Does Art Imitate Life? These Cartoon Doppelgangers Are Beyond Puzzling

As one of the most critically-acclaimed child stars in the history of filmmaking, Dakota Fanning spent the majority of her young lifetime dominating the big screen, scooping up awards and earning praise. But, where has the young star disappeared to in her 20s— and what are her next moves?

Dakota Fanning: The Ultimate Child Star

Dakota Fanning is a seasoned child star with dozens of film credits to show for it. The actress was only six when her career kicked off and she was launched into the spotlight through films like I Am Sam, Uptown Girls, and Charlotte’s Web. But, what has the now 24-year-old actress been up to lately?

Stepping To The Side: Her Sister’s Rise

Her sister, Elle, may be one of the reasons behind her step back from film and television. Dakota grew up onscreen, but she wasn’t the only member of her family working in film. While Dakota hasn’t been on the acting scene much lately, her sister has stepped center stage. Elle has starred in films such as Maleficent, Super 8, and We Bought A Zoo. Yet, Dakota is proud of her sister— and her own career is thriving behind the scenes.

NYU Gallatin: Focusing On Her Studies

Another potential cause for Daktota’s lesser involvement in the movie industry is something that almost everyone can relate to: she is focusing on her education. She is currently working on studies surrounding females in film at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. The passion of her work is, as anyone could expect, time-consuming. But, education isn’t all that’s keeping her out of the spotlight— she has had some control over the radio silence.

Keeping It Casual: Staying Out Of The Tabloids

While many celebrities get caught up in the world of paparazzi (whether they’re relevant in their industry at the time or not), Dakota has been aware of keeping much of her personal life—including and especially her relationships—out of the public eye. She views her acting career separately from her private existence. This means that Dakota’s downtime has gone under the radar. But, she’s not done in the film industry yet!

Looking To Film: An Open-Ended Future

Thankfully for fans, Dakota is still working in the industry in various, smaller roles in television and film. Moreover, she’s just as talented as she was when she was a child! She currently plays a feisty, quick-witted character on TNT’s The Alienist, and she’s looking with interest to her future in film— but it’s clear Dakota is continuing to savor the slower pace of the present!

Celebrity can be a nasty beast for anybody to wrangle with, no matter how prepared one might think they are. It changes every aspect of life and once it is obtained, it becomes almost impossible to give back. While this life style takes a heavy toll on adults, the effects are felt ten fold for children who encounter fame at such a young age. Few people know what fame does to children better than Dakota and Elle Fanning.

The two sisters both started their professional careers before either of them were ten years old. Since then, the actresses have both accumulated impressive filmographies that run the gamut from kid friendly fair to hard hitting dramas. Even into their young adulthood, there are no signs of them stopping anytime soon.

For all this talk of the drastic effect fame has on young people, the Fannings themselves seem to be well adjusted adults. They generally steer clear of controversy and haven’t been known to cause trouble. That’s not to say, however, that their childhood doesn’t harbor any interesting secrets. Some of these little known facts are tame, others are not, and some are wildly interesting. One thing they all have in common though is they show just how atypical the life of child stars can be.

So here it is, 17 Secrets Behind Dakota and Elle Fanning’s Childhood.

17 They Were Not Close

It is perfectly natural for siblings to go through troubled times in their relationship. Family drama, friends, a large age difference, and invasions of privacy are all issues that can really compromise the amity between the family members. After all is said and done though, the siblings often reconcile, forging an unbreakable sibling bond.

Dakota and Elle, much like most siblings, were not close during their childhood.

This tidbit was first revealed by Dakota during a Marie Claire interview. The older Fanning sister cited their four year age gap as the principle reason for their relationship being the way it was. Additionally, the differences in their career paths made it hard for them to relate to each other. Dakota was wildly famous and revered for her childhood projects such as I am Sam, while Elle’s career wasn’t as notable until she got older. Fortunately, the two are said to be very close these days.

Anybody who grew up with siblings surely has gone through a similar experience with their sister or brother, especially if the age gap is around four years. The difference between ten years old and fourteen years old is staggering, but two people who are twenty and twenty four years old have much more in common and can easily support each other.

16 Their Childhood Home

It goes without saying that the two sisters brought in a sizable income for themselves and their family. That is not implying that they were being exploited, as their parents already had their own success (more on that later). It does mean, however, that they were able to live more lavishly than even the average financially successful house hold. This is particularly evident in the extravagant house the family lived in during the actress’s younger days.

The enormous abode is located in Studio City and was purchased in 2003 by the Fanning family for more than a million dollars. As of 2017, the more than sixty year old house is worth almost three million dollars, ultimately making it a worthwhile investment. The whole place has a classic feel, with antiquated chandeliers hanging in almost every room.

We imagine most readers’ childhood homes were not as luxurious as what the Fannings were living in. They definitely worked for the money they got and it is good to see that they reaped the benefits of their acting gigs with this fine house. Given how young they were when they first moved in, we hope that the two appreciated just how impressive a house it really was.

15 Elle Played Her Own Sister’s Character

Every older sibling most likely remembers consistently being irritated by their younger relative always following them around and doing exactly what they do. Maybe some of them were honored to be admired so much that it inspired copycat behavior, but we are willing to bet that it mostly got on their nerves. In fact, it was probably a major source of contention between the two kin. Elle and Dakota were no different, but copy cat behavior for them meant portraying the same character in a movie.

On at least two occasions Elle played a younger version of Dakota character. These two instances occurred in I am Sam and the Steven Spielberg produced miniseries Taken (not to be confused with the Liam Neeson action film). This was Elle’s first exposure acting and helped her establish her own career on the screen. Other than these times, the two rarely crossed paths in their professional life.

Elle has successfully avoided being accused of riding her sister’s coat tails. Her first professional gigs may have come from her Dakota, but she has proven that she is her own unique talent. Besides, who among us has not gotten a job because of the people we know?

14 Those Aren’t Their Real Names

There is nothing strange about name changes in show business and often times it is transparent. Everyone knows Childish Gambino is really Donald Glover, for example. Other times though, name changes are hidden for a variety of reasons. It could be to preserve the illusion that the more marketable name is in fact who the performer is. Real names can also be hidden to prevent confusion with already established performers with the same name, like how David Bowie’s real name is David Jones, the same name of a member of The Monkees. The Fanning’s also go by different names, but their case is a bit different than usual.

Elle and Dakota’s real first names are, respectively, Mary and Hannah.

The names they go by are in fact their middle names. According to Elle this custom has nothing to do with show business and that even their mother goes by her middle name. Potentially it comes from southern culture, but the actress herself is even unsure of that.

The glory of a middle name is that there is another name to fall back on if you don’t like your first name. Of course, if neither name strikes your fancy it is entirely possible to chose a new one.

13 Royalty In Their Blood

A lot of people make the claim of having royal blood and most have it somewhere inside them if they trace their lineage back far enough. Most of the time it is something boring people bring up in their vein attempts to appear interesting. In reality, there is really nothing special about having it and even direct members of the family are simply fortunate enough to be born into the clan. However, when an already fascinating celebrity has ties to royalty, it is just one more thing makes them more alluring.

As it turns out, the Fanning sisters are related to the royal family through King Edward III. This particular king resided over England for about fifty years in the middle of the fourteenth century. What’s more is that this connection makes them cousins with Kate Middleton, though there’s no word on whether they share the same ability to fashionably wear tiny hats.

As nice of a tidbit as this may be, it has no bearing on their actual lives or the reason for their fame. Even if they were not related to royalty they would still be as successful as they are today. Still, it must be nice to say you are kind of a princess.

12 Marilyn Monroe Obsession

Nearly everyone finds themselves enamored with a certain celebrity at least one point in their lives. Maybe it’s because of their superb talents, striking looks, lifestyle philosophy, or a combination of the three. It doesn’t take long for it to go from simple fascination to a little bit creepy, with some people starting to amass memorabilia related to the particular star. However, we won’t judge when someone’s adoration goes too far.

The younger Fanning’s admiration for the iconic starlet began when she first saw The Seven Year Itch as a young child. Since then the actress has been completely taken with the Hollywood icon. She studies her interviews and has done deep research into her idol’s tragic life. Of the deceased actress Elle says she was far more talented than she realized.

It’s true that Marilyn Monroe was a mesmerizing presence on screen, though she’s mostly remembered as a cultural icon. It seems though that Elle’s adoration runs deeper than just acknowledging Monroe’s influence on fashion and culture. Where ever Marilyn may be now, we hope she appreciates being adored by contemporary talents.

11 First Professional Gig

Everybody has got to start somewhere and that starting position may not always be so glamorous. Jay Z was a dealer in illegal substances before his enterprising rap career, Sting was an English teacher before becoming a rock star, and the Beastie Boys were a surprisingly great hardcore punk band before converting to hip hop. Some of these previous examples are sad while some are perfectly appropriate and reasonable first steps of an artistic evolution. Dakota Fanning got her start at six years old on a Tide commercial.

In the commercial, Dakota plays a character named Lizzy. The segment is narrated by Lizzy’s mother who describes her daughter’s very unique personality centered around her affinity for a specific pink dress. Just as the mother is describing the necessity of the garment, Lizzy spills what appears to be chocolate pudding all over herself. This is where Tide With Bleach Alternative comes to save the day with it’s advertised ability of eliminating stains.

Even though the advert is just thirty seconds long, Dakota is heavily featured. One can only imagine the months of preparation the then six year old actress had to do to truly embody the character of Lizzy and deliver a full fledged story to audiences in just half a minute.

10 Their Parents’ Careers

For child stars, the occupations of their parents plays a vital role in the way their careers develop. The earliest young performers like Jackie Coogan and Jackie Cooper all got their starts because several members of their immediate family were all involved in the business in some way. Sometimes the parents were not successful themselves, so they did what they could to exploit their own children.

Fortunately for Elle and Dakota, their mother and father’s own achievements meant they did not have to worry about being taken advantage of.

The father of the Fannings, Steven, was a was minor league baseball player before going into the sales business. Their mother, Heather, was an even more accomplished athlete, having been a professional tennis player. The sports lineage goes back even further than just the parents, though. Heather’s sister is a former ESPN reporter and their grandfather, Rick Arrington, played in the NFL for three seasons.

The two sisters obviously did not follow in their family’s footsteps to the sports industry and cinema is happy about this. Despite this fact, it is still nice to come from a lineage of athletes. We’re sure their parents aren’t hugely disappointed with their current profession either.

9 Awards

Ask most actors and filmmakers and they will be sure to proclaim that receiving a prestigious award for their work is one of the highest honors they could possibly attain. There are a certain few who do not put a lot of value into these acknowledgements and accolades, but these detractors are few and far between. Some people wait their whole lives to receive just a nomination, and many never get it. Dakota Fanning, however, received her first acting award nomination at only seven years old.

The performance that earned her the nomination was for the daughter of Sean Penn’s character in I am Sam. The Screen Actors Guild took notice of her part and gave her the nomination. This was a landmark occasion because it made her the youngest person to ever be nominated for an award by the guild. Even though she didn’t win, Dakota did snag the prize for Best Young Actor/Actress Award given by the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

One cannot help but be a tad envious of Dakota to receive a nomination from such a prestigious institution when only seven years old. We just hope other actors did not get too jealous of her.

8 Presents

One of the best parts of most people’s childhoods was the shower of gifts they would often receive for several occasions. Typically the two biggest gifting times were on one’s birthday and on whichever holiday they celebrated during December or January. These times truly felt magical for kids and made them feel special. Even if they were having trouble at school or with the family, these moments would make them forget about it just for a short time. For Dakota Fanning, these gifts often came from legendary celebrities.

