Emma Roberts learned to empathise with self-harming teens while playing a depressed adolescent in dark comedy It's Kind Of A Funny Story - after drawing glares from gawking strangers while wearing stage make-up.
The 19-year-old actress, who's father is actor Eric Roberts and aunt is moviestar Julia, plays a disturbed teen who cuts herself in the upcoming psych-ward romantic comedy.
And she was shocked by the intense scrutiny she faced after stepping out in public with her character's prosthetic facial scars.
She explains, "I had to have these prosthetic cuts on my face and they'd be really annoying to take off at the end of the day so I would leave them on sometimes and I'd be going out to dinner with my friends and I'd be like, 'Why are all these people looking at me? This is weird! I don't know if they're recognising me or checking me out.' Then I'm like, 'Oh, right, I have these cuts all over my face.'"
But Emma Roberts insists the staring gave her performance a boost, because it helped her relate to depressed teens with self-harming tendencies.
She adds: "It kind of helped me get into character. People stare, they stare at you and you're like, 'Oh, hello.'"