Emma Roberts, 20, was born in Rhinebeck, N.Y., with some good genes. She’s the daughter of Oscar nominee Eric Roberts and the niece of Oscar-winning superstar Julia Roberts.
With this family, and a childhood spent on film sets, young Emma naturally gravitated toward acting.
She won her first role in 2001’s “Blow” as Johnny Depp’s daughter and broke out in 2004 after landing the lead on Nickelodeon’s TV series “Unfabulous,” which also led to a singing career (she recorded music for the soundtrack).
Other big-movie roles came along, including the underrated “Nancy Drew” (2007), last year’s hit “Valentine’s Day” and the indie dramedy “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.”
Now she joins a veteran cast and legendary director Wes Craven for “Scream 4,” which opens Friday.It’s the first “Scream” film in 11 years, meaning Roberts was quite young when the first three films appeared.
“I was a teenager and I saw them on DVD. I was completely horrified,” she says during a recent phone conversation. “I get too scared. It just creeps me out. There were times when you’d be on the set at 2 in the morning covered in blood, and you’d think, ‘This is creepy.’ Everyone is covered in blood at some point in this movie.”
Roberts plays Jill, the younger cousin of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). Sidney has been the main character throughout the series, and the main target of the masked killer known as Ghostface. Thanks to some new attacks, Jill begins to form a stronger bond with her cousin.
Even though it’s her first foray into the series, Roberts’ character already gets a love interest, played by Nico Tortorella. The pair have worked together in Joel Schumacher’s “Twelve,” so this was already old hat.
“It was fun,” Roberts says. “We just kind of messed around.”
The cast members also bonded off camera, gathering together on their days off for dinner at Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s house or barbecues at Campbell’s place. That was good for Roberts, who claims she isn’t much of a cook.
“I live off of toast, sourdough toast with butter ... almond butter. Any kind of butter,” she says.
As for family time, the busy young actress sees her famous aunt as often as she can, just to hang out, but mostly they text each other. What do they say?
“Just normal stuff, like, ‘Hey what’s up?’” Roberts says.
IF YOU GO
Starring Emma Roberts, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin
Written by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Wes Craven
Running time 1 hour 52 minutes