For starters, Kurt Russell bought her a horse after they starred together in the equestrian themed film Dreamer. Then, Robert Dinero gifted her a doll for her tenth birthday since they were co-stars in Hide and Seek. The most generous giver of all, however, has to be Tom Cruise. Since acting together in War of the Worlds, Cruise has given her a cell phone, an iPod, and reportedly still buys her shoes for her birthday.

We’d bet most of our readers were happy when their family members bought them books, video games, movies, or other various toys. It must be surreal for Dakota to know these legendary actors remember her birthday and send her nice gifts.

7 Homeschooling

Certainly there are a few readers out there who have gone through the homeschooling experience for one reason or another. Sometimes a parent’s job requires the family to frequently move, making home school a more convenient alternative. Other times it is a choice by the family to give their children an education inside the house instead of sending them to a school. Keeping the classroom in the house has both pros and cons, so some families opt to have the children go to a learning institution for their high school years. This is exactly what happened to both Fanning Sisters.

The two girls were educated primarily by their grandmother and homeschooling was necessary because of their jobs.

Typically it is unconventional and mostly illegal for children to have a profession, but of course acting is an exception. As stated before though, they eventually attended a regular school for the last four years. Some say that homeschooling leads to children not socially adjusting properly. This article won’t argue for or against this point, but it will point out that homeschooling was not the factor that made the Fannings’ childhoods unconventional. We’re willing to bet that young stardom did that much more effectively.

6 Fear of Lightning

Each child has their own specific fear. A fear so strong that the mere thought of it causes them to freeze in terror. Sometimes it is a perfectly rational phobia, such as certain insects or clowns. Other times kids are scared of less seemingly frightening things like cats or birds. The terror of a particular thing often fades as people grow into adults, but it sometimes can stick with someone for their whole life, haunting them like a curse. Both of the Fannings happen to share the same phobia and it is one that is common among kids.

Astraphobia is the fear of of lightning and thunder and afflicted both Dakota and Elle in their childhoods. Anyone with the same phobia or who knows someone with it can testify to just how fearful a reaction they have to Thunderstorms. Lightning can absolutely cause irreparable damage to those it strikes, but there is no reason to be afraid if you have the appropriate shelter.

No word on if the sisters have since overcome their extreme discomfort with thunderstorms, but we certainly hope they have become a little braver in the face of mother nature. If not, at least they can always be unified in their fright.

5 Only Time Together On Screen (Sort Of)

When siblings are both famous movie stars everyone wants to see them star opposite each other in a film. The Olsen Twins spent most of their film career together and their whole allure came from the fact that they were constantly acting with one another. While not twins, Dakota and Elle’s age difference makes it seem like a no brainer that they would play siblings in a movie at least once. However, there was only one time when they only kind of were on screen together.

The two actresses only played sisters in the 2004 dub of the cult Hayao Miyazaki animated film My Neighbor Totoro. This had actually been the second dubbing of the film as Troma entertainment, famous for films like Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke ’em High, distributed the film to the United States in the early 1990s. When those rights expired, Disney redid the dubbing with the Fannings in the role of Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe.

After that one time, the two have acted in the same film at least twice, but never at the same time. It is understandable if they would want to avoid joint film appearances in order not to appear gimmicky.

4 Controversy

If one stays in the celebrity spotlight long enough, they are bound to generate some sort of controversy, whether it is intentional or not. Maybe they will say something that rubs people the wrong way or take on a certain role that people feel is offensive or should go to somebody else. The interest in the incident can blow over with time or stay with the star forever and ruin their career. Dakota Fanning generated controversy before her teenage years by starring in the 2007 film Hounddog.

The film is a drama about a preteen girl, played by Dakota, whose love of Elvis helps her deal with her traumatic upbringing. The scene in particular that caused the most grief to audiences involved her character being assaulted when promised a ticket to an Elvis concert. The scene is brief and not graphic, but even the implication of such a tragedy befalling an underage girl proved too much for viewers. The film itself was not well received either, but Dakota’s performance still received acclaim.

Fortunately Dakota Fanning’s reputation was not blighted by this situation, as she herself was just an actress and did not write or direct the film. Additionally, it would have been pretty low of movie goers to blame a child for her part in a film.

3 Coraline

It is no secret that films take a long time to create. Even after filming there is still a mammoth sized load of work to do in order to do create the finished product that audiences feast their eyes and ears on. For animation, the film making process can be even longer and more arduous.

This is why Dakota Fanning did not get to reap the benefits of her voice over work in Coraline until five years after recording it.

Henry Selick is the acclaimed director of such stop motion films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. Coraline was released in 2009 and is based on the 2002 Neil Gaiman book of the same name. Dakota Fanning voices the lead character who is a young girl. Her work was done when she was only ten years old, but the film did not see release until the actress was already fifteen.

The long wait was worth it, since it was successful at the box office and with critics. It must have been a little strange for Dakota to finally hear work she finished five years prior. It is almost like going back in time for the duration of the movie.

2 Missing Prom

Acting takes a lot of commitment and sometimes means missing out on important events. Older performers miss family gatherings, birthdays, and general family time. Considering the hefty paychecks many actors receive, one would say the sacrifice is completely worth it. When children and teens have to miss out on milestones, they often miss out on their only chance to experience it.

Elle Fanning, for example, had to miss her prom in order to attend the premiere for Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon. However, like a true gentlemen, her date flew out to France where the premiere was taking place in order to give her the prom experience away from the high school. While it seems like a nice selfless gesture, we have to wonder who foot the bill for the plane ticket; the date or the parents?

Coincidentally, prom is much like The Neon Demon. Some people loved every moment of it, while others could not stand it, were severely disappointed, or avoided it altogether. Many of Refn’s films have had the same effect on audiences, splitting them into those who adored the movie or loathed it. Regardless, we’d definitely miss our proms in a heartbeat if it meant starring in an accomplished director’s film and attending the premiere in France.

1 Angels

Many movie stars are known to be divas. With all the attention they receive, it is easy for them to lose their humility and grow big heads. Children, regardless of status, can often times be brats. There is a reason why someone who complains and argues to an irrational degree is said to be acting like a child. In reality, a small amount of misbehaving is even expected of children. For both of the Fannings, despite being both movie stars and children, behavior was never reported to be an issue.

In fact, they were both reported to be exceptionally well mannered in their childhood.

It could be that they both kept each other grounded, had parents that reminded them to stay humble, or just good old southern etiquette ingrained into them. Whatever the reason, they certainly had the right idea. One should let their talent be fantastic while their personality stays leveled and human. No one likes anyone who boasts too much.

To lay the whole truth out on the table, Elle’s family has said that she has quite a temper. However, this hot blood seems to be directed primarily at her immediate family.

Which of these interested you most? Let us know in the comments!

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Dakota Fanning on Her ‘Special Bond’ with Sister Elle Fanning: ‘We Don’t Have to’ Talk Every Day

Dakota Fanning has nothing but love for her sister Elle Fanning.

In the cover story for the July/August issue of Shape, the 25-year-old star opens up about the tight bond she has with her younger sister Elle, 21.

“My sister, Elle, and I are really close,” Dakota gushes. “We always have been. We’re very different, but we’re very connected. We don’t talk every day, but we don’t have to. We just have that special bond.”

“There’s no one I want to succeed more in this business than my sister, and I know she wants the same for me,” Dakota adds.

Image zoom

Both Dakota and Elle have strong careers in Hollywood. Dakota has a sea of credits to her name dating back to her days as a child actress, including War of the Worlds, Uptown Girls, Charlotte’s Web, The Secret Life of Bees, The Runaways, and three films in The Twilight Saga. Elle has also been acting since a young age, even playing younger versions of her sister’s character in I Am Sam and the Taken miniseries. Since she’s gone on to have a steady career as a model and actress, with memorable roles in Super 8, We Bought a Zoo, Maleficent, 20th Century Women and The Beguiled.

The two siblings have remained supportive of one another throughout.

In April, Dakota was at her Elle’s side at the premiere of the movie Teen Spirit, which starred Elle as a shy teenager who sets out to win a local singing competition as a way out of her small town. Elle has also always publicly praised Dakota, even if she boycotted watching her sister’s guest spot on Friends after previously losing out on the role of one of Phoebe’s triplets.

“I refused to watch the episode,” she told Net-A-Porter’s weekly digital magazine PorterEdit in March. “I was like, ‘I am not watching this!’”

Image zoom Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning Swan Gallet/WWD/REX/

RELATED: Bottoms Up! Elle Fanning Celebrates Her 21st Birthday with Sister Dakota and a Glass of Champagne

Jokes aside, the Fanning sisters grew close early on when they discovered their mutual love for acting.

“ would play these elaborate scenes around the house,” Elle told PorterEdit. “Like birthing scenes… I would be the baby coming out. Crazy stuff like that. We were doing it for ourselves; we weren’t, like, ‘Oh, Mom and Dad, sit down and we’re gonna perform for you.’ That was how we played.”

RELATED: Dakota Fanning Remembers Brittany Murphy 8 Years After Costar’s Sudden Death

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Shape, Dakota — who stars in the upcoming Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood — discusses how she learned to redefine her idea of success.

“As goal oriented as I am, I recognize that reaching your goals doesn’t always happen the way you think it will,” she says. “I never say to myself, ‘Oh, I’ll be happy when this happens’ or, ‘This one thing will make me feel good,’ because I don’t think that’s realistic.”

“It’s important to have goals and vision and drive, but you’ve also got to recognize that those goals might not come to you in the way you believe they will,” she said “It’s really important to remember that no one thing is ever going to make you happy.”

  • By Dave Quinn @NineDaves

Fendi top, Janessa Leoné hat, and Kate Spade scarf. Thomas Whiteside

I meet Elle Fanning in a London hotel restaurant, where she jumps up to hug me the minute I arrive. It is noon on Sunday, “so should we order breakfast or lunch?” she asks the waiter, who is just as uncertain. He says she probably knows the menu better than he does by now, given that she’s been living here for six months while filming Hulu’s forthcoming show The Great, about Catherine the Great. I tell her I want this interview to be a natural conversation rather than a recitation of a list of questions. “Oh, good,” she says, her blond hair falling onto the straps of her babydoll petticoat dress, a smudge of last night’s mascara under one eye. “Interviews terrify me! No matter how comfortable you feel or how lovely the person, it’s still like, what I say is gonna be out there forever.”

Fanning began her career at age two, playing the younger version of her elder sister, Dakota Fanning, in various screen productions. By the age of four, she was winning her own parts, such as a cheeky preschooler in the Eddie Murphy film Daddy Day Care. (I rewatched it recently; you can already see the talent in the wide-eyed, imaginative kid who seems to be following the script intuitively.) By 2005, she was playing the child of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett’s characters in Babel, reuniting with the pair three years later in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Her grandmother homeschooled her and chaperoned her on film and TV sets. (Her mom did the same with Dakota.) Yet in Fanning’s mind, she tells me, she was still simply playing. At home, initially in Georgia until the family moved to L.A. for the girls’ work, she and Dakota were “always dressing up and having these elaborate fantasies that we would play out,” so she hadn’t fully understood this was also a career. When Fanning was nine and cast as a girl with Tourette’s syndrome in Phoebe in Wonderland, she was taken by the director to meet children with the same condition for research. Something clicked, and she could almost see her future. “I realized, Oh, this is a job, and I’m telling someone’s story, and there is a responsibility of getting it right,” says Fanning.

