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Apr 15, 2024
As Marge Sherwood, Dakota Fanning portrays a formidable foe opposite Andrew Scott in Ripley

Since the tender age of seven, Dakota Fanning has owned every moment she’s been onscreen. The actor’s breakthrough came in the 2001 drama I Am Sam — a performance she received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for, making her the youngest nominee in SAG history. Fanning went on to star in Man on Fire and War of the Worlds, portray Cherie Currie in the musical biopic The Runaways, and deliver a captivating turn in the Emmy-nominated series The Alienist.

However, it was Fanning’s work as a Charles Manson acolyte in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood that convinced writer-director Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) she would be the perfect Marge Sherwood in his eight-part series Ripley, a provocative adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. An aspiring writer whose understated confidence exudes the air of upper-crust society, Marge is a constant companion of Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn), the errant playboy who is suddenly orbited by an odd stranger named Tom Ripley, played bewitchingly by Andrew Scott. Where others are taken in by the suave grifter, Marge can sense that the man is not what he seems.

Fanning jumped at the chance to play the character and take on the challenges associated with the role — not least of which was learning Italian prior to the months-long location shoot that visited Rome, Venice, Palermo, Capri, and Atrani on the Amalfi Coast. Perhaps the greatest artistic thrill, she says, was working opposite Scott in the confrontational moments between Tom and Marge: “I knew that it would be really fun to do those scenes with Andrew — and it was.”

An edited version of the conversation follows.

Krista Smith: What drew you to Ripley and why did you want to play Marge Sherwood?

Dakota Fanning: Having eight hours to explore these characters that you think you know, whether through the book or through the [1999] film adaptation, I was like, “Oh, that’s going to be amazing.” I was such an admirer of Steve and of Andrew. So when I [was cast as] Marge, I was overcome with excitement. Just hearing Steve’s vision and how devoted he was to the story, you knew that you were going to be supported. He’s so detailed, you were always going to know exactly where you stood. And that’s what I like as an actor.
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Tags: Interviews

Apr 15, 2024
Dakota Fanning & Andrew Scott Had Drastically Different Childhoods | Ask Me Anything | ELLE

Dakota Fanning & Andrew Scott may portray characters with a complicated relationship in the new Netflix mini-series ‘Ripley,’ but off-screen their banter is unmatched. The actors sat down with ELLE for a round of Ask Me Anything where Andrew Scott gets honest about his most Irish traits, including his love for Riverdance, and Dakota Fanning confesses who can leave her starstruck. The duo chats about topics such as the resurgence of ‘Twilight’ and the backstory behind Kurt Russell gifting Dakota a horse.


Tags: Interviews - Multimedia Updates

Apr 15, 2024
Dakota Fanning & Andrew Scott Quiz Each Other on Their Careers | All About Me | Harper’s BAZAAR

Dakota Fanning and Andrew Scott may have spent time together in Italy filming their new limited Netflix series ‘Ripley,’ but how well do they know each other’s careers? While Andrew attempts to remember answers to his own trivia questions, he and Dakota laugh over the gifts she’s received from celeb co-stars and those Andrew missed out on. The two hilariously reminisce about their pasts, including the first commercial Andrew ever starred in and Dakota’s first fashion campaign.

‘Ripley’ is available to stream on Netflix.


Tags: Interviews - Multimedia Updates

Apr 15, 2024
Dakota Fanning Thinks Ripley’s Marge and Tom Are More Alike Than They Seem

Andrew Scott makes for a captivating killer in the first four episodes of Netflix’s Ripley, streaming now. Dakota Fanning stops by Still Watching to talk about her new spin on Marge Sherwood and how she stayed grounded while transitioning from child star to adult actor.

This certainly isn’t your mother’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Andrew Scott stars as the titular sociopath in Ripley, Netflix’s dark dramatization of Patricia Highsmith’s novel from the 1950s, which takes a decidedly different approach to the source material than Anthony Minghella’s classic 1999 film starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, and Matt Damon. Written and created by Oscar winner Steven Zaillian, Ripley hews closer to Highsmith’s novel, following striver Tom as he befriends, murders, then impersonates Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn), then makes his way through Italy avoiding capture.

