Emma Roberts

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Emma Roberts
Emma Roberts 2011. 3.jpg
Roberts in October 2011
BornEmma Rose Roberts
(1991-02-10) February 10, 1991 (age 23)
Rhinebeck, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress, voice actress, singer
Years active2001–present
ParentsEric Roberts
Kelly Cunningham
RelativesJulia Roberts (aunt)
Lisa Roberts Gillan (aunt)
Kelly Nickels (stepfather)
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This article is about the American actress. For the English author, see Emma Roberts (author).
Emma Roberts
Emma Roberts 2011. 3.jpg
Roberts in October 2011
BornEmma Rose Roberts
(1991-02-10) February 10, 1991 (age 23)
Rhinebeck, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress, voice actress, singer
Years active2001–present
ParentsEric Roberts
Kelly Cunningham
RelativesJulia Roberts (aunt)
Lisa Roberts Gillan (aunt)
Kelly Nickels (stepfather)

Emma Rose Roberts (born February 10, 1991) is an American actress, model and singer. After small roles in films such as Blow (2001), she rose to prominence with her role as Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon television series Unfabulous (2004–07), for which she was nominated for a Teen Choice Award and six Young Artist Awards. She released her debut album, which also served as the show's soundtrack, Unfabulous and More in 2005.

After Unfabulous ended, Roberts starred in films including Aquamarine (2006), as the title character in Nancy Drew (2007) and Wild Child (2008). Looking for more mature roles, she appeared in the drama Lymelife (2009) and appeared in films in a variety of genres. She was part of the acting ensemble with her aunt Julia Roberts in Valentine's Day (2010) and played leading roles in the crime thriller (2010), the horror Scream 4 (2011), the comedy We're the Millers (2013), and the drama Palo Alto (2013). Also in 2013, she returned to television, playing the witch Madison Montgomery in American Horror Story: Coven, the third season of the American Horror Story series. She stars in the show's fourth season, American Horror Story: Freak Show, as Maggie Esmerelda, a con artist posing as a fortune teller.

Early life[edit]

Roberts was born in Rhinebeck, New York.[1] She is the daughter of actor Eric Roberts and Kelly Cunningham,[2] the stepdaughter of Eliza Roberts and Kelly Nickels, and the niece of actresses Julia Roberts and Lisa Roberts Gillan. She also has a half sister, Grace.[3] During her childhood, Roberts spent time on the sets of her aunt Julia Roberts' films. These experiences sparked a desire in Emma, from the age of five, to follow her father and aunts into the film industry.[3] Her mother initially wanted her to have a normal childhood.[4]

Acting career[edit]

2001–05: Early career[edit]

Roberts made her acting debut at age nine in Ted Demme's 2001 drama film Blow. It was the first film for which she ever auditioned.[4] In the film, she portrayed Kristina Jung, the daughter of Johnny Depp's character (cocaine smuggler George Jung). That year, she also had a role in Leif Tilden's 10-minute short bigLove, and was an uncredited extra in some scenes featuring her aunt Julia Roberts in America's Sweethearts.[5]

She went on to appear in smaller roles in two family films: in 2002's Grand Champion, as the sister of the main character Buddy (Jacob Fisher); and in 2003's Spymate, as the kidnapped daughter of former secret agent Mike Muggins (Chris Potter), who tries to rescue her with the help of a spy monkey. Grand Champion had a brief theatrical release in August 2004,[6] while Spymate was not released until February 2006, when it was given a theatrical run in Canada,[7] followed by its DVD release in April 2006. In August 2003, Roberts was scheduled to shoot an independent film called Daisy Winters, starring as the title character, alongside Rachel Weisz.[8] However, the film, which would have been Roberts' first leading role, never began shooting due to financial problems.

