From New Trier hallways to Hollywood red carpets, life just got crazy for Winnetka’s Katie Chang, the breakout star of Sofia Coppola’s summer blockbuster “The Bling Ring.”
Katie plays Rebecca, the ringleader of “The Bling Ring,” a clique of celebrity-obsessed L.A. high schoolers who break into the homes of stars, including Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom and Lindsay Lohan, and steal millions of dollars worth of designer clothes and jewelry. Based on a real-life crime story (and the famous Vanity Fair article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins”), Coppola’s adaption is indulgent, electric and completely captivating.
Get to know Hollywood’s up-and-coming “It Girl.”
1. Tina Fey is her hero. She admits to reading “Bossypants” five times, and her senior yearbook quote came from the book: “You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.”
2. She eats like a kid. The first thing she did after seeing “The Bling Ring” for the first time at the New York premiere was order a grilled cheese sandwich. “I eat like a 5-year-old,” she jokes.
3. Writing is her other passion. Like Coppola, Katie one day wants to write about the story of young women. “It changes from decade to decade, and I think Sofia’s seen it progress, and she’s so amazing at telling stories with young women. I’d love to explore that because I am a young woman, and I think writers write from experience.” She’ll be studying creative writing at Columbia University this fall.
4. Her dream collaboration is Lena Dunham. “I’m more interested in the actor-writers,” she says.
5. Blackhawks rule in the Chang household. “I grew up in a hockey family. My dad’s from Minnesota, so all he did was play hockey and soccer. My brothers play, and we pay more attention to them playing hockey than we do to me acting, and acting is a pretty big part of our lives now!”
6. She loves to give back. She’s been volunteering with Special Gifts Theatre, a program that pairs special-needs children with mentors to put on musical productions, for the past seven years.
7. Her personality is the opposite of Rebecca’s. She describes herself as a total nerd—a smart, good girl. “[Filming the movie] was like a safe-environment teenage rebellion,” she says.
8. She didn’t always get the part. After quitting soccer in middle school, Katie first started classes at the Actors Training Center because she didn’t get a callback for a musical at the Winnetka Community House. “I had nothing really going for me, and my mom was like, ‘Well, why don’t you take acting classes?’”
9. Café Buongiorno is her favorite spot in town. Whenever she’s back in Winnetka, Katie always makes a stop there. “It’s been my favorite place since I was a little girl,” she says.
10. Fashion research helped her get into character. Katie read Style.com and fashion magazines every day “to get into the mind of someone who really appreciated fashion.” She also wrote journals from Rebecca’s perspective and researched the real-life leader of “The Bling Ring,” Rachel Lee.
11. She sings and plays guitar and piano. “I love to sing,” she says. “Music is a big part of anybody’s life, I think.”
12. She’s a speedy reader. “She’s the fastest reader on the planet,” says her manager, Carole Dibo of the Actors Training Center. “We’ll send her a script and we haven’t even read it, and eight minutes later she’ll say, ‘Yeah, I like this.’”