On the Verge: Isabelle Fuhrman

Sixteen-year-old actress-producer Isabelle Fuhrman.

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Isabelle Fuhrman

On the Verge: Isabelle Fuhrman

Sixteen-year-old actress-producer Isabelle Fuhrman.

Isabelle Fuhrman celebrated her 16th birthday like any well-heeled Los Angeles teenager: with a double-scoop cone at Sprinkles Ice Cream in Beverly Hills and shopping on Rodeo Drive. “This is exciting for me,” she says. “My mom is a health freak—we don’t ever have ice cream at our house.” Sweet tooth aside, the young actress is not one to sugarcoat her performances. She made her debut in 2007 as the willful Grasshopper in the Southern Gothic indie drama Hounddog and gave a bravura turn as a 30-something Eastern European psychopath posing as a 9-year-old adoptee in the 2009 horror film Orphan. Her breakout, however, came with the role of Clove, the ruthless knife-throwing nemesis of Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss in The Hunger Games. Such troubled souls are “150 percent different from who I am,” Fuhrman says. “But I’m obsessed with psychology, and dark characters just have incredible depth.” Next up: After Earth, M. Night Shyamalan’s sci-fi thriller. She plays Rayna, a ranger protecting the planet Nova Prime, and is the best friend of Jaden Smith, who costars with dad Will. Despite the film’s dystopian premise, Fuhrman says the set “was like a playground. And Will and Jaden are the nicest people ever!”

Furhman, who is producing her first film, Dear Eleanor, would love to work with, say, Quentin Tarantino or David Fincher, but she hasn’t seen The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo—her mom won’t let her. “I don’t think I’m growing up too fast,” she insists. “I’ve always been an old soul.”

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