In 2004, Roberts began[9] starring as the lead character Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous, which debuted in September of that year. The sitcom earned Roberts a Teen Choice Award nomination and several Young Artist Award nominations.[10] The show aired for three seasons from 2004 to 2007 and aired 42 episodes, ultimately ending in December 2007. The television series focused on a seventh grader, Addie Singer (Roberts), and her two best friends. The show had had various TV movies, including The Perfect Moment. In 2004, Roberts guest-starred in an episode of the Nickelodeon series Drake and Josh in the episode "Honor Council". After her run on Unfabulous, Nickelodeon had considered giving Roberts a kickstart into a music career.[11]

2006–12: Theatrical films[edit]

In 2006, Roberts returned to the big screen, starring alongside Sara Paxton and singer JoJo in Aquamarine. She won a 2007 Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Young Actress in a Feature Film for her role in the film.[12] The film Aquamarine took 5th place at the box office on its opening weekend making $8 million.[13] In early 2006, Roberts finished shooting her title role in Nancy Drew. The film was released to theaters on June 15, 2007, and grossed over $7 million in its opening weekend,[14] though the film was not well received by critics.[15] Roberts was set to reunite with Nancy Drew director Andrew Fleming on both Rodeo Gal[16] and a Nancy Drew sequel in 2007, but these films were never made.[17][18] In 2008, she had her voiceover debut when she voiced the English version of the character Wilma in the CGI-animated family film The Flight Before Christmas.[19]

In 2009, Roberts starred alongside Jake T. Austin in Hotel for Dogs,[20] based on the novel by Lois Duncan. The film premiered in January 2009, and took fifth place in its opening weekend with over $17 million. The film has to-date grossed over $114 million, and received generally mixed reviews from critics.[21] Roberts starred as the lead in the film Wild Child,[22] about a rebellious teen from Malibu, California sent to a boarding school in England. Roberts described her character as "pretty much your typical spoiled-brat Malibu socialite who gets shipped off to British boarding school."[23] Roberts also appeared in the indie film Lymelife with Alec Baldwin, which was premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. Roberts said that Lymelife is “kind of like American Beauty meets The Ice Storm”,[23] and that her reasoning for doing the film was that: "Some people look at me and think, 'She's just Julia Roberts' niece.' So I wanted to do something smaller and edgier, something that would show I really am an actress."[23]

Roberts at the world premiere of Scream 4 in 2011

In 2010, Roberts co-starred as Grace in the film Valentine's Day in which her aunt, Julia Roberts also appeared, although they were never together on screen. She also appeared that year in Twelve and It's Kind of a Funny Story.[24] The following year, she co-starred in the film adaptation of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. She also starred alongside with Freddie Highmore in the romantic comedy The Art of Getting By.[25][26] She also played the role of Jill Roberts in the Wes Craven film Scream 4.[27][28]

In February 2012, Roberts began filming a new movie in Syracuse, New York called Adult World. The film also takes place in Syracuse and co-stars John Cusack and Evan Peters. Roberts plays a recent college graduate who works at an adult bookstore to make ends meet. The actress has said that most of her lines were ad-libbed so her reactions in the film were actually completely genuine.[29] Roberts appears in a supporting role in Dustin Lance Black's Virginia, which received a limited theatrical release in May 2012 after a two and a half year delay. She next appeared in the 2012 film Celeste and Jesse Forever, parodying pop stars such as Kesha with her performance as Riley Banks, an incurious blonde singer. Roberts said in an interview that her role as Banks tempted her to write an album of songs using her character as an alter ego.[30]

2013–present: Return to television[edit]

On February 7, 2013, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Roberts had been cast to star in a pilot for Fox called Delirium, based on the Lauren Oliver novels. Roberts portrayed Lena Haloway, the protagonist, but Fox decided not to pick up the show.[31][32] Roberts then starred in the comedy film We're the Millers, alongside Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. It was released on August 7, 2013. The film received mixed reviews from critics and was a financial success, grossing over $269 million against a budget of $37 million.[33] She next appeared in the third season of the horror anthology series American Horror Story in late-2013 through 2014. Roberts portrayed a self-involved party girl named Madison Montgomery, who also happens to be a telekinetic witch.[34] She plays Maggie Esmerelda, a con artist posing as a fortune teller, in the fourth season, American Horror Story: Freak Show.

