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Staff / August 29th, 2019

The Once Upon A Time star also talked about the expectations of growing up famous and her tentative use of social media

At just 25 years old Dakota Fanning could technically pass for a Hollywood veteran.

She’s also worked on films with Tom Cruise, Kurt Russell, Robert de Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and most recently, Quentin Tarantino in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Fanning talked to Net-A-Porter about the good and bad sides of growing up in the spotlight. “The difficult part about starting so young, which I’ve totally come to accept, is that when you grow up and become a woman, people think you’re younger,” Fanning explained. “The other day, my mom, my sister [Elle] and I were in Las Vegas for my sister’s 21st birthday and somebody said, ‘Are you Dakota Fanning? You’re that child?’ And my mom was like, poor Dakota. It is what it is. It never really bothered me. But I can see how it could make you run in the opposite direction and grow up too quick and not make the best decisions because you’re trying to run away from people telling you that you’re still little.”

As a child, Fanning says she felt immense pressure to do the right thing and never make a mistake, but a lot of that pressure disappeared when she turned 21. “I felt there was such an expectation for me not to mess up,” Fanning told Net-A-Porter. “Which could have driven me crazy, because that’s an outrageous thing to put on a younger person, who’s supposed to make mistakes. And I certainly have made mistakes, but just privately. When I turned 21, I felt like a weight had lifted; I felt more freedom to come into my own.”

Though it was difficult to grow up with that spotlight, Fanning admits there were great things that came from being a child star as well. “I got my first iPod and cell phone from Tom Cruise when we worked together,” Fanning recalls. “I got a horse from Kurt Russell. [W]hen I turned 10, I was making a movie with Robert De Niro and there was a whole surprise set-up in the lunchroom, with my favorite food and everyone in party hats. [F]or Valentine’s Day, Michelle Pfeiffer decorated my whole trailer with pink and red balloons and little trinkets and candies, then did the same for my birthday, so that’s how I remember my seventh birthday.”

Even with the spotlight on her, Fanning says she has been able to maintain a relatively normal life. “I’m lucky – I have the best friends in the world,” Fanning raves of her friendships outside of Hollywood, “My group of girlfriends has been with me since ninth grade. We’ve been through so much together and have done such a great job of staying connected. My best friend’s getting married next month. It’s like life is starting to happen to everybody. We always talked about when I get married, you’ll be at my wedding, and it’s like, well, here we are. I can’t wait for all of those milestones. I can’t wait to have kids.”

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Staff / May 14th, 2019

Dakota Fanning would have accepted a tiny role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood just to work with Quentin Tarantino.

Fanning landed the role of Squeaky Fromme in Tarantino’s upcoming ninth film, a real-life member of the Manson Family, who was sentenced to life in prison for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Gerald Ford in 1975. She was released in 2009 after serving nearly 34 years.

Fanning stars alongside the likes of Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie in the upcoming drama, and admits the project has been a career-defining moment for her.

“It was such a dream come true for me to be a part of it and really something to cross off the list… I would have probably played any character that he had asked me or had chosen me for,” she grinned to The Hollywood Reporter. “It was a real cherry on top that it was an incredible, fascinating, challenging character. But I would’ve been like Girl No. 1.”

The all-star ensemble cast also features Al Pacino, Damian Lewis, Kurt Russell, late actor Luke Perry and frequent Tarantino collaborator Tim Roth.

It’s set for release in July (19), and follows the story of a faded television actor and his stunt double during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

Talking to Collider about her research for the movie, the 25-year-old actress admitted it was a little scary learning about Charles Manson’s murderous cult.

