Sofia Vassilieva will go down in TV-history books as the little girl who made it big playing the beloved storybook moppet of Eloise at the Plaza and its sequel, Eloise at Christmastime (airing November 22 at 8 pm/ET on ABC). But instead of resting on her laurels, the precocious 11-year-old has come up with a novel idea of her own: She wants to bring to life other famous fictional characters.
"Even though I'm a little old for it, one of my favorite books is Lizzie Logan, Second Banana," she tells TV Guide Online, adding, for those of us who have gone through puberty, "There's two basic characters in it. I think Lizzie Logan is somewhere around 14, but the other character is 6, and I play a lot of 6-year-olds.
"I've also read Helen Keller four times," she continues. "I don't think I'd like to be Helen Keller, though. I'll play anything, but I like being in comedies mostly, or being in mysterious, scary things but not the so-so-so-scary kind of movies, because I get way too scared!"
Despite her far-flung interests, the young old pro acknowledges that, in Eloise, she may have found the role for which she is best suited. "She's a lot like me or should I say, I'm a lot like her, because she came first?" she giggles. "We both like helping people. She helps everything piece together in the right way, and so do I. She also always has adventures, and so do I. And we always try to be happy."
Perhaps most significantly, the towheads share a tendency to get easily excited Christmas-morning, I've-had-way-too-much-candy kind of excited. "My friends were really supportive [when I left Minneapolis for New York to make the TV movies]. They all said, 'Oh, you have to E-mail me! You have to write!'" the Shia LaBeouf fan recalls, becoming wound up at the mere memory. "I had to say, 'Inhale, exhale. Okay, stay calm. Don't worry. This will pass in a while.'" Here's hoping that the ambitious child star had the prescience to put "downtime" on her holiday wish list.