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Staff / April 19th, 2018

Variety and PBS SoCal KOCE have announced the lineup for the eighth season of “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.”

The Emmy Award-winning series will air in two episodes on PBS SoCal KOCE, the first on Tuesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. and the second on Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. Both episodes will stream on pbssocal.org following their premieres.

This year’s lineup of pairings includes: Issa Rae (“Insecure”) with Michael B. Jordan (“Fahrenheit 451”); Laura Dern (“The Tale”) with Angela Bassett (“9-1-1”); Tiffany Haddish (“The Last O.G.”) with John Legend (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”); Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”) with Claire Foy (“The Crown”); Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) with Bill Hader (“Barry”); Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) with Sharon Stone (“Mosaic”); J.K. Simmons (“Counterpart”) with Edie Falco (“Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”); Alison Brie (“GLOW”) with Jessica Biel (“The Sinner”); Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Deuce”) with Jonathan Groff (“Mindhunter”); Frankie Shaw (“SMILF”) with Sara Gilbert (“Roseanne”); Jeff Daniels (“The Looming Tower”) with Laura Linney (“Ozark”); Darren Criss (“American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”) with Mandy Moore (“This is Us”); David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) with Kyle MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks”); and Dakota Fanning (“The Alienist”) with Freddie Highmore (“The Good Doctor”).

“There’s no better way to celebrate another groundbreaking season of television than with our ‘Actors on Actors’ franchise,” said Debra Birnbaum, Variety’s executive TV editor. “We’re proud to shine a light on this year’s most remarkable performances with this series of revealing, one-on-one conversations. And we’re thrilled as always to partner with PBS SoCal to share this content with their audience.”

Variety’s “Actors on Actors” issue will hit newsstands June 5 with clips appearing on Variety.com starting at the beginning of June. On Variety and Variety.com, this year’s Actors on Actors will be presented by Shutterstock.

“Southern California’s creative industry inspires and excites our PBS audiences like few others. And this season of ‘Actors on Actors’ is sure to please, with compelling conversations between some of today’s most popular protagonists,” said Andrew Russell, president and CEO of PBS SoCal. “It’s terrific to team with Variety to produce and share ‘Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.’” [Source]



Staff / April 6th, 2018



Staff / April 6th, 2018

This year’s film “Please Stand By” in which Dakota Fanning plays an autistic young writer named Wendy who has written a Star Wars related screenplay and wants nothing more than to go and live with her sister, was discussed at the United Nations on April 5. Dakota Fanning explained her interest in bringing to the screen characters and conditions not sufficiently seen. While some have criticized the film for having a lead actor who is not, in fact, autistic, writer Michael Golamco says they hired as many autistic actors as possible to appear in the movie.

The occasion was a session at the UN called “Empowering Women and Girls with Autism,” co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions to the UN of Argentina, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan and Poland. Speaking on the panel from the film, beyond Fanning and Golamco, were producer Lara Alameddine and director Ben Lewis.

The UN Department of Public Information’s engagements with films have included Wonder Woman and Angry Birds; Thursday’s quieter approach for many worked better. The UN itself explains tat “throughout its history, the United Nations family has celebrated diversity and promoted the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, including learning differences and developmental disabilities. In 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force, reaffirming the fundamental principle of universal human rights for all. Its purpose is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. It is a vital tool to foster an inclusive and caring society for all and to ensure that all children and adults with autism can lead full and meaningful lives.

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.

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Staff / April 4th, 2018

At age 6, Dakota Fanning was very likely one of the only kids on the block playing with a medical neck brace and plastic nasal tubes. Actually, she was one of two. The other was her younger sister, Elle.

Such were the perks of landing her first significant acting job: a guest role in a Season 6 episode of NBC’s long-running medical drama “ER.” In it, the then pipsqueak-actress played a car accident victim who has leukemia.

“My best memory from doing that was all of the medical stuff that they gave me,” Fanning said when she stopped by The Times’ video studio recently. “They gave me the neck brace. They gave me the tubes, the breathing tubes. They gave me fake syringes, gauze. All this stuff. My sister and I played with those fake medical props for so many years to come, I can’t even tell you.”

Fanning would, of course, go on to join the club of young actors who have quickly earned veteran status. Her film work, which includes “I Am Sam,” “Man on Fire” and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” has earned her the most notoriety. But recently the actress got reacquainted with the small screen with a starring role in the TNT limited series “The Alienist.”

The 10-episode drama, which will air its finale on Monday, is the end point in the winding road Caleb Carr’s bestselling novel traveled to get made. The story revolves around a serial killer on the loose in Gilded Age New York. Fanning plays Sarah Howard, who is part of the dubious team trying to solve the case. The character is the secretary to Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt and the first woman hired by the New York Police Department, determined to become the first female police detective at a time when that was inconceivable.

“I would describe Sarah Howard as someone who is really pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable for a woman in 1896,” Fanning said. “Even the title of ‘secretary to police commissioner’ kind of annoys her a bit. … She’s pushing the boundaries of society. She’s not married. She’s not looking to be married. Doesn’t have any children. Not looking to have any children at this time. And that was really unusual. She’s facing looks from her peers in her social circles and, of course, looks from her male peers in the workplace.”

