Elle Fanning, 7HollywoodMag - Fall 2013/14
With her quirky red carpet fashion statements and signature alabaster skin Elle Fanning is making Hollywood’s gatekeepers stand up and take notice. At just 15 years of age, Elle has already amassed a weighty portfolio of TV shows and films.
Fanning has made speedy progress since playing a younger version of Dakota's character in the emotional drama "I Am Sam" (2001) at the tender age of three. She offers insight and eloquence that defy her years, brandishing the talent and work ethic that ensure she will be around a while.
Having begun her career before her third birthday, actress Elle followed in the footsteps of older sister, Dakota by becoming a notable performer who tackled challenging roles no matter her age. Elle reflects on her early experiences as an actress so early.
"I didn’t understand the concept at that point. I was just so young I didn’t realize the process. I just played on a swing with Sean Penn and I can remember having a lot of fun rolling around on the grass."
She adds, "when I got older and was about four and I did The Door Before was when I realized that we were making movies. It was then that I understood it was make believe and that I was just playing a character. It’s always been fun and it’s nice to play different characters and use your imagination to explore them and make them fun. I’ve made a choice that acting is what I want to do for ever and ever if I can."
Bright, bubbly and full of zest she brandishes youthful resilience and candor fans have grown fond of. On a steamy summer’s day in LA she offers some fresh perceptions, bouncing over the phone like a bubbly schoolgirl. "Hi, I’m just hanging at the beach, it’s summer and I’m out of school. just seeing friends and going to ballet class, it’s the best."
Hollywood born and bred (she grew up in Studio City) Elle has no less than four cinema release films scheduled for release in late 2013 and early 2014, namely, Malificent with Anjeina Jolie, animated kidflick Box trolls, Low Down a biop about a junkie musician and apocalyptic drama Young Ones, by Jake Paltrow (brother of Gwyneth).
Asked how she juggles work and education she says she prefers attending a normal school over being home tutored. "It’s nice that I go to a regular school, I have close friends there. When I’m going to do movies it’s just a couple of months so I just return and live a regular life. "
Inspiring, honest and removed from the innate cynicism that accompanies a lengthy LA stay, Elle is in many ways just another 15 year old. "I just have an average kid life, the films I do are kind of like an after school activity. Some people go to soccer practice and I go and make a movie instead. I just come back and clean my room afterwards."
Asked where wants to be when she is 25, Elle says she’s still mindful about retaining options, and is keen on maintaining a life outside acting. "It’s such a long way off I hope I’m still working. I will probably be living in LA. I’m going to keep studying, I’d like to study dance , though I also love science, that’s my favorite subject. I love biology and I’m going into chemistry next year."
With such a huge volume of work coming her way, it seems Elle’s key challenge as an actress seems to be maintaining normalcy as a 15 year old girl growing up in LA. Meanwhile, she’s adamant that she’s not overwhelmed by stardom, which stems largely from entering the business as such an early age.
Without a hint of malice or annoyance, she eagerly recounts how a group of people recently recognized her while she Fans how feel to be recognized . "I went to Six Flags recently on a rollercoaster with a group of my friends and as I was hanging upside down there was someone who recognized me. They yelled out ‘you were in Super 8’ and waved, it was a good experience."
At 19, Elle’s sister Dakota is an obvious influence, though Elle says the two don’t critique one another’s work, "We just talk about regular sister stuff and tend to stuff around the house, Its nice to just surprise each other as we don’t read one another’s scripts. When we’re off filming we get to see what’s been filmed. We generally get the complete picture of what we’ve both been working on at screenings and premiers. That’s a surprise and generally exciting."
"It’s always nice to challenge yourself and try something outside your comfort zone. You can express yourself in a different way and you can be someone different and I love that."
Having worked with everyone from Sean Penn to Scarlett Johansson, to Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, Elle has already seen her fair share of A-lister interaction. She says her main her idols are Reese Witherspoon Jodie Foster. "She started off young and she’s a real role model. I liked her in Taxi driver. I also like Cate Blanchett."
"I have worked with a lot of the people a lot of amazing actors and actresses obviously my sister is one and just seen g her I always look up to her. Last summer I did Maleficent with Angelina Jolie and she’s just incredible just seeing how she became an evil character was just amazing – I loved working with her she was just amazing."
Maleficent is the classic Sleeping Beauty tale is told from the perspective of the princess' evil nemesis, namely Maleficent ( Anjelina Jolie) the main antagonist in Walt Disney's 1959 film. Jolie’s character self-proclaimed "Mistress of All Evil" who is often viewed as the most powerful and sinister of the Disney Villains.
Elle offers some additional insights into her forthcoming projects, "Young Ones was filmed in south Africa it was very hot. My character in it was a little crazy, which I love playing .Jake Paltrow (brother of Gwyneth) directed and wrote it. Its set in the future, where there’s no food or water. My character has to behave like a grownup - she’s a heroin."
"Box trolls is an animated film in which I play a character named Winnie, a very cute red head 11 year old. I had to do a British accent and she’s very snootie. Low Down is based on true story of jazz pianist named Joe Albany and he was a heroin addict so he never quite made it. Before the film I didn’t know much about how deadly heroin was. On set we had fake syringes and fake powder – it freaked everyone out. It was very scary."
In terms of her favorite all time movies, Elle confesses to being something of an obsessive when it comes to Marilyn Monroe. "I love her, I like Seven Year Itch – it was one of the first movies that wasn’t like a Disney movie I saw that I can remember. I also remember I used to watch Grease and dress up in the outfits and sing all of Sandy’s lines. I can remember doing that at a very young age."
Elle says she habitually watches movies with sister. "We get lots of screeners and I see lots of movies with friends. We like to see more funny movies. I also like to watch a lot of films on a plane, it heightens your emotions."