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Hailee Steinfeld: 'I was bullied excessively when I was younger'

Hailee Steinfeld used her past bullying experiences to help her prepare for new movie The Edge Of Seventeen.

The Pitch Perfect 2 star plays an awkward teenager living in the shadow of her popular older brother in the movie, and she explains it was easy to get into character because she went through many of the same things when she was younger.

"This girl goes through experiences I totally went through, where it felt like it was the absolute end of the world," she tells America's Seventeen magazine. "Just having so many moments where you question who you are and what it is that you're good at and what you feel good in."

Hailee's high school years were less than perfect and she still struggles to talk about some of her awful experiences.

"There was a period of time where every morning at 7.02, I'd get a prank phone call at my house," she continues. "That's how I'd start every day, with a threat saying, 'Come to school now. We're going to kick your butt'. So I went to school early and went in the back way.

"And there would be times when I'd come back to my desk and have hand sanitizer all over my books and in my water bottle. People would come by and slam my locker shut when I was still putting my books in it. It was just the most absurd things that you are supposed to see only in the movies."

The actress/singer insists she has moved past the bullying, but she still struggles with insecurities.

"I have definitely had moments where I'm scrolling through Instagram and see these drop-dead gorgeous models, who we tend to forget are genetically a certain way, and think, 'Why can't I look like that?'" she says. "It's so easy to forget that we are all so beautiful because we're unique."

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