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Ariel Winter Offers Showbiz Advice for Kids: Just Have Fun

Whether you know it or not, you've probably heard Ariel Winter's voice more times that you think. After all, the 16-year-old actress stars as the smarty-pants Alex on Modern Family. She's also the voice of animated kid favorite Sofia the First.

Well, the film and TV star is lending her voice to another project, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, a DreamWorks Animation film about a time-traveling genius dog (voiced by Winter's TV dad Ty Burrell) and his adoptive son (Max Charles) that's hitting theaters March 7.

We participated in a roundtable interview with Winter, who told us just how much she identified with her character, the sassy Penny Peterson, and which Oscar winner she'd love to work with.

Did you see yourself in your character, Penny?

The sass is real. The sass is so real. I loved her sassiness, although I would never steal someone's sandwich. That's just off limits.

What was your favorite historical place featured in the time-traveling film?

I loved either ancient Egypt, because [my character] was engaged [to King Tut] and that was pretty fun. And then I also loved the Trojan War, because Sherman was a mini Trojan and that was adorable.

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Do you prefer live-action roles or voice-only roles?

I definitely don't prefer one over the other. I think I've just been doing them both so long that I wouldn't be able to pick one. I love the challenge of having to express yourself only through your voice ... but I'm also the type of person that I want to have my hand in all aspects of the entertainment industry. I want to open a record label, and I want to be on the music side, and I also want to be in front of the camera and behind the camera. I have a lot of things I want to do in the entertainment industry.

In the movie, Sherman has to push through his dad's protectiveness to go forward and do more. Has there been a time in your life that you've had to push through for a dream?

I think everyone goes through that in their life at some point. And what I think is funny is that throughout the entire movie, Penny is kind of giving Sherman the pep talk that he should believe in himself and that Penny believes in him—well, after they get through their whole sassy Penny to Sherman.

And I love that, because I think what's really important is to have that person there who's telling you that you can do it and believing in you.

What advice do you have for kids who want to pursue acting?

Just to have fun. And you have to know for a fact that you want to do this, and you have to apply yourself 100 percent to it. I think the main thing is while you're doing that—because it is hard to achieve this dream if it is your dream—you have to have fun with it because it's very possible to get kind of lost in the technicalities of things. But the most important thing is to have fun with what you're doing and really love it.

Are there any actors or actresses you're dying to work with?

I would love to work with Leonardo DiCaprio. Or Angelina Jolie. Big dreams.

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