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​Brie Larson on earning it

INTRODUCING... Brie Larson. She's enjoying rave reviews for her current film even as she puzzles over the label that some in Hollywood have pinned on her. Here's Tracy Smith.

She's been called the "It Girl." What does Brie Larson think of that phrase?

"What is 'it'? Larson said.


"I guess it means the girl of the moment."

"But what is "it'? There is no 'it'! And who was 'it' before 'it'? And when does 'it' go away? When did I get 'it'? Who's gonna take 'it'?

"It's so weird. I think it's a really funny term. I'm just a person. I'm not anything!"

She may not like the label, but whatever in the world "It" really is, Brie Larson has it to burn.

This past summer she held her own with Amy Schumer in "Trainwreck."

But the movie "Room" is what all the buzz is about. Larson plays a young woman kidnapped by a deranged rapist and held prisoner for years in a tiny shed.

Her son, Jack, was born in captivity, and has a hard time getting his five-year-old mind around an outside world he's never set foot in.

room.jpg
Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in "Room."
A24

Smith asked, "How did you prepare for this movie?"

"I went on a very small, rigid diet," Larson said. "Started working out with a trainer, in order to wear out my body and gain muscle. I had to stay out of the sun for, like, three months before we started shooting. And every day, I just felt like I was getting closer and closer, to her."

She got close, all right. On the strength of this performance, Larson is more than just the "It Girl" of the moment; she's a legitimate contender.

Does she allow herself to think about the Oscar buzz?

"Uh-uh. I can't. It's just not even something that your brain can wrap itself around."

"No? I think I would be like, you know, standing in the shower, thinking about, "Ooh, here's what I might say --'" said Smith.

"But isn't it sort of like planning your fantasy wedding, and you don't even have a boyfriend?" said Larson.