Victoria Beckham jacket, top, and turtleneck, Marc Jacobs pants, and Zales necklace. Thomas Whiteside

She is such easy company, with a certain bubbly innocence. You can see why Disney cast her as Princess Aurora against Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent. It’s a role she first took on at age 14, but she’s 21 now, and after doing last fall’s sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, she and Jolie are on different terms. “Angelina’s and my relationship definitely changed. She didn’t have to look at me as a kid; she didn’t have to censor what she could talk about.” She laughs. “That was exciting, to have that relationship.”

Fanning might have grown up, but she isn’t sure that her face has. “I look at photos, and I looked the same when I was 11. I’m told I have a very period face. I don’t know what that means. I probably will be 35 and people will still go, Awww! My sister feels that way too because people feel like they’ve known you since you were the six-year-old kid in the film.” It can be frustrating, she says, “because you’re like, you don’t know me.” And yet she admits she can still be that child at times. She has never owned a car (she has a license but doesn’t drive), she lives at home with her mom and grandmother, who expect “Southern manners, Southern hospitality, being gracious,” and she brings her childhood pillow with her everywhere—in the car to the set every morning, on the plane.

Longchamp dress and Salvatore Ferragamo boots. Thomas Whiteside

The process of growing up is hard for anyone, but for Fanning the teenage years were compounded by living a double life. Some of the time, having given up homeschooling in fourth grade (“I got to the point where I wanted friends my own age”), she would be at a private high school in the Valley, where she found that her eccentric, vintage fashion sense was not welcomed by the other kids. “My mom would let me wear whatever I wanted. I went to a lot of thrift stores and would mix it together, but in high school that’s not the coolest thing.” She attempted to change her look for her classmates: “I tried to wear skinny jeans and a tank top or to look sexy for a bar mitzvah. It just was not me. It didn’t even look good.” So she stuck to secondhand Marilyn Monroe–type halter-neck bathing suits worn under a skirt. “Some people are repulsed by that smell of vintage clothes, but I love it. I think it’s because I’m a very nostalgic person and I daydream a lot. I feel I was possibly born in the wrong era—those old movies, Grace Kelly, so gorgeous, you know,” she says dreamily.

High school was difficult for other reasons, which are relevant to Fanning’s movie All the Bright Places, out this month on Netflix and based on the best-selling YA novel of the same name by Jennifer Niven. Fanning not only costars in it, she is also a producer of the touching, painful movie about two adolescents beset by psychological darkness who fall in love. Suicide is a big topic. “Depression and mental illness in young people is so real, and it’s something people don’t want to talk about and want to shy away from. It has to be out there for people to see it, to get help, to not keep it hidden.”

Left: Prada jacket, top, and pants. Right: Celine by Hedi Slimane jacket, vest, top, and pants; Cartier sunglasses. Thomas Whiteside

The film’s director, Brett Haley, tells me, “Elle is, frankly, the best actor of her generation. I say that with all seriousness. She’s also such a gifted technical actor, a film actor. She understands the medium better than almost anyone I’ve ever worked with, and she’s 21 years old. Really great actors are like emotional athletes; she knows how to break up her emotional energy.”

“She’s just got this supernatural talent that effortlessly flows out of her,” echoes Nicole Kidman, her costar in The Beguiled (2017) and How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2018). “She has such a well of emotions that she can use; it just sits at her fingertips. Her skin flushes, her eyes light up, her voice changes, her body moves in such a way. She’s sort of like Leonardo DiCaprio, where she’s just had extraordinary talent since the moment she was born. I think she’s been raised with an immense amount of love, which has given her a unique self-confidence. She’s so easy to talk to and be around—and when I see her, I smother her with kisses because she’s so yummy!”

Gucci jacket, top, sunglasses, and chain. Thomas Whiteside

She first read All the Bright Places when she was 16, having been told the author had her in mind to play Violet, a girl who doesn’t know how to go on living after her sister dies. “At that age, I was experiencing first love and, like, relationships and just how impactful it is on your life. That never goes away for people. That first love is so intense and sets up so many things in your life. And also,” she says, pausing, “not to get into it too much, but it was also…not the best…It was kind of a tumultuous relationship. Which can also be very romantic for young people as well. Everything’s so dramatic at that age, so intensified, when you’re young and still developing in a school setting, which is literally the harshest place in the world.”

I get the feeling that high school scared Fanning far more than any film set. She talks about it like she’s still trying to get away from it and from her peer group. Whereas she’s taken with “the grittiness of acting. Let’s just get as dirty as possible. I love the blood. You come home and you’ve got bruises on your body. You’re like, Ahhh, I really worked hard today. I like that feeling. Like I really did something. Because I’m someone who can think about things too much and freeze up.” The red carpet, which would scare others, similarly thrills her. “From a young age, I knew every model’s name on the runway. I was totally looking in magazines, like, That looks good.” And so “the red carpet is a fun place for me. I don’t get anxiety. It’s a creative space where I get to be 100 percent me, not a character. It’s kind of like my soul coming out.” No surprise that she’s been a face of Miu Miu’s fragrance and is currently a face of L’Oréal Paris.

Fendi top, Janessa Leoné hat, and Kate Spade scarf. Thomas Whiteside

Fanning is clearly a visual, aesthetic person. After every film she makes, she paints a picture of her character and gives it to the director. Instagram is her only social media. “Twitter scares me! Oh my God, Twitter is so intense. Instagram I do enjoy; I have a private account and a public account . I do think there are dangers that I totally fall into, of looking down that rabbit hole, comparing yourself to everybody else and seeing, Oh, their life, that vacation. I try to keep it light and tell fans about movies that are coming out or about a photo shoot. That can get really intense too. People can say they don’t read any comments, but…” She does a disbelieving face, eyebrow raised. “Mmm, yeah, you do! I do! Of course you look! ‘Oh, your ankles look huge.’ What the heck?! It is bizarre, like, who is this person?” She says she ends up feeling bad for the trolls, wondering about their lives. Surely they’re simply jealous of someone who, instead of going to college or scraping by, is currently playing the empress of Russia, with her husband, Peter III, portrayed by Nicholas Hoult. She’s coproducing The Great (created and written by The Favourite cowriter Tony McNamara) too and says it’s “a dark comedy, so fun. Wacky and raunchy and really out there. But I had to go in the rooms and pitch to all of the different studios or streaming companies before we got Hulu. That was daunting. All these guys staring at you.” She’s gotten more confidence, trusts herself more since becoming the youngest juror at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

I want to know if all this producing is leading to her directing. “I hope so,” she admits. “Now that I’ve gotten older, I’m much more interested in developing projects and reading material, producing it, maybe not being in it but just getting it made. I really want to direct. I think doing it from such a young age, I learned on the job. I didn’t go to acting school or have formal training or anything; I just watched the crew. So the way the sets work, it fascinates me.” She thinks about this. “But then I’m like, aaargh, oh God. The pressure of it.”

Louis Vuitton shirt and dress. Thomas Whiteside

Fanning has worked with a lot of female directors, including Sofia Coppola, “and I will continue to do so because of just how important that is.” She was surprised to discover, when working with Sally Potter on the family drama Molly, out in March, that it was the first time the lead actor, Javier Bardem, had ever been directed by a woman. Still, there’s a bit more acting for now, especially since Kidman advised her not to feel too restricted and to take as many opportunities as she can and to make mistakes if necessary. “Because a lot of people are all, ‘You have to be so delicate. You have to choose this,’ and Nicole is like, ‘It’s OK, you’re young! Freedom!’”

I tell her I can’t wait to see her direct.

“Cool. We’ll be back at this hotel, and I’ll be 35,” she says. “And I will,” she adds, pointing at her beaming, apple-cheeked baby face, “look like this.”

This article originally appears in the February 2020 issue of Marie Claire.

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Photographer: Thomas Whiteside / Fashion Editor: J. Errico / Hair: Halley Brisker using L’Oréal at The Wall Group / Makeup: Erin Ayanian Monroe for Cloutier Remix / Manicure: Loui-Marie Ebanks at Jaq Management / Production: Mint Productions

Dakota Fanning’s Cool-Girl Approach to Self-Care, Dieting, and the Meaning of Success

“I just want to drive my own car.”

That’s Dakota Fanning’s way of saying that she needs to be in control of her life. “I’m very goal oriented,” says the actor, 25. “I have a lot I want to accomplish.”

She has already proved to be a master achiever. Dakota started acting professionally at age 5, when she landed a national commercial. Two years later she starred in the movie I Am Sam, becoming the youngest person ever nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. More than 40 films later, Dakota is in one of the summer’s most anticipated movies, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a comedy/drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie and directed by Quentin Tarantino—and she couldn’t be more excited.

“One of the happiest times of my life was when I was told I got the part,” Dakota says of the movie, which hits theaters on July 26. “It was truly a dream-come-true, jumping-up-and-down moment.”

When she’s not on the film set or traveling to Budapest to shoot her TV series The Alienist, Dakota channels her energy into her workouts. “I come from a family of athletes , so being active was instilled in me from a young age,” Dakota says. “I like the high of feeling strong.” This dynamo has figured out the formula for staying energized, focused, and happy—and she sat down to share it with us.

Image zoom Carter Smith

Listen to Your Body

“It’s so important to have a really good sweat. It clears my head and makes my skin look good, and I feel better overall.

I try to work out six days a week. I love to do Cardio Barre, a ballet-inspired cardio class. I’ve been taking it since I was in high school, and I’m obsessed. I also started doing AKT . The first time I did it, I thought I was going to die! It was so tough in the best possible way. But as hard as I exercise, I’ve also learned the importance of rest so that my body can rejuvenate. It’s all about what works for me at this moment and makes me feel good.” (Related: AKT Founder Anna Kaiser Dishes on Shakira’s Health and Fitness Routine)

Eat the Ice Cream

“I’ve become a much healthier eater. I typically have yogurt or eggs after my morning workout, a salad for lunch, and a grilled protein with quinoa and vegetables for dinner. But I’m definitely not the kind of person who says, ‘I don’t eat sugar or carbs’ or ‘I don’t drink caffeine and wine.’ That’s never going to happen. I have a huge sweet tooth.

When I visit my parents at home in L.A., my mom and I look at each other after dinner, and it’s like, ‘We’ve got to go out and get dessert,’ and it’s usually Baskin-Robbins ice cream. “Eating is all about moderation. If I’m going to a restaurant that’s famous for its pasta, I’m going to eat the pasta. I don’t limit myself. That’s not sustainable. You have to indulge. Food is supposed to be fun and pleasurable.” (Related: We Seriously Need to Stop Thinking of Foods As ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’)

I’m definitely not the kind of person who says, ‘I don’t eat sugar or carbs’ or ‘I don’t drink caffeine and wine.’ That’s never going to happen.

Image zoom Carter Smith

Show Yourself Love Always

“I have a really good ritual to help me unwind. I take a bath every night, no matter what. I put on a podcast, get in the tub, and close my eyes. This routine is such a constant in my life; I can’t live without it. If I’m in a hotel and there isn’t a tub, I have to move. It’s like, No, I won’t. I can’t. I’ve got to have a bath.” (Related: Why a Bath Can Be Better Than a Shower)

Redefine Your Idea of Success

“As goal oriented as I am, I recognize that reaching your goals doesn’t always happen the way you think it will. I never say to myself, Oh, I’ll be happy when this happens or This one thing will make me feel good, because I don’t think that’s realistic.

