei’s 2013 movie, which starred Steinfeld as Juliet and Douglas Booth as Romeo has all but faded into obscurity, not being memorable enough to stand amongst other, better-received adaptations. However, the performances of the leads have both been praised by viewers. Despite being only 16 years old, Steinfeld holds her own in such an iconic role and gives a well-rounded, nuanced performance.


8 She Voiced Vi In Arcane (2021)


Vi raises her gauntlets

The animated show Arcane was one of the most popular series of 2021 and a massive hit for Netflix. Based on the League of Legends universe, the series was a hit with both fans of the game as well as casual viewers. Overall,  Arcane focuses on the relationship between sisters Jinx and Vi, voiced by Steinfeld.

RELATED: Arcane: 10 Recognizable Voices Behind The Characters (& Where You Recognize Them From)

Steinfeld gave an emotional performance as a strong young woman who, due to some terrible circumstances, ends up on the opposite side to her sister in a fast-approaching war. Steinfeld was what drew many casual viewers to the series in the first place, and many viewers have said that her performance was one of the stand-out parts of Arcane.


7 Steinfeld Joined The Transformers Universe In Bumblebee (2018)


The Transformers universe has given audiences many enjoyable films, but the prequel story Bumblebee has been one of the best received by fans. Set in the 1980s, Steinfeld plays Charlie Watson, a teenager who is grieving her father’s death and trying to maintain a connection to him through their shared interest: cars.

Charlie discovers and forms a close bond with Bumblebee, helping him in the war against Decepticons (and John Cena). Steinfeld did a brilliant job of portraying a genuine emotional connection between Charlie and Bumblebee, despite performing alongside a piece of metal, or sometimes a tennis ball on a stick.


6 She Ventured Into Voice Acting in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)


2018’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was a huge success, taking home an Academy Award and critical praise. Alongside the stunning animation, one of the main reasons for its success was the flawless performances from the voice cast. Steinfeld, who portrayed Gwen Stacey, starred alongside Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Nicholas Cage, and Mahershala Ali.

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Telling the story of Miles Morales’s journey to becoming Spider-Man, with the help of Gwen and Peter Parker, the emotional connection between the characters is at the very center of Into The Spiderverse, and Steinfeld’s performance plays a big part in portraying that.


5 Steinfeld Showed The World She Can Sing In The Pitch Perfect Franchise (2015-2018)


emily and beca pitch perfect 2

The 2012 musical comedy movie Pitch Perfect was a huge success, so it was only a matter of time before a sequel was released. At 18 years old, Hailee Steinfeld joined the cast of Pitch Perfect 2, playing the role of Emily Junk. Although she was initially disliked by viewers for singing her own song in an acapella “Riff-Off,” she grew on fans going into the third movie. Not only did Steinfeld give a brilliant comedy performance, but viewers discovered that she could really sing. Not long after Pitch Perfect 2‘s release, she signed with a label and began releasing her own music.


4 Fans Adored Kate Bishop In Hawkeye (2021)


Hawkeye E6 Kate Bishop Rockefeller Center Fight

When Marvel fans were informed that Clint Barton was getting his own Disney+ series, they were skeptical, with Clint being a nearly universally disliked character in the MCU. However, they became a lot more optimistic when Steinfeld was cast as Kate Bishop alongside Jeremy Renner as Barton.

Hawkeye debuted its first two episodes and fans instantly loved the relationship between Kate and Clint. Kate is naive yet optimistic, and provides a comedic balance to Clint’s more serious personality. With other Young Avengers characters being introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is highly likely that audiences have not seen the last of Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop in the MCU.




3 Steinfeld Plays A Relatable Teen In The Edge Of Seventeen (2016)


hailee steinfeld and haley lu richardson in edge of seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen is a coming-of-age comedy-drama, written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig. Alongside a cast that includes Kyra Sedgwick and Woody Harrelson, Steinfeld stars as Nadine Franklin, a troubled teen who feels like her life is ruined when her best friend starts dating her brother.

Steinfeld gives a brilliant performance, as her character deals with family issues, friendship drama, relationship problems, and the general troubles that come with growing up. Steinfeld played Nadine in a way that felt true and authentic, with many young viewers saying they see themselves in the character.


2 Mattie Ross Was A Breakout Role In True Grit (2010)


Not many actors get to make their theatrical debut in a movie like True Grit. Directed by the Coen brothers and starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin, it was clear the movie was going to be a critical success.  What was not expected, however, was for the actress playing Mattie Ross to receive such acclaim for her performance. At just 14 years old, Steinfeld picked up an academy award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and many viewers believe, despite her young age and lack of experience, that she outshone her older male costars.


1 Steinfeld Honors The Great American Poet In Dickinson (2019-2021)


Starting in 2019, Steinfeld starred in and executive produced Alena Smith’s AppleTV+ series, Dickinson. The series garnered a committed online fanbase who were completely drawn to Steinfeld’s portrayal of Emily Dickinson. Something that fans loved was the care with which she portrayed the relationship between Emily and Sue Gilbert. She and her co-star Ella Hunt crafted an authentic, emotional relationship that served as the center of a beautiful narrative. Outside of the romantic relationship, Steinfeld showed her entire range as an actor, expertly portraying the grief and fury, as well as moments of optimism, that came from being a young, female artist in the 1800s.

NEXT: 10 Best Willem Dafoe Performances

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