Observations: The latest child star with brains to back up their movie career


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The Independent Culture

Kara Hayward is the latest in a line of child actresses who have brains as well as talent. The 13-year-old star of Cannes opening-night film Moonrise Kingdom has been a member of Mensa since the age of nine. Some of the Massachusetts native's artwork and poems have been published. So she looks odds-on to join the club of brainy actresses who, having taken Hollywood by storm, decide to take a career sabbatical to study. 

As part of the preparation to play 12-year-old Suzy Bishops, she was asked to memorise the entire script. "People tell me I have a good memory, so that didn't take me long."

Set in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom sees Bishops run away from her haphazard New England home (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand play her parents) with 12-year-old orphan Sam (played by fellow newcomer Jared Gilman).

Luckily, Hayward's also still too young to suffer major work and study conflicts. Natalie Portman famously missed the premier of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace to study for her high school exams. She went on to complete a psychology major at Harvard.

Jodie Foster broke the mould of child actors avoiding studying when she went to Yale to study literature in 1980. Brooke Shields got a degree from Princeton.

Now all eyes are on Britain's Harry Potter star Emma Watson, she having left Brown University in Providence, USA. She has been studying English at Oxford.

'Moonrise Kingdom' is released nationwide on 25 May