It’s important to have goals and vision and drive, but you’ve also got to recognize that those goals might not come to you in the way you believe they will. It’s really important to remember that no one thing is ever going to make you happy.” (Related: This Method of Self-Talk Will Make You So Much Happier)

Image zoom Carter Smith

Find Someone Who Has Your Back

“My sister, Elle, and I are really close. We always have been. We’re very different, but we’re very connected. We don’t talk every day, but we don’t have to. We just have that special bond. There’s no one I want to succeed more in this business than my sister, and I know she wants the same for me.”

Make a Difference In Your Own Way

“I’ve been an ambassador for Save the Children for several years. I help with some of its literacy and early education programs. Save the Children does such a good job fostering a love of learning in children, and going to school gives kids so much confidence. It’s amazing to see that.

Volunteering gives you perspective and an appreciation for your own circumstances. It makes the world better, and it makes you a better person.

Giving back is very important to me. Volunteering has always been part of my life. I’ve learned that as much as it helps other people, it helps you too. Volunteering gives you perspective and an appreciation for your own circumstances. It makes the world better, and it makes you a better person.”

  • By Pam O’Brien

Shape Magazine, July/August 2019 issue

More often than not, the term “child star” provokes a feeling of unease, as we’ve been reminded far too often of the negative impact a life in the spotlight can have on a young person.

But for every child star who’s come out worse for the wear, there have been those who have emerged relatively well-adjusted despite their extremely unorthodox upbringings.

Both Dakota and Elle Fanning broke into the business before they had even started to lose their baby teeth (more on that later), and they have remained in the public eye ever since.

After receiving early critical acclaim for their performances in such films as I Am Sam, Super 8, and War of the Worlds, the sisters have branched out into the modeling world, posing for some of the flashiest brands around, including Marc Jacobs and Tiffany & Co.

Throughout their lengthy careers, the two sisters have largely managed to stay out of the tabloid headlines, and they continue to present themselves as two highly-intelligent and down-to-earth individuals. But in Hollywood, it’s near impossible to not get caught up in at least some kind of controversy now and again.

Here are 17 Dark Secrets No One Knew About Elle And Dakota Fanning.

17 Dakota dated a much older man

Notable age differences are far from uncommon in Hollywood relationships, but in many cases, they can spell trouble.

While that may not have exactly been the case for Dakota Fanning, the actress did previously date model Jamie Strachan, who was 13 years her senior. Though Strachan isn’t as well-known as Fanning, the U.K. model has worked with some of the biggest names in his industry, including Gucci, Michael Kors, and Kelvin Klein.

The two were first spotted holding hands in New York City in 2013 when Fanning was only 19-years-old and Strachan was 32 — a pretty significant age difference for someone who’s still a teenager.

However, the two ended up calling it quits in 2016, and Fanning currently appears to be dating Henry Frye, a former college basketball player from the University of Vermont.

16 Elle drew backlash from the LGBT community for one of her roles

In 2015, Elle Fanning starred in the family drama 3 Generations alongside Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon. Here, Fanning plays Ray, a 16-year-old who wants to transition from female to male but must first receive legal consent from his biological father.

However, despite the film’s efforts to highlight the adversity that transgender individuals face, 3 Generations ultimately received backlash from the trans community for once again casting a cisgender actor in the role of a transgender character.

This has been an ongoing problem in Hollywood that dates back to films including Boys Don’t Cry and has continued in more recent projects like The Danish Girl and Transparent.

While the director of 3 Generations did acknowledge the controversy over casting Elle Fanning and the need to make trans actors more prominent in Hollywood, she maintained that she wasn’t in a position to single-handedly fix the entire system.

15 Dakota has a secret Instagram for creeping on people

As far as most celebrities her age go, Dakota Fanning seems to have a relatively laid-back approach when it comes to her social media presence. The actress hopped on the Instagram train late — joining in 2016 — and despite over 2 million followers, she has only posted approximately 200 photos in the last couple of years.

However, during a recent interview on Late Night with Seth Meyer to promote her new show, The Alienist, Dakota revealed that she also has a secret Instagram account that’s hidden from the public eye.

Fanning was understandably reluctant to disclose her exact reasons behind the secondary account, though she did let slip that she uses it to suss out if people have been lying to her — which might not be quite as useful now that the secret is out.

14 The story behind Dakota and Kristen Stewart’s on-screen kiss

After starring in four films together, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning have developed a friendship that has extended beyond the screen, which might have made it a little awkward when the two were required to lock lips in a scene from their 2010 film The Runaways.

In the film, Stewart and Fanning star as real-life rockers Joan Jett and Cherie Currie who front-lined the all-female band The Runaways throughout the 1970s. The film also touched upon the romantic relationship between Jett and Currie, which meant the two actresses would share a passionate on-screen kiss.

However, things were slightly more complicated since Fanning was underage at the time. Stewart told Access Hollywood that “I wasn’t allowed to grope her,” hinting that the law may have prohibited this scene from being as passionate as the filmmakers would have wished.

13 Nicholas Winding Refn’s weird reason for casting Elle in The Neon Demon

Ever since writer/director Nicholas Winding Refn wowed audiences with 2011’s Drive, plenty of A-listers have wanted to team up with the eccentric Danish filmmakers, which happened for Elle Fanning in Refn’s latest feature.

The Neon Demon is set within the fashion industry and follows up-and-comer Jesse (Fanning) as she is preyed upon by the older models who are jealous of her youth.

The Neon Demon divided critics, with many turned-off by grotesque scenes of violence. Possibly even creepier than the story itself is the reason Refn gave for casting Fanning, saying that it allowed him to “live out my perverse dream of being a 16-year-old-girl, which I think every man has inside of him.”

Speak for yourself, Refn.

12 Dakota’s earlier films weren’t exactly kid-friendly

During Dakota Fanning’s childhood, the actress starred in plenty of R-rated features that would be highly inappropriate for a viewer her age.

These films included Tomcats, Trapped, Hide and Seek, Hounddog (more on that later), and Man on Fire, where Fanning appeared opposite Denzel Washington.

In Man on Fire, Fanning played nine-year-old Pita, the daughter of a wealthy Mexican businessman who is kidnapped and held for ransom despite the highly-trained bodyguard (Washington) who was assigned to protector her. A gruesome tale of revenge ensues, in which Washington’s character takes down anyone who took part in Pita’s kidnapping.

Considering how movies are made, it’s hard to know how much adult content Fanning was exposed to on set, though one would only hope that Fannings’ parents waiting a number of years before they let their daughter watch many of these movies in their entirety.

11 Dakota appeared in a banned perfume ad

In 2011, a then 17-year-old Dakota Fanning appeared in an ad for the Marc Jacobs’ fragrance Oh, Lola!, which would go on to be banned in the United Kingdom.

The ad, which featured Fanning holding a large perfume bottle between her legs was declared too “provocative” in the U.K. — where their country’s Advertising Standards Authority is known for being particularly stringent.

Although the photos weren’t revealing in the slightest, some drew a comparison between the name of the fragrance and the controversial 1955 novel Lolita, which paints the underage female protagonist in an alluring light; the Advertising Standards Authority also noted that Fanning looked younger than 17.

Considering the ad itself, both Fanning and Marc Jacobs said they ended up laughing off the supposed controversy and thought that it was only creepy because of the ideas that others were projecting onto the photo.

10 Tom Cruise buys Dakota shoes for her birthdays

Dakota Fanning and Tom Cruise first appeared together in the 2005 sci-fi hit War of the Worlds, where the two shared nearly every scene together. According to Fanning, this has spawned a lifelong friendship between the two stars, which involves Cruise sending Dakota gifts every year for her birthday.

The tradition began on the set of the movie when Cruise reportedly gifted Fanning an iPod. The actress thought the gifts would eventually stop when she turned 18, but they’ve kept coming, with Fanning revealing during an interview with Andy Cohen that “It’s usually shoes.”

While Cruise may be the most polarizing figure to spoil Dakota Fanning, he’s far from the only one. Kurt Russel even went so far as to buy the young actress her own horse after appearing together in Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story.

9 The family moved to L.A. so Dakota could pursue an acting career when she was only five

You probably don’t remember exactly what you were doing at the age of five, but there’s a good chance it didn’t involve uprooting your family and moving them halfway across the country.

By all accounts, Dakota and Elle Fanning were extremely bright children who participated in ballet and community theater at an impressively young age. Dakota even learned how to read by the age of two.

Sensing their daughter’s extreme potential, Dakota’s parents moved the entire family from Georgia to L.A. so their five-year-old could make her big break into the industry.

Though this may be a common occurrence amongst the families of child stars, it doesn’t make it any less suprising when two adults decide to put such a heavy investment into their child. Of course, it didn’t take long for the move to pay off with Dakota landed her first major role by age seven.

8 Elle started acting when she was only two

Dakota’s first paid acting gig in Los Angeles was a Tide ad before she landed guest spots on a number of hit shows, including ER and Malcolm in the Middle. But it was in 2001 that Dakota broke big with her performance in I Am Sam alongside Sean Penn.

Coincidentally, this role also played a big part in Elle’s career, as she was cast to play a younger version of her sister when she was just two years old.

This is often what happens when one child becomes a star — their other siblings ended up getting pulled into the vortex. And the younger they are, the less they have any idea of what they’re getting into.

We’ve seen plenty of child stars grow up and resent their parents for putting this burden on them. Fortunately for the Fannings, everything has seemed to work out surprisingly well for both sisters.

7 Dakota had to wear fake teeth as a child

When the Olsen twins played Michelle on Full House, the two had to wear dentures to preserve the show’s continuity, as they didn’t lose the same baby teeth at the same time.

However, Dakota Fanning has had a long history of dental problems which also required her to wear fake teeth while working as a child actor.

The topic became a recurring theme in many of Dakota’s talk show interviews, where the young actress would show off how many teeth she’d recently had pulled and what kind of dental gear she was currently sporting.

As it turns out, Dakota didn’t have a particular enzyme that helps break down baby teeth, so she had to have all of them eventually pulled out by a dentist. At one point, she even had to wear headgear, which she wasn’t afraid to show off during an apperance on The Tonight Show.

6 Dakota’s acting career may have peaked too soon

Although Dakota Fanning has been working steadily since her debut, when many people think of her most notable films, they’d probably remember her performances in War of the World or Man on Fire.

In fact, Dakota’s first major acting gig in I Am Sam earned the eight-year-old a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role — making her the youngest nominee of all time.

However, Dakota’s more recent work hasn’t been received as warmly by critics, and her last eight features have all been deemed “Rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes.

That being said, her talents as an actress haven’t seemed to diminish, but rather her ability to pick hit movies. Hopefully, this will turn around with Dakota’s well-received performance in TNT’s prestige drama The Alienist and the upcoming The Bell Jar.

5 Elle’s acting career has eclipsed her sister’s

Though Elle has been working almost as long as her older sister, most people probably didn’t get their first real look at the actress until she was cast in J.J. Abrams’ 2011 blockbuster Super 8.

Since then, Elle has starred in a number of big hits including We Bought a Zoo, The Boxtrolls, and Maleficent — where she got to portray the classic Disney princess Sleepy Beauty opposite Angelina Jolie. She’s worked twice with acclaimed director Sofia Coppola. in Somewhere and The Beguiled.

Meanwhile, Dakota’s success at the box office and amongst critics has been faltering. Aside from her supporting appearance as Jane in The Twilight Saga films, most people have probably never even heard of the number of films Dakota has most recently starred in. With Elle appearing in four feature films just last year, it looks as though the younger actress’ career has finally eclipsed her sister’s.