For Dakota Fanning, stepping into the suave loafers of Dickie’s girlfriend, Marge Sherwood—a part memorably played by Paltrow—was a thrill from the moment she received the first scripts. “I’m a very fast reader as it is, but this was next level,” she said while appearing on VF’s Still Watching podcast. “I was like, I think you need to wait an hour or two before you respond.”

Although Tom Ripley is painted to be the ultimate outsider, Fanning was drawn to the surprising similarities between Marge and Tom. “I think that, weirdly, they kind of see a weird little piece of themselves in each other, and perhaps that’s why they dislike each other so much right from the start,” says Fanning. “Marge’s vanity sometimes gets in her way a little bit. Tom kind of uses that to ingratiate himself with her, and she kind of falls prey to that.”

Fanning dropped by Still Watching to chat about the first half of the series, this darker take on Tom Ripley, Marge’s opportunism, and how she stayed grounded while transitioning from child star to adult actor.

Vanity Fair: What was your relationship with The Talented Mr. Ripley before jumping onto this project?

Dakota Fanning: I was familiar with the characters, familiar with the material, and wasn’t jumping in totally blind. It was very clear from the beginning that Steve’s version was going to be a very faithful adaptation to the Patricia Highsmith novel. We were also going to get to go more in depth with the characters simply because of the eight-episode-series format. I know that was the big draw for [Steve]—being able to have that time to spend with Tom Ripley, especially, but with everyone.

So, I was excited when I read the scripts. I read them so quickly that I remember thinking, If I email Steve back now, he’s never going to believe that I read them all [laughs].
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Tags: Interviews

Apr 15, 2024
The (Very) Talented Dakota Fanning

The “Ripley” star on the lessons she’s learned about acting—and life—over a 25-year career.

Dakota Fanning was just 5 years old on the set of her first project, a Tide commercial she scored after answering the question, “What do you want for Christmas?” at her audition. “All I wanted was mechanical pencils, and I think they chose me because I gave a weirder, more specific answer,” she tells us. In between setups, she heard the director call out for his “hero girl.”

“He was like, ‘Where’s hero girl? Can we get hero girl in here?’ ” Fanning recalls. “My mom and I, we were like, ‘Oh, that’s so cute. I’m a hero. That’s sweet.’ ”

It was only later that she learned “hero” is a production term for a particularly important prop. She was essentially sharing call sheet space with the detergent bottle being used in close-ups. “It wasn’t not a compliment,” Fanning says with a laugh. “But it wasn’t exactly specific to me.”

That was the first of a lifetime of lessons for Fanning, whose on-set education started early and never quite stopped. Her brief stint as a commercial kid star led to a trip from her home state of Georgia to Los Angeles to give pilot season a shot. At the time, she assumed she’d return home once the gigs stopped coming. As it turned out, they never did.

“I feel like that’s how it happens sometimes,” she says. “You’re just present day to day, and then all of a sudden I’m doing ‘I Am Sam’ with Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer—which is a very different thing from being the ‘hero girl’ in a Tide commercial.”

“It has always been, even now, about holding onto that childlike imagination, because I really think that’s what acting is at the end of the day.”

In the decade that followed, Fanning was quite literally Hollywood’s poster child—which is to say, if you walked past a piece of movie marketing in the early aughts, there she was, promising a performance well beyond her years. Her turn in the aforementioned “I Am Sam” (2001) earned her a SAG Award nod for female supporting actor at only 7 years old, making her the youngest individual SAG nominee in history. In 2004, she stood toe-to-toe with Denzel Washington in Tony Scott’s “Man on Fire.” A year later, she had top billing in Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi blockbuster “War of the Worlds” opposite Tom Cruise, then sparred with Robert De Niro in John Polson’s psychological thriller “Hide and Seek.”

Today, Fanning remains a commanding onscreen presence. Case in point: her multilayered performance on Netflix’s thriller “Ripley,” Steven Zaillian’s limited series adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Fanning plays the distrustful Marge Sherwood across from Andrew Scott’s con man, Tom Ripley.
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Tags: Interviews

Apr 9, 2024
Andrew Scott and Dakota Fanning say their ‘Ripley’ characters aren’t rivals, ‘they’re frenemies’

In early March, as the collective obsession it spawned was at its height, I had the chance to ask: Have Andrew Scott and Dakota Fanning seen the viral TikTok series “Who TF Did I Marry?”