She plays the lead role in Gia Coppola's directorial debut, Palo Alto (2013), based on James Franco's short story collection of the same name. The film was released in May 2014 to generally positive reviews, with particular praise for Roberts' performance. Tom Shone of The Guardian and Ian Freer of Empire both called her the "standout" of the film,[35] with Freer praising her performance for being "heartbreaking as she suggests longings and anxieties without over-hyping it. Much like the film itself."[36]

Music career[edit]

Roberts in 2010 at the UK premiere of Valentine's Day

In 2005, Roberts had a debut album titled Unfabulous and More. The album was released on September 27, 2005, through Columbia Records and Nick Records. It also served as the soundtrack to the television series Unfabulous, in which Roberts starred. The album peaked at number 46 on Billboard '​s Top Heatseekers chart.[37] In September 2005, two promotional singles were released from the album: "I Wanna Be" and "Dummy". The album includes several original songs (among them "Dummy" and "I Wanna Be", both of which were also released as music videos, "I Have Arrived" and "This Is Me", which was co-written by Roberts), as well as some of Addie's songs from the first season, including "Punch Rocker" and "New Shoes" (both from the episode "The Party"), "94 Weeks (Metal Mouth Freak)" (from "The Bar Mitzvah") and "Mexican Wrestler" (which had previously appeared on Jill Sobule's 2000 album Pink Pearl and in the episode "The 66th Day" from Unfabulous). During the same year, Roberts recorded "If I Had It My Way" for the soundtrack of the 2005 Disney film Ice Princess. In 2006, Roberts covered the song "Island in the Sun", which was originally recorded by Weezer in 2001; she recorded the song for the Aquamarine soundtrack, a film where she starred as one of the leads.

Roberts said in a 2007 interview: "Right now I am focusing on movies. I am getting ready to start a new movie this summer so that is taking a lot of my time. I think when I am a little bit older it is definitely something I'd like to pursue."[38] In another interview, she said: "My musical career is indefinitely on hold. I don't like people who become like 'actor slash singer.' I think people should be one or the other because usually you're not going to be great at both. You're going to better at one, so you might as well stick to the one you're good at. I'm going for acting."[39]


In February 2009, she was named the brand ambassador for Neutrogena, appearing in print and television ads for the company.[40] Roberts has also appeared multiple times as part of Teen Vogue '​s Best Dressed list, including June 2007, September 2008, December 2008 and February 2009.[41]

Personal life[edit]

In September 2011, Roberts began attending Sarah Lawrence College but by January 2012, she had put her studies on hold to concentrate on work commitments.[42]

Roberts, who has previously dated actor Alex Pettyfer, Dathan Kuppin and actor Chord Overstreet,[42][43][44] began dating actor Evan Peters in 2012 after they worked together on the film Adult World.[45] In July 2013, while they were staying at a hotel in Montreal, Quebec, someone overheard a dispute coming from their room and called the police. After a "heated argument", they had begun hitting each other.[46] When the police arrived, they arrested Roberts. Peters was not arrested because Roberts did not have any immediately visible injuries.[47] Peters declined to press charges and Roberts was released several hours later.[48] In a joint statement, the couple called it "an unfortunate incident and misunderstanding," and stated that they "are working together to move past it."[48] They became engaged in December 2013.[49][50]



2001BlowKristina Sunshine Jung
2001bigLoveDelilahShort film
2001America's SweetheartsGirl in Purple T-shirtUncredited
2002Grand ChampionSister
2003SpymateAmelia Muggins
2006AquamarineClaire Brown
2007Nancy DrewNancy Drew
2008Flight Before Christmas, TheThe Flight Before ChristmasWilmaVoice
2008Wild ChildPoppy Moore
2008LymelifeAdrianna Bragg
2009Hotel for DogsAndi
2009Winning Season, TheThe Winning SeasonAbbie
2010Valentine's DayGrace Smart[51]
2010Memoirs of a Teenage AmnesiacAlice Leeds
2010TwelveMolly Norton
2010It's Kind of a Funny StoryNoelle
2010VirginiaJessie Tipton
2011Scream 4Jill Roberts
2011The Art of Getting BySally Howe
2012Celeste and Jesse ForeverRiley Banks
2013Empire StateNancy Michaelides
2013We're the MillersCasey Matthis
2013Adult WorldAmy
2013Palo AltoApril
2015AshbyEloiseIn post-production


