Hailee Steinfeld is delving into her first science fiction film in the upcoming adaptation of “Ender’s Game.” The 16-year-old actress who broke onto the film scene — and earned an Oscar nomination — after appearing in 2010’s “True Grit” will portray Petra Arkanian in the upcoming Gavin Hood movie.

“It was really fun building a backstory for her, because she doesn’t come in until further into the story, and when you see her you see her in a stage that it’s her amongst all these other boys and she’s working to maintain the respect from all of them around her,” Steinfed tells Zap2it of Petra at San Diego Comic-Con. “She’s very strong and she’s very independent and I love that about her.”

Much of Petra’s story in “Ender’s Game” the novel is told from Ender’s perspective, so Steinfeld admits she had some fun exploring who Petra is as a person. “We had so much freedom and so much time to do that with Gavin,” she says. “He was so great in sort of helping us. He had so much to sort of bring to the project from his own personal experiences. So much about him had so much to do with my character and sort of exploring her and getting to know her.”

“Ender’s Game’s” Battle School and Command School scenes were teased in the movie’s first trailer, and the cinematic elements of those sequences look fantastic. Steinfeld still hasn’t seen those completed scenes yet, but she says filming them was a blast.

“We were in a zero gravity environment,” she says. “It was so exciting sort of preparing for that, going through sort of boot camp and military training and going to space camp. It was all so exciting, but the zero chamber was a lot of fun. It was very uncomfortable, but once we got past that it was a lot of fun.”

“Ender’s Game” is due in theaters on Nov. 1.

Posted by:Terri Schwartz