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"Eloise" Casts Australian Girl As Lead

04/24/08 08:47 AM ET   AP

Eloise

NEW YORK — Eloise down under. The makers of the film adaptation of "Eloise in Paris" searched four continents and auditioned more than 4,000 girls to portray the spunky heroine of the children's classic.

The winner: 9-year-old Jordana Beatty.

The Aussie actress, who began her show biz career at age 4, will play the title role in "Eloise in Paris," producer HandMade Films announced Wednesday.

"Jordana is a unique combination of funny, feisty, sweet and soulful ... all the qualities that were so much the essence of Kay Thompson's iconic character," said director Charles Shyer, who also co-wrote the film.

The movie is based on the 1957 best seller by Thompson about a precocious 6-year-old girl _ and resident of The Plaza Hotel in New York City _ who travels to the City of Light. Other books include "Eloise at Christmastime" and "Eloise in Moscow."

HandMade Films said it hopes to spin off a film franchise from the Eloise character, whose "Nanny" will be played by Uma Thurman.

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Filed by Katherine Thomson  |