The Art of Getting By with Emma Roberts: First Look

05/05/2011 at 08:00 AM EDT

The Art of Getting By with Emma Roberts: First Look
Emma Roberts takes Manhattan!

PEOPLE has your first look at the movie poster for The Art of Getting By, showing the actress – Julia Roberts's niece – and costar Freddie Highmore passing each other on a busy New York street.

In the film, out June 17, the pair strike an unlikely bond. He's an outcast who's skating by in high school; she's the popular girl he's loved from a distance.

Writer-director Gavin Wiesen says Roberts, 20, and Highmore, 19, were a perfect match for the movie. "Their chemistry was amazing," he says. "Emma is this mature, kind of grown-up little woman in a girl's body, and she's very sophisticated. And as smart as Freddie is, he feels a little bit more innocent."

"So, there was this great combination of innocence and experience on the one hand, but they're actually both whip smart."

Roberts, in particular, was a revelation, Wiesen says. "I didn't know if she was going to be a spoiled teenager, bratty Hollywood kid, and she was actually the hardest-working person out of the entire cast and crew," he says. "She definitely has an innate star quality, but I think what she also has is the smarts to use that star quality to further her career but also to better herself."

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