There are hardly two more pervasive stereotypes in Hollywood than that of the child actor scarred by too early fame and that of the female performer who feels pressure to conform to unattainable and unhealthy social standards of size and weight.
Cozi Zuehlsdorff deftly torpedoed both stereotypes while doing interviews on the set of Warner Brothers’s upcoming sequel Dolphin Tale 2. “God didn’t say in the Bible: ‘thou shalt be 110 pounds,'” the actress replied wryly when asked what advice she had to young women watching movies and questioning whether they conformed to the perfect feminine Hollywood prototype.
Zuehlsdorff cited fellow actress Jennifer Lawrence as a positive influence for her stating “we’re all built like we’re built.” More importantly her parents (Zuehlsdorff is home schooled) have helped her to recognize that current standards of beauty are temporal–what is considered ideal has varied at different times in history and from culture to culture.
The most important influence in how she negotiates fame, though, is her Christian faith. “God blessed me with being in the first movie [Dolphin Tale],” she says. Her early success has made her want to “grow up in a way that’s pleasing to Him” and “to make choices in my career” that reflect God. “If I can’t do that, why am I being in the industry?”
Dolphin Tale 2 reunites Zuehlsdorff with nearly all her cast mates from the original film. Joining the cast is Bethany Hamilton, whose own story was the subject of the film Soul Surfer. Hamilton, who said she and her husband “don’t have TV” said her advice to young people was to “get outside” and “stay active and healthy.” Like Zuehlsdorff, she claimed to be shaped by her Christian faith at an early age: “The best decision of my life, I made when I was five years-old.” Hamilton was praised by her cast mates for her athleticism and authentic personality. When Hamilton is in the pool, says fellow actor Austin Stoll, “you can’t help but watch.”
Dolphin Tale 2 is scheduled to be released September 2014. The teaser trailer is available below: Dolphin Tale 2 Teaser Trailer