2004–07UnfabulousAddie Singer41 episodes
2004Drake & JoshAddie SingerEpisode: "Honor Council"
2007Hills, TheThe HillsHerselfEpisode: "Young Hollywood"
2010Jonas L.A.HerselfEpisode: "House Party"
2010Take Two with Phineas and FerbHerselfEpisode: "Emma Roberts"
2011Extreme Makeover: Home EditionHerselfEpisode: "The Brown Family"
2013Family GuyAmanda Barrington (voice)Episode: "No Country Club for Old Men"
2013–presentAmerican Horror StoryMadison Montgomery13 episodes (Coven)
Maggie Esmerelda7 episodes (Freak Show)
2014DeliriumLena HalowayUnsold TV pilot
2015Scream Queens[52]TBDUpcoming series


Soundtrack albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
TitleAlbum detailsPeak

Unfabulous and More
  • Released: September 27, 2005[54]
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Label: Columbia, Sony
"—" denotes releases that didn't chart or weren't released in that country.


List of singles
"I Wanna Be"[55]2005Unfabulous and More

Promotional singles[edit]

List of singles
"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"[57]2005N/A

Other appearances[edit]

"If I Had It My Way"2005Ice Princess
"Island in the Sun"2006Aquamarine
"Do It On My Face"2012Celeste And Jesse Forever

Music videos[edit]

List of music videos, showing director
"I Wanna Be"2005N/AHerself
"Go Outside"2011Isaiah Seret[58]CultsGuest appearance
"Testosterone"2012Petro[59]Haziq and the GigglesGuest appearance

Awards and nominations[edit]

2005Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young ActressUnfabulousNominated
Outstanding Young Performers in a TV SeriesNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV Breakout Performance – FemaleNominated
Kids' Choice Awards, AustraliaFavorite Rising StarNominated
2006Young Artist AwardBest Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama)Nominated
2007Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young ActressAquamarineWon
Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young ActressUnfabulousNominated
ShoWestFemale Star Of TomorrowN/AWon
Kids' Choice AwardFavorite TV ActressUnfabulousNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV Actress: ComedyNominated
Choice Movie: Female BreakoutNancy DrewNominated
Choice Movie Actress: ComedyNominated
Kids' Choice Awards, AustraliaFavorite Movie StarAquamarineNominated
2008Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite TV ActressUnfabulousNominated
Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a TV Series – Leading Young ActressNominated
Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV SeriesNominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young ActressNancy DrewNominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Ensemble CastNominated
Kids' Choice Awards, AustraliaFavorite Movie StarNominated
2010Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young ActressHotel For DogsNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Summer Movie Star: FemaleTwelveNominated
2011Choice Movie Actress: Romantic ComedyThe Art of Getting ByNominated
2014MTV Movie AwardsBest Kiss (Shared with: Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter)We're the MillersWon
Maui Film FestivalShining Star Award[60]N/AWon
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Actress: ComedyWe're the MillersWon
Choice Movie: Liplock (Shared with: Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter)Nominated
Candie's Style IconN/ANominated


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  3. ^ a b Elaine Lipworth (2005). "Recognise That Smile?". You Magazine (July 24, 2005): 28–31. I'm definitely closer to my mom and stepdad and I don't see my real father much 
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  36. ^ Ian Freer (November 2014). "Palo Alto". Empire (Bauer Media) (305): 64. 
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  39. ^ Celebrity Interview by Jeanne Wolf (January 14, 2009). "Emma Roberts, Not Your Average 'Tween' Star". Parade Magazine. 
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  41. ^ "Teen Vogue's Best Dressed list". Teen Vogue. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
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  58. ^ "Cults "Go Outside" the Jonestown Tragedy — Video". MTV. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
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External links[edit]