“There are a lot of resources out there, for better or for worse, and I was very immersed. It was interesting and challenging. It’s twisted,” she said. [Source]



Staff / February 4th, 2019

Last week, the new animated series gen:LOCK premiered on Rooster Teeth, its most ambitious project since RWBY premiered in 2013. Heavily influenced by anime, the show was created by Gray Haddock and features the company’s trademark CGI animation style.

gen:LOCK is set in 2068, a near future in which one military force called the Vanguard is the only thing standing between free society and an impending autocracy, the Union. Unlike anime, which often relies on American voiceover casts to create English versions of Japanese shows, this story was crafted in the U.S., out of Rooster Teeth’s studios in Austin, Texas. It also features an all-star (mostly) American voice cast, including David Tennant, Maisie Williams, and Monica Rial, as well as Michael B. Jordan, who stars as Julian Chase, and Dakota Fanning, who plays Miranda Worth, a leader in the Vanguard squadron who also happens to be Julian’s love interest.

SYFY WIRE got a chance to talk to Fanning about what drew her to the project and why she’s such a huge fan of animation.

When you first got involved, what did you think of this huge story?

When I first met with [Rooster Teeth] they told me where the story was going and that a lot of the bigger themes were about human emotion and the relationships between the characters. Especially my character Miranda and for Michael’s character, Chase, and their relationship. I really responded to all of that.

This futuristic, post-apocalyptic world that they have created is really big, and the animation itself looks very cool. I loved all of that, but I also just loved the relationships between the characters and that all the characters are so interesting and specific. I also liked that even though it is animated, they really wanted the acting in the voices to sound as if we were doing live action.

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Staff / April 4th, 2018

Out of Character

A consummate film actor since the age of 7, Dakota Fanning is ready to shake things up as she takes on the small screen and makes her directorial debut

On a snowy day in Manhattan, Dakota Fanning is huddled over a cup of mint tea, diplomatically weighing the pros and cons of living in New York City. Predicated by her acceptance to New York University, Fanning found an apartment in a prewar building in Nolita and has been based here for the past six years.

One of the pros is that the city has given her a newfound sense of freedom. “This is the only place I’ve ever lived by myself,” she explains. Evidence of her willingness to try new things is on practically every street corner thanks to billboards promoting TNT’s The Alienist, Fanning’s first major television series. “I just heard three people scream my name as I was walking here. I’m like, ‘Oh, f—! What did I do?’ But they were just saying ‘hey,’ so I said ‘hey’ back. I was like, ‘It’s gotta be because of those billboards.’ ”

Based on the Caleb Carr novel set in 1890s New York, the 10-episode psychological thriller (co-starring Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans) sounded almost too good to be true. Fanning had just come off promoting American Pastoral, so the timing was perfect. The only hang-up was that it meant moving to Budapest, Hungary, for the better part of 2017 to film the show. “I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s so far and such a long time to leave your life,’ ” she says. “Movies are made in eight weeks, you know?”

She decided to think of it as doing a semester abroad and, in the end, wholeheartedly embraced her Hungarian sojourn—the spa culture, “family” dinners with the cast and hosting out-of-town friends. During the workweek, Fanning (who is notoriously prompt for everything) would arrive on set to be laced into an old-fashioned corset. Her character, Sara Howard, is a strong-willed young woman who stands up to sexual harassment as the first female employee at the New York City Police Department. “As we were filming, we were like, ‘God, didn’t we read an article that’s kind of about this, like, yesterday?’ ” she says. “I think that it does go to show how history repeats itself. To move forward, you have to do something different because it’s been this long and these situations are still happening.”

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Staff / February 22nd, 2018

The Hollywood star talks control, clothes, and break-ups for Miu Miu Women’s Stories.

“I like to control things,” says Dakota Fanning, “and at a certain point, I realized that even being behind the camera, you can’t. You think being a director means being in charge of everything?” she laughs. “You’re wrong.”

Fanning’s in London for her directorial debut, a partnership with Miu Miu Women’s Stories called The Apartment. The 11-minute short film stars Eve Hewson as a young woman going solo, and it’s got bits of everything—breakups, cheap wine, art projects, and of course, designer dresses.

At a post-screening panel with Millennial screenwriter (and Golden Globe nominee) Liz Hannah, Fanning revealed her on-set anxiety, her future career strategy, and what happened when she started living alone in New York City.