4 Their first names aren’t really Dakota and Elle

For those that have become familiar with the careers of Elle and Dakota Fanning over the years, finding out that their first names aren’t actually Elle and Dakota is probably just as jarring as discovering that Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen aren’t actually identical twins.

As it turns out, both Fanning sisters actually go by their middle names, making their full names Hannah Dakota Fanning and Mary Elle Fanning.

This is often the case in show business for actors who would prefer to have a more recognizable or less traditional name. When it comes to the Fanning sisters, this tradition actually stems from their mother, with Elle saying that their mother has always gone by her middle name, so the two daughters simply ended up following suit.

3 Dakota’s “Hounddog” controversy

Before she was even a teenager, Dakota Fanning starred in the 2007 film Hounddog, where she played a young girl who tries to escape from her impoverished upbringing in 1960s Alabama by listening to the music of Elvis Presley.

In the film’s most controversial scene, Dakota’s character is promised a ticket to an upcoming Elvis concert by an older man. The scene quickly becomes very disturbing.

Though the scene is brief and not visually explicit, the connotations were enough to incite massive backlash toward the filmmakers. Fanning’s parents also received particular scrutiny for letting their daughter be involved in the film.

Despite Hounddog being a critical and commercial flop, Dakota has continued to defend the film, saying she believes the story could help inspire hope in someone who has experienced similar adversity in their life.

2 Elle has received backlash for working with Woody Allen

In light of the #MeToo movement, many stars have expressed regret over working with writer/director Woody Allen, who was accused of abuse by his daughter back in 1992.

Three stars from Allen’s upcoming film, A Rainy Day in New York, have already admitted it was a mistake to work with the director. In fact, Griffin Newman, Rebecca Hall, and Timothee Chalamet have also promised to donate their income from the film to help victims of abuse.

However, Elle Fanning — who plays a leading role in the movie — has continued to be silent on the issue, which has drawn criticism from those who believe Fanning, along with other leading actresses, have helped sustain the career of an alleged abuser.

Regardless, the rising controversy for Allen may already be enough to hinder A Rainy Day in New York from ever seeing the light of day.

1 They didn’t get along until recently

With Elle’s career now beginning to overshadow her sister’s, you may have suspected that sibling rivalry would be at an all-time high. However, with a four-year age gap, the two sisters actually had a harder time getting along while they were growing up.

Dakota told Marie Claire, “There are a few years when you’re both experiencing such different things; age nine and 13 — nothing in common; 12 and 16 — we didn’t know what to do with each other.”

Now that they’re both young adults, it appears as though it’s easier for them to connect.

As far as working in the same industry, both Dakota and Elle have said this isn’t a point of contention as they have drastically different ideas about what they want to do with their careers.

Which one of these Fanning secrets surprised you? Let us know in the comments!

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About The Author

Dylan Dembrow is a freelance writer who regularly produces articles for Screen Rant and The Quiz. He was born and raised in upstate New York before going on to attend the State University of New York College at Buffalo. While there, Dylan continued to explore his lifelong fascination with the entertainment industry by receiving degrees in both Television/ Film Arts and Writing. Dylan’s obsession with movies and TV first began after he popped in a VHS of Pulp Fiction when he was far too young. Aside from Tarantino, a few of Dylan’s favorite filmmakers include the Coen Brothers, John Carpenter, P. T. Anderson, and David Lynch. Dylan currently resides in Boston, where he enjoys hiking and writing original screenplays in his free time. He can be reached at [email protected]

More About Dylan Dembrow

Hey everyone! I have found some interesting information on Dakota Fanning, current as of 2019-12-18. I personally have a love-hate relationship with Dakota Fanning, so was eager to do some deep research into them. Let’s get started!

First… how popular is Dakota Fanning right now? On Google Trends Dakota Fanning had a popularity ranking of 38 ten days ago, 57 nine days ago, 43 eight days ago, 45 seven days ago, 32 six days ago, 36 five days ago, 40 four days ago, 35 three days ago, 35 two days ago, 45 one day ago and now has a popularity rank of 61. So in the recent past, they were gathering the most attention on 2019-12-15 when they had a rank of 61. If we compare Dakota Fanning’s popularity to three months ago, they had an average popularity of 42.9, whereas now their average popularity over the last ten days is 43.2. so by that measure, Dakota Fanning is getting more popular! It’s worth noting, finally, that Dakota Fanning never had a rank of 0, indicating people are always searching for them 🙂

And what about how Dakota Fanning has fared if we consider the entire past 3 months? Our date indicates 2019-11-04 to be their most popular day, when they had a relative rank of 100. Not bad!

As of 2019-12-18, my research indicates that people searching for Dakota Fanning are also searching for these related terms: elle fanning, dakota elle fanning, elle fanning dakota fanning, dakota johnson, dakota fanning movies, dakota fanning once upon a time, dakota fanning once upon a time in hollywood, once upon a time in hollywood, dakota fanning in once upon a time in hollywood, dakota fanning 2019, twilight, dakota fanning twilight, maleficent, dakota fanning and elle fanning, dakota and elle fanning, dakota fanning sister, dakota fanning friends, dakota fanning age, dakota fanning net worth, war of the worlds, dakota fanning instagram, dakota fanning edad, kristen stewart, dakota fanning peliculas and malefica.

I did some more thorough analysis today on the web sentiment regarding Dakota Fanning, and found a number news articles about them in the past month. I may update this post later when I analyze the best ones

Considering everything written about Dakota Fanning (not just official news articles), I decided the overall sentiment for Dakota Fanning on 2019-12-18 is just OK. But what do you think? I’d like to hear your comments (just don’t write anything too mean).

She had to wait nine months as Ms. Kampmeier hunted for investors; the subject matter remained objectionable to most, even with a proven star in the central role, the director said. (Making the most of that delay, Ms. Fanning said, the director sent her an e-mail message with a new question about Lewellen each morning: Favorite color? Favorite food? “That’s why I was so comfortable in Lewellen’s skin,” Ms. Fanning said, “because I knew so much about her.”)

Ms. Kampmeier said investors kept balking at the rape scene, demanding that it be shunted off-screen, merely implied or removed from the plot altogether.

About the online petitions to have her arrested, she said that the district attorney’s office in Wilmington was busy prosecuting real sex crimes, like one in which a 10-year-old girl was impregnated by her father. “All these cases are reported in the newspaper, and nobody ever calls them about that,” she said. “But they get 10 to 20 calls a day from people insisting that my movie be prosecuted.”

Ms. Fanning said the most taxing scene for her was one in which her sleeping character is covered by snakes that slither in through the open window of her tumbledown shack.

But it may be an earlier pivotal scene that draws more critical attention, should “Hounddog” find a distributor. In it Lewellen sings and dances her best Elvis impression — horizontally, on her bed — upon learning that the singer is coming to town. While she does, however, a teenage milkman is in the room, looking on a little too hungrily.

Overly sexual behavior in minors is often a telltale sign of prior abuse, and provocation is, unfortunately, in the eye of the provoked. But to Ms. Kampmeier’s mind, and more important, to Ms. Fanning’s, Lewellen’s dancing in this scene is as innocent as her already corrupted life can get.

“She’s 12 years old,” Ms. Fanning said. “She’s doing that because that’s fun. She’s not going so far as to think, ‘Oh, am I doing something wrong?’ or ‘Is this going to look in a weird way?’ He’s just her milkman. He’s coming to pick up the empties.”

Biography Newsletters

Child Star

Actress. Born Hannah Dakota Fanning on February 23, 1994, in Conyers, Georgia. She was born into an athletic family as the daughter of a minor league baseball player and a tennis player. Her mother enrolled Dakota in an acting class at an early age, and Fanning landed her first commercial at 5 years old.

Fanning first found success in commercials and on television. In 2000, she appeared on such programs as ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and The Practice. Fanning then earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for her work with Sean Penn in I Am Sam (2001). In the film, she played the daughter of a man with mental disabilities (Penn) who becomes the subject of a custody battle. Fanning’s younger sister Elle also appeared in the film.

Big Screen Hits

In 2002, Fanning played a young version of Reese Witherspoon in the popular romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama. She also appeared in the science fiction television miniseries Taken, developed by Steven Spielberg, around this time.

In 2003’s The Cat in the Hat, Fanning played Sally, a beloved children’s book character who, along with her brother, must contend with a visit from the title character (played by Mike Myers). She also starred with Brittany Murphy in the widely panned comedy Uptown Girls (2003). Taking on more substantial subject matter, she appeared opposite Denzel Washington in the crime thriller Man on Fire (2004). She played a young girl kidnapped by a Mexican crime cartel, and Washington portrayed the former assassin turned bodyguard who works to save her.

Continuing to work with A-list stars, Fanning played Tom Cruise’s daughter in the 2005 remake of the science fiction classic War of the Worlds. That same year, also appeared in the thriller Hide and Seek with Robert De Niro and starred opposite Kurt Russell in Dreamer: Inspired By a True Story. She also lent her voice as Lilo Pelekai in the Disney animated movie, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. Returning to more kid-friendly fare, Fanning starred in the film adaptation of Charlotte’s Web (2006), based on the book by E. B. White.

Controversy for ‘Hounddog’

Creating controversy, Fanning appeared in the independent 1950s drama Hounddog (2007). She played a poor southern girl with an obsession with Elvis Presley who endures a sexual assault at the hands of an older teen. Some were shocked by the rape scene because of Fanning’s young age and thought that it could have been potentially damaging to the 12-year-old actress. Others criticized her parents for allowing her to work on the project. Objecting to the criticism, Fanning said that the personal attacks aimed at her family were “extremely uncalled for and hurtful,” according to a report in USA Today.

The following year, Fanning starred in another southern drama, The Secret Life of Bees. She played a young girl who runs away from home with her caregiver (Jennifer Hudson) and finds sanctuary with three sisters. Trying her hand at an action film, Fanning appeared in Push (2009) as a girl with paranormal powers. The film proved to be a commercial and critical flop. She had better luck with her voiceover efforts that year, voicing the title character in Coraline, a fantastical tale by Neil Gaiman about a girl who finds a seemingly better version of her family by opening a door to an alternate world.

‘Twilight’ and Other Roles

Also in 2009, Fanning had a appearance in the hit film New Moon, the second installment in the popular teen vampire films based on the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer. She had a supporting role in the film, playing Jane, a vampire who can hurt people just by looking at them. During the making of the film, Fanning became good friends with actress Kristen Stewart. The two then worked together on The Runaways (2010), which chronicled the rise and fall of the innovative 1970s all-girl punk band. Stewart played rock icon Joan Jett while Fanning played Cherie Currie, the group’s lead singer known for her highly sexual stage persona. The film is based on Currie’s autobiography Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway.

Fanning reprised the role of Jane in 2012’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. In addition to taking on more acting projects, she also hopes to get a chance to work behind the camera. “I would love to direct someday. I’ve learned a lot from watching the directors I’ve worked with, like Steven Spielberg and Gary Winick,” she told Time magazine.

In early 2018, Fanning returned to television for the first time in more than a decade with a starring role in The Alienist. Set in late 19th century Manhattan, The Alienist features Fanning as an ambitious police secretary with eyes on becoming a detective as she helps investigate a serial killer.

Dakota Fanning Biography


Dakota Fanning delivered an acclaimed performance in the 2001 Sean Penn film I Am Sam before her seventh birthday. By 2005, the blond moppet had accrued more major film credits than she had years in age.

