Q:  How did you approach your character, Opal?  Were there certain ways that you felt you were a lot like your character and some ways that you really had to stretch and become that different person?
  Well, I read the book, and I read the script. And then, I think I'm a lot like the character Opal, or I'd like to think that, anyway. Some of the crying scenes were a little tough because it was my first time crying, like, when Winn-Dixie was about to be taken away.  I had to cry for a day and a half, just solid.

Q:  How did you do that?
 I was isolated, basically. You just think of something really, really sad, and just go for it. And sometimes it doesn't work, and if you can't do it, just physically, if you do it and try and try and you do it, like, 50 times, but they have so many different angles that you just kind of get worn out that you WANT to cry, and so it just kind of comes out.

Q:  Do you have any particularly favorite animals? Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A:  I am.  My favorite animal is…I have a lot, but my main ones are dogs, frogs, little owls, and, um, let's see, and I like reptiles but not snakes. I like salamanders. I think they're cute.

Q:  In the film, your character's dad says that your character's mother didn't like being a preacher's wife. Do you think your character liked being a preacher's daughter?
 I think Opal knows what her daddy has to do, and she's okay with that, but she just wants him to recognize her more and spend more time with her, and talk to her. But me, personally, I think I might enjoy it.  I might.  But he cared too much about the other people and not enough about [Opal,] and I think that's what I'd kind of be worried about – that he'd be so busy making sure that everybody else in the church was okay, that he wouldn't want to spend time with me.

Q:  What about the way other people scrutinize Opal? It seemed like the boys actually mock you because you're a preacher's kid. That kind of attention, would that be a problem?
  I don't think so. They might, some mean kids, but I went to a Christian school, a private school, so I don't think they would.

Q:  I loved the part in the movie about tasting the lozenge, which tastes like an idea, essentially the feeling of melancholy. If you could make your own candy and have it taste like something – like an idea – what would your candy taste like?
  That's a very good question! Umm, I'd probably want it to taste like helping people. Because there are so many people in the world that don't have anything, and I feel that America is kind of protected from all that. If you go to out of America, there is real poverty, like where the tsunami hit. I want to help people in Mexico. I want to make a foundation for dogs all over the world because I feel so bad for them. I just, I just, I love dogs, and I love people too, and I want to help them. 

Q:  What’s it like being a movie star?
A:  It's kind of chaotic, really. I don't really think of it as being a movie star, because I'm just doing what I love to do, and I don't think anybody really does it just because they want to be famous. I'm just another person on TV, and that's how I like to think about it.

Q:  Last week you spoke at the Crystal Cathedral in front of thousands of people and on television. Do you ever get nervous?
  Nope. The only time I get nervous, two times, is doing math problems in front of my class – can't stand that! – and I don't like performing in front of people that I know. That is, sometimes you can do it, but sometimes it feels weird. I can do it in front of people that I don't know, but in front of people that I do know, in a small group – I can't do that.