August 20, 2008 / 8:49 PM / in 9 years

Rumer Willis joins the "family business"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When she first set foot on a movie set as a child, Rumer Willis, daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, knew she wanted to be a part of the “family business,” even though she didn’t fit the image of a Hollywood celebrity.

<p>File photo shows Rumer Willis in Los Angeles December 7, 2007. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello</p>

The young actress, who turned 20 on Saturday, is a self-proclaimed dork and computer nerd -- traits that helped her develop her character in her first adult role in “The House Bunny,” which debuts in theaters on Friday.

“I had braces and glasses and a big curly ‘fro,” Willis recently told reporters about her appearance as a kid in Los Angeles. “I wasn’t necessarily too active in getting into the social crowd, so I definitely understand not fitting in.”

“The House Bunny,” written by Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz of “Legally Blonde” fame, is about a Playboy bunny who is kicked out of the legendary Playboy Mansion and makes it her mission to help the members of the least popular sorority on a college campus regain their self-confidence.

Willis plays one of the sorority sisters, Joanne, an introvert in a back brace with very low self-esteem.

“Joanne has always hidden behind her brace,” Willis said. “Even though she doesn’t need it anymore, it’s kept her from having to show the world her true self.”

This is not Willis’ movie debut, but it does mark her first high-profile mature role.

Prior to this, Willis had primarily been a child actress with small roles in a few of her parents’ movies, including “Hostage” and “The Whole Nine Yards,” which starred her father, and “Striptease,” starring her mom.

Even when she didn’t work on her parents’ movies, Willis said she hung around the sets because she liked the atmosphere and people, but she added that she always felt more like an “accessory” than a member of the production.

Willis’ name is expected to attract audiences to “House Bunny,” which has raised the stakes for the young actress.

“It’s been a very different experience to be on my own,” Willis said.

There is more to come for young Willis. She appears in the upcoming comedy “Wild Cherry,” a dark drama “Whore,” and “Slightly Single in L.A.”

It has not gone unnoticed in Hollywood that her appearance has changed to fit her burgeoning career. In May, Willis made People magazine’s list of 100 most beautiful celebrities.

“After being compared to Jay Leno for so long, you don’t think of yourself that way,” she told Page Six Magazine earlier this month. Leno is the U.S. talk show host who is often chided about the size of his chin.

Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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