Dakota Fanning

Born in February of 1994, Fanning hails from Conyers, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Her father, Steve, had once played minor-league baseball for a St. Louis Cardinals farm team. Her mother, Joy, recognized her first daughter’s precocity—Fanning could read before she turned three—and enrolled the kindergartner in an acting workshop. Fanning summed up her career path in an interview with the Daily Record of Glasgow, Scotland, telling the newspaper that the acting coaches “all thought I should go with an agency. So my mom got me with an agency in Georgia and they thought I should come out to so we did.”

Fanning’s professional debut was in a television commercial for Tide laundry detergent. The family moved out to Los Angeles in January of 2000, and a slew of roles television roles followed: she made her network debut on an episode of ER that aired in April of 2000, played a five-year-old Ally McBeal a month later, and won little-kid parts in such top-rated prime-time dramas as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and The Practice as well as on comedy staples like Spin City and Malcolm in the Middle. She also played a part-alien child in the Steven Spielberg miniseries Taken in 2002.

By then, however, Fanning had already attracted tremendous notice for her role in I Am Sam as the young daughter of a developmentally disabled man who must fight to retain custody of her. Sean Penn played her father, Sam, a Starbucks employee, whose liaison with a homeless woman several years earlier resulted in an unexpected pregnancy. The birth mother abandons her at the hospital and flees, and Sam—an ardent Beatles fan—names her Lucy Diamond and learns to take care of her with the help of a kindly neighbor (Dianne Wiest). But as Fanning’s Lucy enters second grade, her teachers begin to suspect she may be deliberately holding herself back as a way to stay at her father’s mental level, and the California family-and-children social services agency tries to terminate his parental rights. Penn was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal, but Fanning won high marks as well. Terming the youngster “an absolute angel with smarts,” in his Hollywood Reporter review, Kirk Honeycutt declared she “delivers her lines like a seasoned pro.”

Fanning was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for the film, becoming the youngest nominee in the award’s history. She lost out, however, to Helen Mirren for Gosford Park, but Fanning did beat out Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe and Haley Joel Osment ( AI: Artificial Intelligence ) for the Best Young Actor honor from the Broadcast Film Critics Association. When she took the stage, there was no step for her nearby so that she might reach the podium’s microphone, so award presenter Orlando Bloom picked her up and held her up. She gave a surprisingly long speech.

Suddenly a hot Hollywood name, Fanning went on to appear in a number of other major motion pictures. She had a bit part as the young Melanie, Reese Witherspoon’s character, in Sweet Home Alabama, and took a starring role opposite Brittany Murphy in the 2003 comedy Uptown Girls. Murphy was cast as Molly, the Manhattan party-girl daughter of dead rock royalty who is forced to become a nanny when her accountant absconds with her fortune. The carefree, stalled-adolescent Molly begins taking care of Fanning’s Ray, the ultra-serious but largely neglected daughter of a vixenish record-company executive. Ray is bossy, germophobic, devoted to ballet, and a health-food nut—the antithesis of Molly—but the two eventually find a common bond and learn from one another. Uptown Girls earned largely negative reviews, however. “Fanning is wonderfully somber and owlish as a tragicomic specimen of precocity, but in the end she’s just an accessory to Molly’s wardrobe of attitudinal poses,” wrote Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum.

The same fate befell Fanning’s next project, The Cat in the Hat, a lavish adaptation of the beloved Dr. Seuss children’s book. She starred as Sally, the little girl whose household is invaded by the mischief-making feline, played by Mike Myers. Nevertheless, her ability to work with top-caliber stars impressed noted action-film director Tony Scott, who cast her in the 2004 vengeance flick Man on Fire. This time, Fanning shared crucial screen-time with Denzel Washington, who played a former assassin named Creasy who hires himself out as a bodyguard. She played Pita, whose father hires Washington’s character to protect her in Mexico while her parents are gone on a business trip. The unlikely pair bond, but when a shadowy cartel kidnaps her, Washington’s character pulls no punches in tracking down the criminals. “Strong work from Washington and his extremely sympathetic co-star Dakota Fanning compensate somewhat for Tony Scott’s overbearing direction,” noted Film Journal International writer Daniel Eagan. The San Francisco Examiner ‘s Edith Alderette noted that the young co-star, “who seems hopelessly typecast as ‘the precocious kid,’ doesn’t do the role disservice. She’s adorable, as always, and she provides a good springboard for some witty repartee between Pita and Creasy, but once Pita’s kidnapped, her job is done.”

Upcoming projects for Fanning included Hide and Seek with Robert De Niro, Dreamer with Kurt Russell, and as Tom Cruise’s daughter in a remake of the infamous alien-invasion drama The War of the Worlds, directed by Spielberg. Her younger sister, Elle, is also a budding film star who has appeared in Daddy Day Care. Fanning says she has little trouble crying on cue when the script calls for it, and sometimes revisits the day her pet goldfish flopped out of his bowl to get the job done. “I just think about Flounder dying and it makes me sad,” she told People. Such scenes were not the most challenging part of her career, she said in an interview with the New York Post. “You get to know everybody for so long, for two months, and then you have to say goodbye and then you’re like ‘NO!'” she explained. “That’s the hardest part.”

Hannah Dakota Fanning (born February 23, 1994), better known simply as Dakota Fanning, appears in New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn – Part 2 as Jane. Fanning’s breakthrough performance was Lucy in I Am Sam in 2001. As a child actress, she appeared in high-profile films such as Man on Fire, War of the Worlds, and Charlotte’s Web. Fanning began transitioning to more adult roles with Hounddog and The Secret Life of Bees. She has won numerous awards and is currently the youngest person ever to have been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Personal lifeEdit

Fanning was born in Conyers, Georgia, the daughter of Joy (née Arrington), who played tennis professionally, and Steve Fanning, who played minor league baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals and now works as an electronics salesman in Los Angeles. Her maternal grandfather was former American football player, Rick Arrington, and her aunt is former ESPN reporter Jill Arrington. Dakota is the older sister of Elle Fanning, who is also an actress.

Her father had wanted to name her “Dakota” and her mother wanted to name her “Hannah”, So they named her “Hannah Dakota”.

Fanning is of half German descent and her last name is of Irish origin. Fanning and her family are members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Fanning attended Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, California and was on the varsity spirit cheerleading squad. She graduated in June 2011 at the age of 17. She is now attending New York University. She is enrolled in the class of 2015.


Fanning began acting at the age of five after appearing on a Tide commercial. Her first significant acting job was a guest-starring role in the NBC prime-time drama, ER, which remains one of her favorite roles (“I played a car accident victim who has leukemia. I got to wear a neck brace and nose tubes for the two days I worked.”)

Fanning subsequently had several guest roles on established television series, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Practice, Spin City. She also portrayed the title characters of Ally McBeal and The Ellen Show as young girls. In 2001, Fanning was chosen to star opposite Sean Penn in the movie I Am Sam, the story of a mentally challenged man who fights for the custody of his daughter (played by Fanning).

Her role in the film made Fanning the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, being eight years of age at the time. She also won the Best Young Actor/Actress award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for her performance.

In 2002, director Steven Spielberg cast Fanning in the lead child role of Allison “Allie” Clarke/Keys in the science fiction miniseries Taken. By this time, she had received positive notices by several film critics, including Tom Shales of The Washington Post, who wrote that Fanning “has the perfect sort of otherworldly look about her, an enchanting young actress called upon … to carry a great weight.”

In the same year, Fanning appeared in three films; as a kidnap victim who proves to be more than her abductors bargained for in Trapped; as the young version of Reese Witherspoon’s character in Sweet Home Alabama, and as Katie in the movie Hansel and Gretel.

Dakota Fanning in Uptown Girls

Fanning was featured even more prominently in two films released in 2003; playing the uptight child to an immature nanny played by Brittany Murphy in Uptown Girls, and as Sally in The Cat in the Hat.

Fanning did voice-over work for four animated projects during this period; as Satsuki in Disney’s English language release of My Neighbor Totoro, as Kim Possible in preschool in the Disney Channel series Kim Possible, as a little girl in the Fox series Family Guy, and as young Wonder Woman in an episode of Cartoon Network’s Justice League.

In 2004, Fanning appeared in Man on Fire as Pita, a nine-year-old who wins over the heart of a retired mercenary hired to protect her from kidnappers. Roger Ebert wrote that Fanning “is a pro at only 10 years old, and creates a heart-winning character.”

Man on Fire

Hide and Seek was her first release in 2005, opposite Robert De Niro. The film was generally panned, and critic Chuck Wilson called it “a fascinating meeting of equals — if the child star challenged the master to a game of stare-down, the legend might very well blink first.” Fanning voiced Lilo (succeeding Daveigh Chase) in the direct-to-video film Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. She also had a small part in the film Nine Lives (released in October 2005), in which she shared an unbroken nine-minute scene with actress Glenn Close, who had her own praise for Fanning: “She’s definitely an old soul. She’s one of those gifted people that come along every now and then.” Fanning also recorded voice work for Coraline during this time, though it wasn’t released until February 6, 2009.

Fanning completed filming on Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (opposite Kurt Russell) in late October 2004. Russell declared he was astonished by his co-star’s performance in the film. Russell, 54, who plays her father in the movie, says, “I guarantee you, (Dakota) is the best actress I will work with in my entire career.” Kris Kristofferson, who plays her character’s grandfather in the movie, said that she’s like Bette Davis reincarnated. While promoting her role in Dreamer, Fanning became a registered member of Girl Scouts of the USA at a special ceremony, which was followed by a screening of the film for members of the Girl Scouts of the San Fernando Valley Council. She is not a member of a troop, but rather registered as a “Juliette”, GSUSA’s title for independently registered girls.

Fanning in War of the Worlds.

She then went directly to the set of War of the Worlds, starring alongside Tom Cruise. Released in reverse order (War in June 2005 and Dreamer in the following October), both films were critical successes. War director Steven Spielberg praised “how quickly she understands the situation in a sequence, how quickly she sizes it up, measures it up and how she would really react in a real situation.”

After filming was completed on War of the Worlds, Fanning moved straight to another film, without a break: Charlotte’s Web, which she finished filming in May 2005, in Australia. Released on December 15, 2006, Web met generally warm critical acclaim. Producer Jordan Kerner said, “…when she was so caught up in War of the Worlds, we had to end up going on a search for other young actresses. They would have been nothing compared to her.”

Over the summer of 2006, Fanning worked on the film Hounddog, described in press reports as a “dark story of abuse, violence and Elvis Presley adulation in the rural South.” Fanning’s parents have been criticized for allowing her to film a scene in which her character is raped. However, in response, Fanning said that “It’s not really happening,” to Reuters. “It’s a movie, and it’s called acting.” Director Deborah Kampmeier addressed the controversy in the January 2007 edition of Premiere: “The assumption that was violated in order to give this performance denies her talent.”

In 2006, at the age of 12, she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, becoming the youngest member in the Academy’s history.

Dakota Fanning as Jane in Eclipse

In March and April 2007, she filmed Winged Creatures. She played Anne Hagen, a girl who witnesses her father’s murder and who turns to religion in the aftermath. In July 2007, Fanning appeared in a short film titled Cutlass, which also featured Kristen Stewart. From September to December 2007, Fanning filmed Push which centers on a group of young American expatriates with telekinetic and clairvoyant abilities who hide from a U.S. government agency in Hong Kong and band together to try to escape the control of the division. Fanning plays Cassie Holmes, a thirteen-year-old psychic. Push was released on December 6, 2009.

