A delightfully dysfunctional family. Little Miss Sunshine quickly became a beloved cult classic following its 2006 release.
The Oscar-nominated film centers on Hoovers embarking on an impromptu journey from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to California after their daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) qualifies for a beauty pageant. However, with every member of the family grappling with their own personal problems – from suicidal Frank (Steve Carell) to bully Richard (Greg Kinnear) and hedonistic grandfather Edwin (Alan Arkin) – escape is no good. After arriving at the competition a moment early, the eccentric Olive performs an iconic performance of Rick James’ “Super Freak”. Her family joins her on stage for the concern of the contest directors and the delight of some odd comrades in the audience.
Part of Little Miss Sunshine’s appeal was the dynamic between the various members of the Hoover family, which was a result of the cast’s strong bond. “I remember in rehearsal our directors were trying to establish a family dynamic and they said, ‘Why don’t you get in the van in character and let’s go drive,'” recalled Paul Dano, who played Dwayne, during an appearance in the ‘ October 2018 at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Immediately after they hit the road, Arkin and Kinnear argued over stopping for the bathroom, with the latter insisting that they wait until they arrive at their destination.
“Arkin was like, ‘At the next red light, I’m going out to pee,’” Dano continued. “And Greg Kinnear turned on the next red light. Just because he didn’t want to give in to Grandpa, he clearly needed to pee [and] just to piss him off. … And that was the dynamics of the family ”.
Although the cast still have fond feelings for the job on Little Miss Sunshine, in July 2021 Breslin confessed that she struggled to get people to separate her from Olive. “Sometimes people forget that I am 25 and no longer 9,” she explained to the UK news release iNews at the time. “People tend to want to keep you in a specific box.”
He continued: “I don’t want to be disrespectful [Little Miss Sunshine]. In a way it’s sweet because I think people felt so emotionally attached to that role and that movie. They want me to be Olive. I understand. I will always have a little bit of Olive in me, but I want to try new things ”.
Keep scrolling to see what Breslin and the rest of the cast have been up to since the release of Little Miss Sunshine.