WEST HOLLYWOOD, California — To the uninitiated, the idea of strolling a red carpet in a form-fitting bit of couture, obliging the eager paparazzi with a few poses and waving to your adoring fans may seem like some sort of dream come true. But here's a little secret: It's not.
In fact, it's pretty much the complete opposite: a maddening mile of screaming photogs, blinding flashbulbs and grabby publicists, a daunting gauntlet demanding perfect poise and even better posture. All it takes is one wrong step in your stiletto heels, or one misbehaving bit of garment, and suddenly, you're splashed all over every gossip site and celeb rag around the globe. Despite what some may tell you, it is not as simple as smile, step and repeat.
And yet, the carpet is an integral part of every star's career. So, with the MTV Movie Awards just around the corner (Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, to be exact), we decided to follow Hollywood up-and-comer Emma Roberts as she prepared to walk at the gala opening of Chanel's newest store on Robertson Boulevard. At 17, she's already no stranger to red carpets, but that doesn't mean she's any less terrified of them.
"Everybody thinks red carpets are really, really glamorous, but they're actually really hectic and crazy. Everyone's stepping over everyone and talking over everyone," Roberts laughed from inside her limousine. "It's always a little bit exciting and a little bit scary. And even though I've done a bunch of them, I still get a little scared before I step out of the car."
And what, specifically, scares her the most? Well, there are actually two things, though both involve the same thing: the ever-present threat of a dress disaster.
"I get nervous when I'm getting out of the car with a dress on, because I don't want it to fly up and have a notorious picture. So I try to hold my dress down when I get out of the car," she said. "The dress is always a problem. When you're choosing one for a carpet, it's a very long process. You have to like it and it has to fit you right ... but most important, you don't want to choose one that's going to get you on a 'worst-dressed' list."
Sage advice. And while she might not be a fan of the red carpet, Roberts had better get used to walking it. She has a pair of films on the horizon — the teen comedy "Wild Child" and the family film "Hotel for Dogs" — and she just wrapped production on the indie "LymeLife," alongside "Sex and the City" actress Cynthia Nixon and Alec Baldwin. That means there's plenty of premieres in her future, which only means more carpets to brave.
"My biggest problem is that my eyes water really easily, so by the end of the carpet, I'm trying so hard to keep them open. And I've been smiling so long that my mouth really hurts," she said. "But aside from that, so far everything has been pretty good. I mean, I haven't fallen down or anything like that ... and hopefully I won't jinx myself."
It's a wrap! Now that you've watched the MTV Movie Awards, find winners, red-carpet photos, videos, movie exclusives and much more at MovieAwards.MTV.com. And check out Movies.MTV.com for the latest movie news, trailers, photos and more!