Here are highlights from the room where it happened…

Control Anxiety

I’ve always been a very calm person—well, maybe not calm. I guess it’s more that I’ve been a very confident person… When you’re directing a movie, you’re viewed as a leader, but you’re also totally reliant on everyone else. People keep asking your opinions on everything—from the big stuff to things like, “Dakota, red napkins or blue napkins?”—and admitting you don’t know anything about napkins, “I don’t know, what do you think?” That’s the hardest part. But part of my job [as a director] was that I hired other people to make this movie with me, and I knew I needed to trust them. (We went with the blue, by the way.)

Costume Anxiety

I was worried in the beginning about having a main character always wearing Miu Miu and being amongst other people who were dressed really plainly. That seemed really strange to me, so we made sure every character had some Miu Miu. But we knew going in there would be standout moments with special pieces, like a white dress, and [Miu Miu] socks!… We also knew the cinematographer, Bobby Bukowski, was going to use the fabric as part of his shots… you would literally see [Eve Hewson’s] life through her clothes.

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Staff / January 30th, 2018

Dakota Fanning has always been wise beyond her years. The blond-haired, doe-eyed actress got her first major role at the ripe age of 7 in 2004’s I Am Sam. Her performance as the precocious child of a developmentally challenged father (Sean Penn) earned her a SAG Award nomination the following year, making her the youngest nominee in history.

Now 23, Fanning shows no signs of slowing down. She currently stars as a police secretary on TNT’s period drama The Alienist and has a new film, Please Stand By, about an autistic woman who escapes from her group home to submit her Star Trek script to a Hollywood writing competition, arriving in theaters and on demand today. The latter was something of a-full circle moment for Fanning, as the subject matter paralleled the project that cemented her status as a leading actress. Here, Fanning discusses her new movie, learning to speak Klingon, and the need for female-focused stories.

What drew you to this script? It was so well-written and so moving. [Wendy] had so many quirks: her love of Star Trek, knitting, her dog … there were so many little things that were woven into her. Most importantly, the character didn’t lead with the fact that she was on the autism spectrum. There were so many other things that were more important about her.

In I Am Sam, you played the daughter of a man with a mental handicap. How did it feel to reverse roles? There were definitely some similarities. When we made I Am Sam, there were actors in the film who were developmentally disabled, and in this movie, there were actors on the autism spectrum. I was so thrilled that they were getting the opportunity to be a part of it. I got to know a bunch of them before we started filming, and the first thing I learned [from them] is that everyone on the spectrum is different, so I felt a lot of freedom to make Wendy an individual character—I didn’t base her on anyone in particular.

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Staff / January 30th, 2018

In The Alienist, Dakota Fanning—Elle’s older sister—stars as a police secretary in the late 1890s helping her male colleagues search for one of New York City’s first serial killers. The TNT series begins January 22. Then January 26, in the movie Please Stand By, Fanning, 23, will play Wendy, a young autistic woman who runs away to enter a writing contest with a Star Trek script she’s written.

What drew you to The Alienist?

Getting to see the birth of psychology and forensics. It wasn’t actually that long ago that people didn’t know about
fingerprints and things.

Your character, Sara, is conflicted about how feminine she can be in a man’s world.

Sara is coming into her femininity and sexuality. She’s someone who’s trying to be taken seriously. She’s constantly trying to prove herself, but she is confident in herself and in her own intelligence.

For a scene in Please Stand By, you had to learn how to talk Klingon.

Yeah, it was so funny. I laughed really hard doing that scene with Patton Oswalt. We had a teacher that recorded all the lines for us so that we could say them phonetically.

You are juggling college simultaneously with your acting career.

I’ve taken at least one class every semester since the beginning. I do a lot of independent studies. I’m just soldiering on and I should be done soon.

In Please Stand By, how did you prepare to play Wendy?

Meeting one person [with autism] means you’ve met one person. Every person on the spectrum has different traits. It gave me this sense of freedom that I could create Wendy and I didn’t have to model her on anything.

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