Rumer Willis Hopes First Lead Role Convinces Critics She's Not Interested In Riding Her Parents' Coattails

Actress stars in 'Slightly Single in L.A.' after supporting part in 'Sorority Row.'

PITTSBURGH — Do even a cursory search around the Internet, and you'll find that people have a lot to say about Rumer Willis, the daughter of noted actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. She's a "celebuspawn brat," a "wannabe actress" and a "Potato Head" (and that's just what Perez Hilton has to say).

But Willis, currently filming a supporting role in the new horror film "Sorority Row" alongside "Hills" star Audrina Patridge, wants to add a new moniker to her increasing list of names: respected actress.

And she's not gonna stop trying until you agree.

(What would be her dream role? Find out on the Movies Blog.)

"No matter how hard I try and even though I'm working, it still kinda baffles me sometimes when people are like, 'What is she doing? She doesn't even do anything, and she's just famous because of her parents,' " Willis confessed to MTV News on the "Sorority Row" set. "And I understand that, you know, because when you get attention when you haven't earned it or when it's not because of work, it does look kind of shady. That's something that, you know, at some point in your life you kind of deal with through proving that you have a work ethic."

It's somewhat ironic, perhaps, that Willis is determined to prove that work ethic in part with her role in "Sorority Row" since, by her own admission, she was a lousy student at the University of Southern California, where she attended classes for about a semester before dropping out.

But, for Willis, her leave of absence, her budding movie career and her current work are all part of the same thing: a refusal to rest on her laurels or trade on her famous name.

"I've never really wanted to sit on my ass and do nothing. I get too antsy. So New Year's, right before second semester, I went up to my mom and said, 'Look, I'm not really doing anything productive with my life [here at college].' The theater program there was not really top priority in importance [compared] to football and Trojan glory, and so I stopped," Willis said of her decision to leave school. "There wasn't anything there that I felt like I was doing to further myself or grow as a person."

Willis, who cameoed in some of her parents' films before breaking off with supporting roles in "The House Bunny" and "Sorority Row," will soon face her biggest challenge yet in her quest to prove herself with "Slightly Single in L.A.," a new romantic comedy in which, for the first time, she'll be the lead. The movie will follow a girl looking for love in all the wrong places, Willis revealed.

"It's just about a girl in L.A. who is kind of having trouble in the dating world. I know, it's crazy, right? Like, that never happens," Willis said sarcastically. "Well, I think the majority of the time, people aren't looking in the right places. [So my character] has a best friend, and there's definitely something in his direction, and you can tell that she kind of likes him as well, but she's so caught up kind of in feeling that she can't find a guy that you kind of miss out on what's in front of you."

What's in front of Willis with the role? By her own acknowledgement, it's a make-or-break moment for her as a "serious" actress, with all the added pressure and anxiety that entails.

Bring it on, Willis laughed.

"I'm excited, you know what I mean? I think I've never really been one to be picky that way, because in all honesty, it's a big responsibility to have to learn the lines and carry the movie like that. So I actually feel very grateful that I've had the opportunity to do a few projects where I don't necessarily have all that responsibility," Willis said. "I feel like now I'm getting to the point where I could do something like that [on my own]."

Check out everything we've got on "Sorority Row."

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