Meet the new Carrie Bradshaw: AnnaSophia Robb steps into the Manolos for Sex and the City prequel

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Robb, who who plays a teenage version of Bradshaw in Sex and the City's spin-off series, The Carrie Diaries, has a big pair of high heels to fill. But she hates shopping, she tells Gill Pringle

If Sarah Jessica Parker's risqué Sex and the City was one of the most iconic TV shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s, then the star of its spin-off series, The Carrie Diaries, admits it's a struggle to fill those big shoes. "I mean really. My feet are ridiculously tiny. I'm practically still in a child's-size shoe," quips doll-sized AnnaSophia Robb, who finds it tough to emulate her predecessor's shoe obsession when so few designers make them in her size five. "I'm just a little bit too small for adult shoes so we have to pad my shoes when I play Carrie. It's terrible. I need to buy shoes in Asia!" says the 19-year-old who portrays a young Carrie Bradshaw as a high-schooler in the early 1980s.

Despite the fact the prequel has been renewed for a second season in the US (yet strangely not yet bought for the UK), Robb still doesn't quite know if she has received Parker's blessing: "I've only met her [Sarah Jessica Parker] once. Briefly," she reveals. "Briefly. At a fashion show. It wasn't anything personal. It was random like: 'Hello nice to meet you.' 'You too.'"

Parker herself has shed little light on her thoughts on The Carrie Diaries, famously remarking that watching Robb portray a young version of herself in the show was "odd". And, unlike Parker, Robb is no fashion horse: "I really don't enjoy shopping, I find it overwhelming. I prefer to have someone else pick clothes for me and then I pick from that. Clothes shopping is so much work – like you have to take off all your clothes and put things on, and nothing ever fits quite right and then when you find something you really like, you always have to take it to a tailor and then you have to pay extra and wait a week until you can wear it. It's a lot of work," says the 5ft actress, who is still elegantly draped in Kate Spade and Jason Wu when we meet.

If Robb had a favoured genre then it would be the wise-beyond-her-years kid, a role she's played effectively throughout the course of her career.

Just five when she began performing on stage at her local church in Colorado, she was later scouted by a talent agent leading to roles in Because of Winn-Dixie, Bridge to Terabithia, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp.

Probably her most notable film to date is Soul Surfer, portraying real-life surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a shark attack in Hawaii.

Today she plays the savvy daughter to Allison Janney's boozing blabber-mouth of a mother in coming-of-age drama The Way Way Back.

"I think this story is very poignant for any teenager. We've all been there and everyone has felt like that: they're isolated; they're not connecting and trying to figure out where they are in life.

"For me, it happened after high school, working and coming home and being, 'oh my gosh, none of my friends are home yet', and feeling this sense of home without any of my friends and everything being different and being like, 'oh God, I have no idea how to behave here'. So you're home but everything has changed, and so it's about being able to get through that and recognising that you can't get through it alone – as this movie demonstrates," says Robb, who joined fellow cast members Sam Rockwell and Toni Collette in filming The Way Way Back in the sleepy Massachusetts beach town where co-star Steve Carell spends his annual summer vacation; it being the only way the A-lister would agree to give up his treasured family time.

Filming The Carrie Diaries in New York has resulted in two major milestones for Robb: finally moving out of her parents' Denver home and renting her own apartment in Manhattan, while also deferring her coveted place at prestigious Stanford University. "Its great. Its time. You get to a certain age where you're like: 'Alright! I'm out!' There's always a certain time you've gotta leave, you know?"

Footloose: Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City Footloose: Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City

But Robb has always been a confident young woman. Aside from long months spent on movie sets for The Reaping, Jumper or Race to Witch Mountain, she has travelled extensively on her own ticket: "I visited Nicaragua with my local youth group when I was 16, and also I went to Paris with my best friend for six weeks on a summer study programme doing art classes and learning French. Just to be able to have that freedom in such an exotic city was wonderful. There were chaperones in the evening but during the day we were able to go off and do our own thing," says this only child of an interior designer mother and architect father.

Unlike many coddled child actors, her parents made a point of enrolling Robb in a local public school. "Being an actor didn't make me feel more special than anyone else. Even the most confident of us have felt like an outsider or insecure. I think that's just the cycle of life; part of growing up, and I think that happens when you're younger and it happens probably in your twenties a lot more than people would like to admit, and in your thirties and probably in your forties. You're constantly growing and figuring out who you are and what you want in this world."

At school she developed a thick skin to classmates' taunts: "I don't take anything too personally because I know they mean well and that I mean well, its not like I'm a bitch to everyone.

"I think its how you handle it. I never had any problems in high school. I had great friends and no one ever gave me a hard time and if they did I took it all in stride . When Soul Surfer came out, they had fun – but it is funny and it is weird. And that's how it should be – people have a sense of humour."

While it's a popular myth that Facebook and social media are to blame for all the ills that beset today's youth, including teen suicides and depression, Robb disagrees: "I think the problems will always be there. I just don't think it was as talked about so much. I think it's now just a bit more open but I don't know if it's gone up necessarily? Maybe depression has risen because there's more pressure put on kids in school. But there should be. Work hard! Life isn't easy, so study!

"I definitely think Facebook and technology has changed things but it's simply a forward progression of life. Like in Eighties movies the dorks would hear about the parties that they weren't invited to – but now you can see pictures of the things other people are doing and realise they're not a part of them."

If Robb comes across as older than her years, then she agrees: "Do I feel old? I do old things I guess – like sleep a lot and go out to dinner."

'The Way Way Back' is released in the UK on 28 August

What did the girls do next?

After Sex and the City: what happened next?

Sarah Jessica Parker hasn't yet trumped her role as Carrie Bradshaw. Guest spots in 'Glee' and a few misfiring romcoms aren't much of a return on her talents since Carrie's heyday.

The fearless diva Kim Cattrall has played Cleopatra and is currently in the Old Vic revival of 'Sweet Bird of Youth'.

Political activist and respected stage actress Cynthia Nixon won a Tony award in 2006 for her role as the bereaved mother in 'Rabbit Hole'.

Kristin Davis was on Broadway last year in Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man', and voiced a cartoon spider on a kids' TV series but is still best known for her role as the prim Charlotte in 'Sex and the City'.

Geoffrey Macnab

Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
film
Arts and Entertainment
Novelist Martin Amis at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

books
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'

After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violence

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams will be given a 'meaningful remembrance' at the Emmy Awards

film
Arts and Entertainment

tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Cliff Richard performs at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on 17 May 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Educating the East End returns to Channel 4 this autumn

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch will voice Shere Khan in Andy Serkis' movie take on The Jungle Book

film
Arts and Entertainment
DJ Calvin Harris performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush

music
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Mark Crown, DJ Locksmith and Amir Amor of Rudimental performing on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park, Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
music
Arts and Entertainment
Gary Lineker at the UK Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from
film
Arts and Entertainment
Johhny Cash in 1969
musicDyess Colony, where singer grew up in Depression-era Arkansas, opens to the public
Arts and Entertainment
Army dreamers: Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tvReview: It's not going to set the comedy world alight but it's a gentle evening watch
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

    Make the most of British tomatoes

    The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

    Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

    The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
    La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape