You may already know 18-year-old Emily Hahn as the voice of Bonnie from Toy Story 3, but these days she’s one of the stars of the new indie film Beautifully Broken. The talented actress portrays Andrea, who carries a painful secret in the midst of three families on an unlikely journey. Emily opened up about her inspiring new role, singing for the film and the lessons learned. Learn more about Emily and be sure to catch Beautifully Broken on August 24th!   ///by Katherine Leslie

WHAT ACTING TAUGHT HER ABOUT EMPATHY
“I think acting has taught me to really appreciate the spectrum of emotions we as people experience. It’s taught me to accept when people are sad or angry and have a real respect for any emotion someone feels. It’s taught me so much about the world. I got to travel to South Africa for Beautifully Broken and that was incredible getting to meet the people there and witness the incredible culture. Acting has taught me so much, but really it’s mainly taught me about empathy. I feel like I am able to get inside someone’s mind now and sense what they are feeling because that’s what we do with characters. I find that I can empathize better now.”

THE LESSON IN BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN
“The film is about three families, two are from Rwanda and one is from Nashville. I play Andrea from Nashville and at age twelve she has an encounter that completely breaks her spirit because of how someone treats her. She feels worthless, alone and completely unseen. She buries her pain and it’s not until she reveals her pain to a pen pal in Africa that she realizes she matters no matter what she’s been through or how someone has treated her. So I hope that at the end of the film, whoever sees it just comes away knowing that no matter how they have been broken, they matter and their worth is not taken away from them. No one has the power to take that away from them. I hope people learn to appreciate their scars and let the light shine through their scars. At the end of the day, it’s really our brokenness that allows us to connect with others and shed light in the world!”

WHAT HER SONG IN BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN MEANT TO HER
“So the Spanish version of the theme song is releasing! My family is from Argentina so I have a very close connection to the Spanish language. I took Spanish up about five years ago because I wanted to get really good at it so I could speak with my family. I think the language is so beautiful in general. So to sing the song in general, it was like I was respecting my family and my heritage. I just was so excited to embrace my roots!”

HER DREAM ROLE CAME TRUE!
“So I’m a surfer and it’s funny because I would have said my ideal role would be to play a surfer. I actually was just brought on for a film called The Shaper to play a surfer! I play the lead girl. It’s a movie I’ll shoot in this winter in South Africa with an amazing director named Bruce McDonald about a girl who has a tragedy in her life which has really torn her apart. She’s wanted to be a surfer her whole life and she’s forced to move to South Africa with her mom where her family is from. She meets a mentor there who teaches her to ride the waves of life and kind of just go with the flow, surfing her heart out in the right ways. So that’s my ideal role, and I’m so thankful I’ll get to portray her!”

HER PERSONAL MESSAGE TO YOU
“Something we are told so often right now, at least for my generation, is that we are told to edit ourselves. We’re told we’re not good enough; everywhere you look something is saying you’re not pretty enough or skinny enough or you’re not made up enough. The thing is, don’t edit yourself. Everyone is beautiful just the way they are! There will always be people and messages around you saying you’re not—and you have to know in the bottom of your heart you are. The biggest accomplishments will come from you being you, not you changing who you are for someone else. I would say the basic message is don’t edit yourself for anyone!”

3 THINGS THAT DESCRIBE HER
“I would say I am passionate—I have crazy energy. I’m raw, really natural person; like I said, I grew up on a ranch! I’m also an adventurer. I love exploring and I have a constant surplus of curiosity.”