AceShowbiz - Former child star Abigail Breslin has given her mom a pre-Mother's Day shout-out for helping her avoid the pitfalls of early fame. The "Little Miss Sunshine" star booked her first commercial when she was three and was an Oscar nominee at 10, but she never let success ruin her life, thanks to her mom, Kim.
"She taught me from a very, very, very young age to stand up for myself and to not feel like my opinion didn't hold value," the actress tells InStyle. "She was like, 'Always say what you're thinking.' "
And Abigail's parents made sure their daughter had a normal life when she wasn't on a film or TV set.
"I don't know that I had an epiphany of wanting to be an actor... but since I can remember, it's what I wanted to do," she adds. "My mum told me that if I wanted to do it, I could. If I didn't want to, I could stop at any time. My parents were great about making sure that I had a normal upbringing - as normal as anybody's childhood can be."
And mom also helped the young star when it came to tricky film roles, "I was doing a movie when I was 11, and I had to do a lot of stunts, like rock climbing and everything. And I was like, 'Oh my God, there’s no way that I can do it'. And my mum was always like, 'What do you mean? That's not even a thing'. It really helped me during that time."
"There were a lot of times on set where I felt like I couldn't give my opinion or voice what I thought and express myself because I felt like I was just the young girl on set and that it wouldnt really matter what I thought. Not necessarily because of the people that I was working with, but because of what I gleaned from society," she adds.
And now she's hoping to empower other youngsters, just like her mom did, by partnering with feminine product firm Always on their #LikeAGirl campaign and U.S. retailer Walmart to support the brands' mission to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
She only wishes such a programme was available to her when she was an awkward, insecure teenager, who didn't think she'd ever realise her dreams of becoming an engineer.
"I remember that time in my life being really difficult, and this kind of campaign would have been really beneficial to me," she explains. "I want to see these sorts of opportunities for girls grow. I'm really glad that this campaign shows young girls that you don’t have to be confined to society's norms. If you want to work at NASA, you can."