In January 2008, Fanning began filming the movie adaptation of The Secret Life of Bees, a novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Set in South Carolina in 1964, the story centers on Lily Owens (Fanning), who escapes her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father by running away with her caregiver and only friend to a South Carolina town where they are taken in by an eccentric trio of beekeeping sisters.

Fanning was cast as Jane in the 2009 film New Moon, the sequel to Twilight, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer. Fanning reprises her role as Jane in the film Eclipse, the novel sequel to New Moon. For her role in the Twilight saga she appeared in a few teen magazines. In one of them she told the world she isn’t a little girl anymore comparing pictures of Jane to pictures of her younger roles.

She appears in The Runaways alongside Kristen Stewart and Scout Taylor-Compton where she plays Cherie Currie, the lead singer of the titular band.



Year Film Role Notes
2001 Father Xmas Claire Short subject
Tomcats Little Girl in Park
I Am Sam Lucy Diamond Dawson Dakota’s younger sister, Elle Fanning, plays the younger version of Lucy
2002 Trapped Abigail “Abbie” Jennings
Sweet Home Alabama Young Melanie
Hansel and Gretel Katie
2003 Uptown Girls Lorraine “Ray” Schleine
The Cat in the Hat Sally Walden
Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time Preschool Kim Voice
2004 Man on Fire Lupita “Pita” Martin Ramos
My Neighbor Totoro Satsuki Kusakabe Voice (English version)
In the Realms of the Unreal Narrator Voice
2005 Hide and Seek Emily Callaway
Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch Lilo Voice
Nine Lives Maria
War of the Worlds Rachel Ferrier
Dreamer Cale Crane
2006 Charlotte’s Web Fern Arable Elle Fanning plays Fern’s granddaughter in alternate ending
2007 Hounddog Lewellen
Cutlass Lacy Short film
2008 The Secret Life of Bees Lily Owens
2009 Coraline Coraline Voice
Push Cassie Holmes
Fragments – Winged Creatures Anne Hagen
The Twilight Saga: New Moon Jane
2010 The Runaways Cherie Currie
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Jane
2012 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Jane
Celia Hannah Jones Short film
The Motel Life Annie James
Now is Good Tessa Scott
2013 Night Moves Dena Brauer
The Last of Robin Hood Beverly Aadland
2014 Very Good Girls Lilly Berger
Effie Gray Euphemia ‘Effie’ Gray
Every Secret Thing Ronnie Fuller
Yellowbird Delf Voice role; English version
2015 The Benefactor Olivia
2016 Brimstone Liz
American Pastoral Merry Levov
The Escape Lily Short film
Viena and the Fantomes Viena
2018 Ghost Wars Marina Richards
The Bell Jar Esther Greenwood
Ocean’s Eight Penelope Stern


Year Title Role Episode(s)
2000 ER Delia Chadsey “The Fastest Year”
Ally McBeal Young Ally “Ally McBeal: The Musical, Almost”
Strong Medicine Edie’s Girl “Misconceptions”
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Brenda Collins “Blood Drops”
The Practice Alessa Engel “The Deal”
Spin City Cindy “Toy Story”
2001 Malcolm in the Middle Emily “New Neighbors”
The Fighting Fitzgeralds Marie “Pilot”
Family Guy Little girl “To Love and Die in Dixie”
The Ellen Show Young Ellen “Missing the Bus”
2004 Justice League Unlimited Young Wonder Woman (voice) “Kid Stuff”
Friends Mackenzie “The One with Princess Consuela”


Year Work Award Category Result
2001 I Am Sam Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Young Actress Won
2002 I Am Sam Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award Youth in Film Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Satellite Award Outstanding New Talent Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award Most Promising Performer Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Actress Age Ten or Under Won
2003 Taken Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Special – Leading Young Actress Nominated
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series Nominated
2004 Man on Fire Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Young Actress Nominated
The Cat in the Hat Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress Nominated
2005 Man on Fire Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress Nominated
Nine Lives Gotham Award Best Ensemble Cast Nominated
Locarno International Film Festival Best Actress Won
Hide and Seek MTV Movie Award Best Frightened Performance Won
N/A Relly Awards Best Junior Achiever Won
War of the Worlds Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards Youth in Film Won
Irish Film and Television Award Best International Actress Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Young Actress Won
2006 War of the Worlds MTV Movie Award Best Frightened Performance Nominated
Saturn Award Best Performance by a Younger Actor Won
Dreamer Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Favourite Movie Actress Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Won
Charlotte’s Web Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Young Actress Nominated
2007 Charlotte’s Web Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Favourite Movie Actress Won
2008 The Secret Life of Bees Black Reel Award Best Ensemble Cast Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Young Actress Nominated
2009 The Secret Life of Bees Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Won
2010 Coraline Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role – Young Actor/Actress Nominated
The Runaways MTV Movie Award Best Kiss – With co-star Kristen Stewart Nominated

External linksEdit

  • Dakota Fanning on Wikipedia
  • Dakota Fanning at the Internet Movie Database
  • Dakota Fanning at

Dakota Fanning Opens Up About Her Directorial Debut, Producing and Time’s Up

“The anxiety you feel, it just doesn’t go away,” she said of helming her first film.

She’s already a Miu Miu muse, and now Dakota Fanning can add director to her résumé.

The soon-to-be 24-year-old celebrated her birthday early with the London Fashion Week premiere of Hello Apartment, her 10-minute short film for the brand as part of its Women’s Tales series. (Watch it here.)

Fanning, who started her career as a child actor, says the desire to direct has always been there.

“I’ve worked with so many amazing directors and the relationship I’ve had with them as an actor has been one of the best parts of making a film for me and the relationships have lasted, so I always wanted to have that kind of relationship with an actor from the other side,” she said.

But being the boss had its stresses, which she learned on the set. “The anxiety you feel in the beginning of a day, it just doesn’t go away, and you go home and it still doesn’t go away because you are going back the next day,” she said. “As an actor if somebody asks me a question and I don’t know the answer I send them to ask the director, and then you become that person.”

She’s worked with directors Steven Spielberg, Ewan McGregor, and Gary Ross — not a bad few to learn from. Based upon Fanning’s experiences moving into her first place in New York, the script for Hello Apartment was penned by The Post screenwriter Liz Hannah.

But the film is a hazy, gauzy dream with few words, sketching a tale of love and loss with some tears, pretty dresses and spilled wine. Fanning says that happened in the editing process.

“There is a super dialogue-heavy narrative version that exists as well,” she said, with not only the script, but lots of ad lib from stars Tom Sturridge and Eve Hewson. But ultimately she wanted to capture a feeling.

“In the editing room you have to make the decision of which way are you going to go, and it couldn’t be both. Ultimately the story I wanted to tell was not specific to words,” she said. Instead it was about nostalgia and leaving scars on a place.

She collaborated with her stylist Samantha McMillen to use Miu Miu, weaving the latest collection throughout the film. The pair didn’t want Hewson to “be a unicorn” in pretty designer dresses that didn’t fit with the story, and made sure other actors were clad in the line as well. Sturridge wore sister brand Prada.

She’s set to be producing The Bell Jar, directed by Kirsten Dunst. The project is on hold but still moving forward. “There’s a lot of things happening with that,” she says, not the least of which is Dunst’s pregnancy. “So it’s like yes, but no, but yes.”

As far as #TimesUp, Fanning says we’re on the cusp of real change. “It is time for the industry and the world to listen to women. I think it’s a conversation that has been happening in some ways for many, many years, and when you think about the progress that hasn’t been made it can be frustrating, but you have to keep having the conversation regardless. It will be really amazing when you don’t have to make a distinction between male and female directors.”

Actress Dakota Fanning is only 23 years old, but has already been a household name for years thanks to her roles in such varied films as I Am Sam, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Twilight Saga. Most recently, she starred in Brimstone and American Pastoral, a film based on the Philip Roth novel of the same name, as Merry Levov, a teenager who becomes involved in political terrorism; and next, she is collaborating with Kirsten Dunst on an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Here, Fanning opens up about these challenging roles, how she handles what people think about her, and more.

Lynn Hirschberg: In 2016 you starred in American Pastoral. How did the project evolve?

Dakota Fanning: So American Pastoral came to me a few years ago, with a different director and with Ewan McGregor and Jennifer Connelly attached as actors to play my parents. So we were all three attached as actors for a while and this director ended up not being able to do it. It was one of those movies that like you kept thinking, “Oh, maybe I’m going to be working on it in the fall,” and then the fall would be there and then you wouldn’t be working on it and, “Oh, maybe it’s going to be in the spring.” It just kept getting pushed and pushed and pushed and then when that director fell out that’s when Ewan asked if he could direct it. And they said yes and he still wanted me to be in it–I definitely had a moment of like, “Oh no, what if he doesn’t want me to do it, like okay, that would be hard,” but he did so that’s that.

In the film, your character is in a cult. Was it difficult for you to go to play such a dark character?

So my character’s name is Merry, in the middle of the film she becomes a Jane. Jane-ism is basically a religion that believes that you do no harm to anything, so that even includes like not bathing because you would be doing harm to the water. They sometimes sweep the ground in front of them so they brush away any living being so they don’t step on them, they wear masks to not harm the air when they breathe, I had a mask that was made out of pantyhose, so it’s super intense. I definitely did have to go to some really dark places but as an actor that is what I look forward to and love doing the most because I like – it makes me feel like I’ve actually done something hard, and pushed myself and – so there’s a sequence in the movie when my character is at her lowest and I couldn’t wait to do those scenes. I was so excited and I could’ve done that the whole time.

Did you stop bathing or did you do anything particular to put yourself in the mood?

I was method by chance simply because I had no energy when I would get back because we were filming all those scenes in the middle of the night so I would kind of get back and not wash my hair and so I was kind of living weirdly as a Jane just by total coincidence, total accident, laziness. Um, but no, most of it is acting.

It’s really a heartbreaking film.

Yeah, Merry goes really dark and I think that Ewan is seeing as her father that pain of sort of losing your child and that there’s nothing you can do. Obviously – I mean, I don’t have kids, but I can imagine that would be the worst thing that could possibly happen to a parent. So those scenes were tough, but they were also kind of inspiring and invigorating. I think Ewan and I felt really connected during those dark scenes as actors and as a director and an actor. My scenes are mostly only with Ewan and he was the director, and that was my first time having the person that you’re opposite direct you. I will really remember the experience of making this film for a lot of reasons but especially that because it was my first time ever having that happen and it couldn’t have been better; it was so wonderful. I loved getting to share that with him too.

How did your family feel watching the film?

Apparently my sister saw the film and had a really horrifying reaction to it like and she got really upset by it. Which I suppose I’m happy about that because that means like it moves somebody and even somebody that knows me as well as my sister that I could still make her feel that way, that was kind of exciting, but then I was like, “But you do the same thing, like what do you mean?” I wasn’t with when they watched it. I can never really take compliments from my family for some reason. I’m always like, “Okay, thank you. Thanks, thanks, like glad you liked it, okay.” I don’t know why but it makes me really uncomfortable when they compliment me. It’s not that often to be honest but, my mom is so southern–you don’t take a compliment; you don’t brag. You just say thank you. So that’s how she is, she tells me in private but like not ever in front of another person.

Do you have trouble watching it yourself because I would think it would be hard to watch yourself in that movie?

I actually don’t have any trouble watching this movie. I don’t know what it is. I really love watching it each time. I’ve seen it three times now. Maybe because I just really don’t feel like myself. Like I have a stutter in the movie for a big portion of it, so I don’t really sound like myself and then later on I don’t look like myself so I think I really have some distance from it so maybe that’s why it’s easier to watch.

