Take one look at the upcoming film “Labor Day” and the caliber of the cast is evident.
Kate Winslet. Josh Brolin. Tobey Maguire. Clark Gregg. James Van Der Beek.
Not to mention the film is helmed by Jason Reitman, who burst onto the scene with his sleeper hit “Juno” in 2007.
Yet, with all the Hollywood names in the cast, it didn’t deter Albuquerque native Brighid Fleming from taking a chance and auditioning for the film.
“A friend suggested to me that I should try to get a role in the movie,” she says. “I didn’t expect anything from it. Then there was the callback and I got cast.”
Fleming, 14, plays Eleanor in the film, which is adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard.
The film follows Adele Wheeler, played by Winslet, who is a depressed single mom living with her 13-year-old son, Henry, played by Gattlin Griffith.
While shopping in the rural town, a bloody man approaches Henry and convinces the boy to take him home to look after him. The man turns out to be Frank Chambers, played by Brolin, who is a convict who has broken out of jail.
As Adele and Frank’s relationship begins to grow, Henry develops a friendship with a mature but manipulative girl named Eleanor, played by Fleming.
She manipulates him into thinking Adele and Frank are going to abandon him and he accidentally reveals Frank’s past. She tells the police and collects the reward.
“Eleanor is a very edgy kind of girl,” she says. “It’s a role that I’ve never played before and was happy to be a part of it all.”
Fleming and crew filmed the movie in Massachusetts, which she says was quite an experience.
“I’ve grown up in Albuquerque and live in Burbank (Calif.) now,” she says. “The East Coast is very different from what I was used to.”
As for getting advice from her co-stars, Fleming says she learned a lot from just watching Winslet and Brolin.
“That’s the best way to learn things,” she says. “They are professional from the moment the camera is rolling and they get the scenes done quickly. I’m amazed I had the opportunity to be surrounded with these talented people.”
Though Fleming has now made the move to California, the teenager cut her teeth in the Duke City. After seeing “Seussical The Musical” when she was 3, Fleming began to act and snag roles in local theater. She also landed an international modeling job with LaCoste.
“I did shows at the Vortex,” she says. “I also did work with Keshet and was even part of the annual ‘Nutcracker on the Rocks.’ I’ve always been involved with acting in the local community.”
Fleming also has had stints in TV shows such as “Once Upon a Time,” “Weeds,” “The Mentalist,” “CSI: Miami,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Criminal Minds.” She’s also been in films such as “Gamer,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Burrowers.”
Fleming also has forayed into writing and directing a short film called “A.B.S.”
She just picked up a 2013 Ovation Award for best featured actress in “The Nether.” She is also the youngest ever to pick up the award.
“It all means so much to me,” she says. “I’ve always been interested in acting and I’m lucky to be able to do this for a living.”
“Labor Day” opens nationwide on Jan. 31.