“It was quite uncanny, this kid. I was taken right away,” director Brian Percival told USA Today. “It was this mixture of naive innocence but at the same time she’s actually quite ballsy. You feel that you can get kneed in the groin at any point. It’s a big ask to have someone that age carry such a key role. If Sophie didn’t get it right, everyone else would have struggled around her. Fortunately, she just nailed it.”
Based on the book of the same name by Markus Zusak, Liesel Meminger (Nélisse) is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
“Liesel is a character who inspires everyone around her,” Sophie added. “She’s a fighter and strong girl. No matter what happens, she will never give up.”
The Book Thief will hit theaters November 15th.