The actors were seated in a sparsely decorated holding room at a Hollywood screening venue where their new limited series, “Ripley,” was about to be previewed. Nearly seven decades after Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley” first introduced the world to its titular grifter, Tom, the story of one of pop culture’s most infamous pathological liars is now getting an eight-episode treatment on Netflix. And the 50-part social media saga by Reesa Teesa (real name Tareasa Johnson) about a walking red flag — an ex-husband who allegedly made up family members, faked phone conversations and, in their search for a home, duped her with fake bank statements that turned out to be screenshots from Google Images — was further proof that stories of scammers and fraudsters never go out of style.

“Oh, my God, I know!” Fanning said, her eyes wide with excitement. “I wanted to watch that, but haven’t. There are a lot of videos, right?”

“What is this?” Scott asked, curious to understand the enthusiasm.

“It’s this woman who got scammed by her ex and made these videos where she is like filming in the bathroom or her car and telling the story,” Fanning said.

“Oh, wow,” Scott said, brows furrowed.In early March, as the collective obsession it spawned was at its height, I had the chance to ask: Have Andrew Scott and Dakota Fanning seen the viral TikTok series “Who TF Did I Marry?”

The actors were seated in a sparsely decorated holding room at a Hollywood screening venue where their new limited series, “Ripley,” was about to be previewed. Nearly seven decades after Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley” first introduced the world to its titular grifter, Tom, the story of one of pop culture’s most infamous pathological liars is now getting an eight-episode treatment on Netflix. And the 50-part social media saga by Reesa Teesa (real name Tareasa Johnson) about a walking red flag — an ex-husband who allegedly made up family members, faked phone conversations and, in their search for a home, duped her with fake bank statements that turned out to be screenshots from Google Images — was further proof that stories of scammers and fraudsters never go out of style.

“Oh, my God, I know!” Fanning said, her eyes wide with excitement. “I wanted to watch that, but haven’t. There are a lot of videos, right?”

“What is this?” Scott asked, curious to understand the enthusiasm.

“It’s this woman who got scammed by her ex and made these videos where she is like filming in the bathroom or her car and telling the story,” Fanning said.

“Oh, wow,” Scott said, brows furrowed.

The cunning con man who’s brought them together has left a more lasting impression, inspiring the 1960 French film “Purple Noon,” the 1999 vehicle for Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law, and now “Ripley.”

Developed for television by Steven Zaillian (“The Night Of”), the series was originally set up at Showtime before moving to Netflix, with production spanning from summer 2021 to spring 2022. The lavish thriller, which is shot in black and white, stars Scott as the eponymous scam artist; Johnny Flynn (“Emma”) as Dickie Greenleaf, the wayward heir to a wealthy Manhattan dynasty with whom Ripley becomes obsessed; and Fanning as Marge Sherwood, Dickie’s girlfriend, who is suspicious of the new man in town.

The dark, subversive antihero saga begins as Tom is enlisted by Dickie’s father , who mistakenly assumes Tom is a friend of his son , to venture to Italy to cajole him into returning home. Tom becomes infatuated with Dickie and his lifestyle, then kills him to avoid being deserted — and the cover-up spirals from there. It’s an apt parable for the social media age, in which the carefully crafted image can be seductive to a damaging degree. But Zaillian didn’t embark on the adaptation with that in mind.

“It had nothing to do with now,” Zaillian said by telephone. “The big draw for me was to spend more time with this particular character. … I think there’s a lot of things about him that are like all of us. He has aspirations, he has envy, pride — he might have more than we have, or he’s just willing to go further to get it. I think one of the reasons that he’s endured as a character so well over all these years, is because we do relate to him.”
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Tags: Interviews

Apr 2, 2024
Dakota Fanning: The Next Chapter

Having made her movie debut aged seven, 30-year-old DAKOTA FANNING is savoring her expanding career as much as ever: “If you can still find the light in moments that are tough, then you’re still enjoying it!” Here, the actor and producer talks to MARTHA HAYES about starring in the highly anticipated TV series Ripley, finding a new sense of contentment, and what she really wants from life beyond Hollywood

Dakota Fanning is sipping on a glass of wine and scrolling through photos from her 30th-birthday celebrations four days earlier. “I’ve never had a party like it. I’ve had dinners, but this was… a party,” laughs Fanning, who took over the whole of hip Beverly Hills restaurant La Dolce Vita, hired an ice sculpture of legs “for fun”, and wore a red satin corseted Dolce&Gabbana dress.

