Emma Rose Roberts (born February 10, 1991) is an American actress and singer, the daughter of actor Eric Roberts and the niece of actresses Lisa Roberts Gillan and Julia Roberts. Roberts made her acting debut at the age of nine in the film Blow and is known for her role as the lead character in the Nickelodeon television series Unfabulous, as well as her roles in the films Aquamarine, Nancy Drew, Wild Child, and Hotel for Dogs. Roberts' debut album, Unfabulous and More, was released in 2005.
Roberts was born in Rhinebeck, New York, the daughter of actor Eric Roberts and his (now ex) girlfriend Kelly Cunningham.
Her sister, Grace Nickels — the daughter of her mother and former L.A. Guns bassist Kelly Nickels — was born in early 2001. In a 2005 interview, Roberts stated that she is "definitely closer to mom. and stepdad and see real father much". She is the niece of the award winning actress, Julia Roberts.
During her childhood, Roberts spent a lot of time on the sets of the films in which her aunt, Julia Roberts was starring. These experiences sparked a desire in Roberts, from the age of five, to follow her father and aunts into the film industry. Although her mother initially wanted her to have a normal childhood, Roberts made her acting debut in Ted Demme's 2001 drama Blow — the first movie she ever auditioned for — at the age of nine. In the film she portrayed Kristina Jung, the daughter of Johnny Depp's character, cocaine smuggler George Jung. As the film is rated R, her mother reportedly would not allow Roberts to see it before she turns eighteen. Director Ted Demme produced a tape for her that featured only the scenes she appeared in. During her burgeoning career, Roberts attended the Archer School for Girls, in Los Angeles, California.
In 2001, Roberts also had a role in Leif Tilden's 10-minute short bigLove (which also starred her future stepfather, Kelly Nickels), and was an uncredited extra in some scenes featuring her aunt Julia (Roberts) America's Sweethearts. She went on to appear in smaller roles in two family films: in 2002's Grand Champion, as the sister of the main character Buddy (Jacob Fisher); and in 2003's Spymate, as the kidnapped daughter of former secret agent Mike Muggins (Chris Potter), who tries to rescue her with the help of a spy monkey. Grand Champion had a brief theatrical release in August 2004, while Spymate was not released until February 2006, when it was given a theatrical run in Canada, followed by its DVD release in April 2006. In August 2003, Roberts was scheduled to shoot an independent film called Daisy Winters, starring as the title character, alongside Rachel Weisz. However, the film, which would have been Roberts' first leading role, never began shooting due to financial problems.
In 2004, Roberts became a teen idol at the age of thirteen, starring as the lead character Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous, which debuted in September 2004. Nickelodeon had wanted to cast her for the role from the beginning, and the teen sitcom earned Roberts a Teen Choice Award nomination and several Young Artist Award nominations.The series became one of the network's most-watched programs and was quickly recommissioned for a second season.
Because her character on Unfabulous writes songs and plays guitar, Nickelodeon soon considered a career in music for Roberts as well, following the lead of other actress'/pop singers such as Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan. Roberts first contributed the song "If I Had It My Way" to the soundtrack of Disney's 2005 film Ice Princess. This was followed by her debut album, Unfabulous and More: Emma Roberts, which was released on September 27, 2005 and is featured as the soundtrack to Unfabulous. The album peaked at #46 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers, and two music videos were released simultaneous to promote the album: "I Wanna Be" and "Dummy".
In 2006, Roberts returned to the big screen, starring alongside Sara Paxton and singer JoJo in Aquamarine. They became good friends while filming. The film about two teenagers (played by Roberts and JoJo) who find a mermaid (Paxton) in their swimming pool, earned Roberts a 2007 Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Young Actress in a Feature Film. Roberts also contributed a cover version of Weezer's 2001 single "Island in the Sun" to the film's soundtrack. Following Aquamarine, she was scheduled to star in Camp Couture (produced by her mother, Kelly Cunningham) and Bras and Broomsticks (based on the book of the same name by Sarah Mlynowski), but neither film went into full production. In early 2006, Roberts finished shooting her titular role in Nancy Drew. It was released on June 15, 2007. And On May 15, 2006, Roberts was featured on MTV's Punk'd with pop singer Teddy Geiger.
Roberts participated in a CG-animated holiday feature The Flight Before Christmas, starring comedian Norm Macdonald. The movie has been available on DVD since October 28, 2008.
Roberts also starred in the movie Wild Child, about a rebellious teen from Malibu sent to an English boarding school, in London. The movie ended production in late 2007, and was released on August 15, 2008 in the United Kingdom. The movie will be released in the U.S. in May 9, 2009.
Roberts' next movies are Hotel for Dogs., based on the novel by Lois Duncan, and the indie movie Lymelife with Alec Baldwin in New Jersey, which was premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, on September 8.
Roberts is set to be reunited with Nancy Drew director Andrew Fleming on both Rodeo Gal and a Nancy Drew sequel, although the latter has been put on hold. She was also selected to play the lead role in James Strouse's high school comedy The Winning Season, alongside Sam Rockwell and Rob Corddry;
Roberts is also currently working on the Japanese/American film Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac which is set to be released in Japan in 2009, and in the US in 2010.
In 2006, Roberts became a spokesmodel for Dooney & Bourke, and designed her own Dooney & Bourke handbag, named after her, the "Emma Bag."