Eight-year-old Mimi Kirkland made a pretty big leap from filming commercials around her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina to lighting up the silver screen in Safe Haven, a movie based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. The Safe Haven cast also includes Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Cobie Smulders and Noah Lomax. In the film, Mimi plays Duhamel's daughter Lexie, a cheery, sassy girl who lives in a small southern beach town.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Mimi about dressing to reflect a character's personality, red carpet fashion, favorite labels and more. Throughout our discussion, Mimi was much like her Safe Haven character Lexie -- entirely charming, giggly, and just a little bit sassy, in the best way.
Do you have to think about the character's personality when dressing for an audition, or do you just wear what you would normally wear?
You sort of have to think about it, because most of the time, they don’t like shirts with a lot of stuff on them. So most of the time, I just wear a plain shirt and maybe some jeans. But for Lexie, she liked yellow, so I wore something yellow with flowers on it. Because she’s pretty happy, and flowers are a happy thing
. So I just wore jeans with that.
Tell me about the dress you wore to the Safe Haven premiere.
At the top it was sparkly and the brand, it was Ooh! La, La! Couture I loved that dress!
It had a pretty black sash around it and it had a bow in the back of it -- a big bow -- and then it had a little jacket that went with it, that was black, because there was a pink jacket, but there was a lot of pink on the dress so we chose the black one. . . . It's probably the fanciest dress I've ever worn!
I've seen some photos of your American Girl doll in an Ooh! La, La! Couture dress, too. Did she go with you to the event?
I didn’t really want to carry her around, so I didn’t bring her to the premiere, but she did get a little dress that looks just like mine.
Your doll also got a makeover and had her ears pierced at the American Girl Salon; are your ears pierced?
No, I really want pierced ears. My older sister does (have pierced ears), but I have to be ten to get mine (pierced).
Does piercing your doll's ears makes it feel like your turn is getting a little bit closer?
Yeah, because you start to get excited about it. Because I'm eight, I've only got, like, two more years to wait!
Have you discovered any other labels through filming Safe Haven?
They sent me some clothes from the brand, Tea Collection, and I really like that brand clothes -- they’re very comfy clothes -- and Milly Mini, and Nina. Nina has really cute shoes and purses for kids.
Everybody needs more shoes and purses, right?
Yeah, I mean, shoes and purses are everything a girl would want! (This is where the sassiness comes in, with a little Valley Girl exaggeration and a good dose of humor.)
Now that you're splitting time between Los Angeles and Raleigh, how would you compare the style in California with that in North Carolina?
I wear the same thing in both states, and I think people maybe dress the same as they would in Raleigh. It’s very casual.