“I was destroyed on Saturday – from the biggest hangover I’ve had in years,” she grins, today wearing a black oversized coat by The Row, as we meet at a whiskey tavern close to her house in LA’s Toluca Lake. “But I was icing my head with a huge smile. The past few days, I have felt so light.”

“I wouldn’t say I’m not a happy person, but I do think the late twenties fuck with you,” continues Fanning. “I feel happier and more conscious of what I have, rather than what I don’t have. I know who I am, and the people who know me know who I am, and that’s really all that matters. But there is something about saying that at 30 that feels different to saying it at 28.”

When you’ve been working in Hollywood as long as Fanning – who made her movie debut aged seven in I Am Sam (2001), opposite Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer (becoming the youngest person in history to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award) – it’s no wonder she’s ready to reflect as she gears up for her next chapter. She has worked consistently, morphing from the charming child star of movies such as War of The Worlds (2005) and Charlotte’s Web (2006) to a self-assured twentysomething in grittier projects that include American Pastoral (2016) and The Alienist (2018). She came of age in the middle, appearing in the vampire Twilight franchise (2009 and 2012).
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Tags: Interviews

Apr 2, 2024
Dakota Fanning On Stepping Into Gwyneth Paltrow’s Shoes For Netflix’s Darker, Thornier Ripley

In 1999’s The Talented Mr Ripley, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Marge Sherwood is, in many ways, the eyes of the audience – sweet and somewhat naive, she welcomes Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) into the idyllic life she’s built with her boyfriend Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) in ’50s southern Italy, before the former secretly murders the latter, adopts his identity and sets off on a grand tour on his dime. When she later catches up with him, she’s deeply suspicious, but there’s still a certain fragility to her – desperate though she is to bring him to justice, she knows there’s little she can actually do.

Now in Ripley, Steven Zaillian’s icy, eight-part Netflix retelling of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 classic – the latest in a long line of adaptations for stage and screen – Dakota Fanning is inheriting that part from Paltrow. She still, at times, acts as the viewer’s eyes and ears, but that is where the resemblance ends. This new iteration of Marge is, in a sense, the antithesis of Paltrow’s sunny, floral-midi-skirt-clad hostess – dressed in trousers and oversized white shirts (and filmed in an atmospheric black and white, as opposed to the original film’s ravishing pastels), she’s steely, watchful and shrewd, someone who seems to recognise Tom (Andrew Scott) for the opportunist he is from the get go.
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She’s also unapologetically ambitious, penning a book on Atrani, the sleepy Amalfi Coast town where she and Dickie (Johnny Flynn) have ended up. While her affluent boyfriend spends his days parading around his palatial villa, she takes photographs and edits drafts in a charming but ramshackle one-room apartment, filled with knitting supplies, wild flowers and candid snapshots. It’s clear that she doesn’t come from money or, at least, from as much money as Dickie does, and isn’t from his crowd of New York sophisticates – we hear she’s from Minnesota and, at one point, she resents being seen as “a small town hick”. The picture we get of Marge in these scenes – someone who is spiky, slippery and frequently unreadable – is so much richer and more complex than anything we’ve been afforded before.

It’s a remarkable performance from Fanning – still, impassive, cold and cryptic – which ranks among the 30-year-old actor’s best. And that’s really saying something: she’s been working for almost two and a half decades, having started out as a child actor, playing a younger version of Calista Flockhart in Ally McBeal, a baby-faced Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama, the exuberant lead in Charlotte’s Web, and Tom Cruise’s daughter in War of the Worlds. With I Am Sam, she became the youngest SAG nominee in history aged seven and scooped a Critics’ Choice Award, giving a shockingly articulate acceptance speech as she was lifted up to the microphone by Orlando Bloom.
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Tags: Interviews


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The Equalizer 3 (2023)
Robert McCall finds himself at home in Southern Italy but he discovers his friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends' protector by taking on the mafia.
Ripley (2024)
A grifter named Ripley living in New York during the 1960s is hired by a wealthy man to begin a complex life of deceit, fraud and murder.
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A young artist gets stranded in an extensive, immaculate forest in western Ireland, where, after finding shelter, she becomes trapped alongside three strangers, stalked by mysterious creatures each night.
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When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin - with a body discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony - everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect.
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