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Yara Shahidi imagines big screen success

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
June 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Just imagine you've been working since you were an infant, booking commercials and print ads. Then imagine you book your first movie and your co-star is Eddie Murphy. Young actress Yara Shahidi didn't have to imagine that -- it's her life story.Nine-year-old Yara makes her big screen debut in the new comedy "Imagine That."

"Nothing was working hard," Yara said. "All of it was fun."

The film centers on the relationship between a dad and a daughter and how she cleverly finds a way to bring them closer together, thanks to her imaginary "princess" friends and her security blanket.

"Using the blanket, [my character] Olivia gets him to do more things together, and almost like controls him," said Yara. "And he notices that why she's doing that is to spend more time with him."

Yara says she couldn't have asked for a better co-star, teacher and friend than Mr. Murphy.

"I felt really excited, 'cuz he's just a wonderful person to be around," Yara said. "And also, I've seen him in the 'Shreks,' 'Mulan,' 'Daddy Day Care,' 'Dr. Doolittle', so it's cool to work with someone that you've seen in great movies."

And while they did have a blast together, Yara admits they did occasionally find themselves in a bit of on-set trouble.

"We've had some of those times where we start laughing, and then have to do it over again," Yara said.

While her movie dad is absolutely on her list of favorites, Yara does have a couple other big screen idols.

"I like Queen Latifah and Chris Rock," Yara said. "I think I would like to be like them in other movies, because they're just hilarious."

Next up for Yara, one movie with Samuel L. Jackson, and another with Angelina Jolie.

"Imagine That" will be in theaters on Friday.

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