When you were a kid, I think most of the characters you played were pretty happy. Did you feel like it’s harder to convince people that you can be a darker character now?

I mean I’ve never really thought about whether I’m going to play a darker character or a lighter character. It just has been what it is. I think that I have always had to let go of caring what other people expect from me or caring what other people think that I can do because inevitably there are preconceived notions of who I am and what I’m capable of because I started out so young, which I think is unfair, of course, but I’ve let that go. I’ve let that go because I think that that would just drive me crazy and make me make choices for the wrong reasons, make choices to prove something, when in reality I don’t have anything to prove you know. I just let my work speak for itself and who I am speak for itself you know, like that’s all I can do. So I just try and let that go, but it’s been interesting because this film American Pastoral has been like a film that people have said, “Oh my god, you’re so – you’re finally so grown up!” and I’m like, “Okay, I guess.” Because Merry – actually when I play her – I start playing her at 16. I was playing someone younger than I actually was; I was 21 when I did the movie. You know, perception follows people no matter if you’re an actor or not. It’s just as human beings that we assume and put people in weird boxes without knowing them all the time. So I totally understand it and I’m guilty of it myself but I try and curb it because I know how it feels.

I’ve always felt like I was expected to be mature and wise beyond my years like an old soul, which people would say about me. It’s a compliment, but I didn’t have to try to be those things, you know. I never tried to be those things. Some days I am an old soul and some days I’m not.

Dakota Fanning’s Style Evolution from Young Starlet to Fashion Darling

Dakota Fanning has been making waves on the red carpet since the early 2000’s. Here she is at the premiere of The Santa Clause 2, wearing floral embroidered denim and a sweet white top with peter pan collar. 2002.

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Dakota Fanning was pretty in pastel wearing an adorable tea length dress to the premiere of her first major film Uptown Girls. 2003.

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Fanning was all dressed up and tied with a bow at the 2003 Annual Emmy Awards. The look was finished with a pair of black Mary Janes that spoke to the star’s youthful energy. 2003.

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Dakota Fanning looked sophisticated as she stepped away from girly dresses at the premiere of Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story with a black and white skirt and shirt. 2005.

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At the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s 12th Annual Critic’s Choice Awards, Fanning had a moment in gold lace, again finishing the look with a pair of Mary Janes. 2007.

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Skipping any awkward phases altogether, Fanning emerged as a stylish teen at the premiere of The Twilight Saga: New Moon wearing a black, lace mini dress and sky-high heels. 2009.

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Fanning stepped out with the fashion crowd at the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards in a flirty white lace dress. 2010.

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Fanning wows in another lace mini dress, and pumps by Christian Louboutin, at the Los Angeles premiere of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. 2010.

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The young actress changed pace at the 19th Annual BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia, wearing a major floor-length, drop waist gown. Fanning looked glamorous and understated, setting the tone for more chic looks in years to come. 2010.

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Fanning was the definition of an ethereal beauty on the red carpet at the ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ Met Gala . 2011.

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Fanning looked all grown up sitting front row at Marc Jacobs Spring 2012 runway collection show, wearing a youthful and playful daisy print mini dress. 2011.

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Fanning was a metallic goddess on the red carpet for the London premiere of All is Good wearing a stunning, embellished gown by Stella McCartney and a Lanvin clutch. 2012.

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Fanning showed off her dark side on the red carpet at a screening of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 wearing a gown straight off of Valentino’s Spring 2013 runway. 2012.

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Fanning kicked her look up a notch at the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Night Moves wearing a sparkly black and turquoise mesh two-piece look from the Atelier Versace Fall 2013 collection. 2013.

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Fanning continued her streak of dark glamour wearing a long, sheer gown to the Louis Vuitton Spring 2014 runway show. 2013.

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Fanning changed up the pace in a pale pink at the 2013 Americans for the Arts event wearing a goddess-esque gown by Vionnet. 2013.

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Fanning looked chic and elegant in a little black dress at the Christian Dior Spring 2015 runway collection show. 2014.

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Lady in red. Fanning matched her lipstick to her fringed Valentino dress at the world premiere of Effie Gray. 2014.

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Fanning looked chic and sporty wearing a dress from the collection with a part of peep toe booties at the Alexander Wang X H&M launch event. 2014.

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Fanning attended the 2nd Annual Save the Children Illumination Gala wearing a strapless navy dress by Zac Posen paired with nude sandals by Christian Louboutin. 2014.

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Fanning opted for another strapless dress, by Max Mara, to the Whitney Museum of American Art opening dinner. 2015.

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Later that year, the actress wore a slinky little black dress with black peep toe pumps to a BCBG Young Hollywood event. 2015.

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Sitting front row at Dior’s Cruise 2016 runway show, Fanning wore a playful, elegant strapless dress from the designer’s collection. 2015.

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The fashion darling wore an embellished mini-dress to the Valentino Fall runway show at Paris Fashion Week. 2016.

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Fanning landed on W’s Best Dressed list when she attended Valentino’s Spring 2017 show in Paris wearing a black lace midi dress from the designer’s previous season with black high waited knickers and bra by Eres. 2016.

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Dakota Fanning surprised us with a pop of color at the premiere of American Pastoral wearing an orange cut-out dress by David Koma and Tamara Mellon silver sandals. 2016.

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Dakota Fanning channeled classic Hollywood Glamour wearing a form fitting black gown by Dolce and Gabbana with Tiffany jewelry, at the screening of American Pastoral at the Modern Museum of Art. 2016.

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Later that year, the actress showed off her playful side as she continued to promote her latest film, American Pastoral. The multi-colored , ruffled dress by Alexander McQueen was a different look for Fanning, but stayed true to her love of a high fashion mini-dress. 2016.

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Seeing stars. Fanning stood out on the red carpet at the 4th Annual Save the Children Illumination event wearing an Elie Saab sheer star-embellished dress with belt from the designer’s spring collection. 2016.

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At the Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker program, Fanning paired a tweed mini-dress with chunky Chanel pearl buttoned, gold heeled boots showing off both her affection for edgy flair and lady like style. 2016.

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Fanning keeps its sweet and girly in tiered pink frills while stopping by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. 2017.

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What else are you doing this year?

I’m doing a little short film with the director Neill Blomkamp, but I’m mostly thinking about and working on a film adaptation of The Bell Jar. Which I’m producing and I’m in and yeah, I’m very excited.

That’s the coolest thing ever. Who’s the director?

Kirsten Dunst. I’m super excited about it and it’s the first time I’ve ever been really involved in something from very early stages and putting it together and making like decisions that you don’t get to make as an actor.

Has Kirsten directed anything before?

She’s directed short films before. Kirsten has directed short films before but this is her first time directing a feature.

And when do you hope to start?

In the spring. I hope to start in the spring. We actually think we want to film it in Boston, which is where Sylvia Path is from, and then maybe a little bit in New York for some of the New York moments.

That is super exciting. Congratulations.

Now, time for some fun questions. Where was your first kiss?

Sweet Home Alabama – the first scene of the movie I play young Reese Witherspoon and that was my first kiss. I was seven years old, he was 10, it was very, you know, it was nerve-wracking.

But for a 10-year old he’s got quite a line because you say something along the lines of, I want to marry you…

Yeah, I say, “What do you want to marry me for anyhow?” and he says, “So I can kiss you anytime I want.”

And then he leans in like he’s a pro…

He’s like hot stuff for a seven and a 10-year old I think. My studio teacher who was my teacher my whole life before I went to high school, she was with me on that movie and she told this story all the time. In between each take we would do the kiss, right, and then I would slowly turn away and wipe my mouth off so he couldn’t see or so no one could see becauseI was trying to be kind but I wasn’t really into it.

You were seven! And you looked adorable.

I’m also like miniature, like so tiny because I was always so small for my age so I was 7 but I was so short and small. I remember they like curled my hair in this whole style for that movie and like straightened it and had like this whole thing and we filmed it like on the beach in Florida and they didn’t realize that I had curly hair and I just walked out of the trailer and like poof, like it just didn’t – it was like gone. The style was gone and I knew that it was gonna be gone but I was so young like I didn’t say to them, “Don’t do that like it’s not gonna work out,” because I just let it happen. I didn’t know you know – I didn’t know and it was like 2 seconds later like all curls, like soaking wet, sweaty, and they just let it be like that.

Okay, so after that initial excitement when you were 7…

My real first kiss?


My real first kiss was in my driveway. I was 14 and I was walking him out, he had been over at my house swimming in my pool and I was walking him out and I had gotten him a gift and I forgot it so I ran back inside and he was wearing a baseball cap and when I came back out he had turned the baseball cap around and I remember thinking, “Oh my god. Oh god. That’s what that means.” And then, that was it. It was like against my mom’s car in the driveway and then I remember coming inside and just feeling like everybody could see it all over me, like there was something like on my face. It was kind of intense so it felt like his 16-year old scruff had kind of chaffed me a little bit and so I just felt like everyone could – that I was bright red and everyone knew and everyone could tell. I just remember being like, “Oh, everyone knows.” And I knew my sister was probably like looking outside, like she’s such a weirdo like that; she totally would do that, so funny.

What was your favorite birthday?

My favorite birthday was my – part of me wants to say my 21st birthday and then part of me wants to say my 10th birthday. My 10th birthday – was on the set of this movie called Hide and Seek with Robert DeNiro, and I went in the lunchroom like everything was normal and then everyone was like, “Surprise,” and they had my favorite foods and like my favorite cake and like Bob was there in like a little party hat and it was so fun and so cute. I think they decorated my dressing room on the sound stage, like it was so fun and made me feel so special. And then my 21st was just wild so that’s why I liked my 21st too.

What did you do that was wild?

I had like my actual birthday night where I went to a dive bar for the very first time, like I never snuck into anywhere I wasn’t supposed to go. If there was like an after-party or a movie or something that was at like a club then of course I would get to go to that, but I never snuck around or went anywhere that I wasn’t supposed to go, like I was too afraid of getting in trouble. So I really had never been to a dive bar with a pool table so that’s all I wanted to do and so that’s what I did on my actual birthday. And then I had a party like the weekend of. I had a big party, and it was so fun.

Was there karaoke?

That was my 22nd birthday I did karaoke, yeah.

What’s your karaoke song?

Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats,” is my karaoke song.

That’s a good one. What movie makes you cry?

Um, I’ve realized that when I’m feeling unsafe I need to watch the movie Almost Famous and it makes me cry and laugh and it’s like the movie that I can’t turn off when it comes on you know. I love it.

I love that. Is that a particular scene that gets to you?

I think when they sing “Tiny Dancer” in the van and when – when Kate Hudson – when he tells her that she was like traded for a case of beer and she says, “What kind of beer?”

And who’s your current cinematic crush?

Hmm, my current cinematic crush? I’m trying to think what movie – oh, I watched Notes on a Scandal for the first time, I had never seen it before, and they’re both so – Cate Blanchett and Dame Judi Dench are so incredible in that, so it’s like I can’t really choose but that film, I’m obsessed with – I was crushing on their talents hard.

They’re major in that movie.

The movie is like – it’s insane. My mom is not a movie person weirdly, but she watched that film recently on an airplane and it’s one of like maybe five times in my life that my mom has been like, “I loved this movie, like you have to watch it,” so that’s what made me like actually watch it because I was like whoa, for my mom to say that…


Dakota fanning age 12

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