The series took Fanning to Budapest, where production took place over seven months. She chose to stay at an apartment in that time, likening the search to being on “House Hunters: International.”

“I was a little nervous,” Fanning said. “Doing a film is not usually a seven-month commitment. I haven’t been away from home for that long in a long time. So that was the thing I was most nervous for … I kind of left my life behind and jumped right in and I didn’t want to leave, in the end. I cried hysterically.” [Source]



Staff / February 22nd, 2018

It was nearly eight years ago that actress Dakota Fanning, then just 16 years old, attended her first fashion show, Miu Miu’s Spring 2011 collection during Paris Fashion Week. “I was so excited to be there. It was very surreal that I was getting to sit in the front row and I was in Paris,” she recalled. “At the dinner afterwards, Rihanna was there. I wore a pink leather dress that they made for me and a pink cardigan that I still have. I got to meet Mrs. Prada and have had this relationship with Miu Miu ever since.”

Now 23 and a fashion staple, Fanning is officially taking that relationship with Miu Miu to the next level, directing the latest installment of Women’s Tales, the brand’s ongoing short film series. Fanning’s 10-minute feature is called “The Apartment,” and officially premiered last night during London Fashion Week.

A few hours before the debut, Fanning was posted up in the brand’s towering store on New Bond Street in eager anticipation of the evening’s premiere. “I’ve known about Women’s Tales for awhile and I’ve been to the Venice Film Festival when they’ve premiered the films there for two different years,” she said.” It was said that if I wanted to do one and when I wanted to do one, there would sort of be a spot for me… The timing was right and I was very excited to do it with Miu Miu and the people I felt I had a real friendship with. I’m somebody who thrives on personal connection.”

Of course, it was Fanning’s chance to fulfill her lingering desire to get behind the camera, which she’s held since she was acting on sets at five years old. “I’ve always had such a great, important relationship with the directors that I’ve worked with, and so many of them have stayed in my life over the years and have become really good friends,” she said. “That relationship is everything when you are working on a film because that person is someone you go to with all of your questions and that you rely on… I had been talking about doing it for so long, and eventually you have to do what you are constantly talking about.”

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Staff / February 22nd, 2018

The actress joined forces with Miu Miu—and friend Liz Hannah, of The Post fame—to create the 15th short for the Italian label’s Women’s Tales series.

When Miu Miu asked Dakota Fanning to direct a short film (her first), she looked close to home for subject material. The final product? “Hello Apartment,” a spot-on, vivid portrait of how the spaces where we spend our formative years shape us into adults who may, someday, return to them and, all at once, remember everything. It also serves as an ode to Fanning’s own real-life apartment.

“Hello Apartment,” which premieres in London on Monday night, marks the 15th commission from Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales, which has previously featured shorts from legendary auteurs (Agnès Varda), groundbreaking directors (Ava DuVernay), and experimental multi-hyphenates (Miranda July and Chloë Sevigny). For the film, Fanning drew on her own formative first-apartment experiences. As she told Vanity Fair, “Even though my apartment’s very different from the one in the film, the experience of it is the same.” With the help of The Post writer and her friend Liz Hannah, Fanning perceptively captures how, as she put it, our homes become “shrine[s] to experiences” with the passage of time.

Told through the perspective of a Pepto pink-haired young woman named Ava (played by Irish actress Eve Hewson, of The Knick) who has just moved into an airy Brooklyn loft, the film traces her first love (with Tom Sturridge), loss, and inevitable red wine spills. It all comes with the knowing wisdom of a woman who’s been there and lived to tell the tale. Decades later, a much older Ava returns to this memory-charged, sunlit space to say, “Hello, apartment.”

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Staff / January 30th, 2018

Read the full cover story from Vogue Australia’s February 2018 issue.

Perhaps it’s just clickbait, but it seems the more you look around, the more you become attuned to actors going method, being overtaken by their roles, getting lost in whatever emotional weight their character carries and their pains. We applaud the actors who go too far, I’m not saying they’re undeserving, but there’s something to be said for those who can take on the complexities of trying roles with a Teflon-like attitude. From age six, Dakota Fanning has been the latter. Whether she’s falling in love, being sexually abused on screen, committing a crime or dealing with death or mental illness, she’ll perform as if she’s lived it, but shrugs it away to the same tune: “It’s pretend.” It begs the question: is Dakota Fanning the most level-headed actress in Hollywood?

It’s just leading up to Christmas when we speak. Having escaped New York for the holidays, she is holed up in her parents’ Los Angeles home. As happens to busy people this time of year, Fanning has come down with a flu that reared its head as soon as she stopped. A sickness, she says she’s been fighting off all year due to pressing schedules, international travel and work. Having spent a good chunk of her last year in Budapest filming her first television series, The Alienist (now screening on Netflix), Fanning is enjoying a moment of down time. This year will see her star in Australian director Ben Lewin’s film Please Stand By (Australian release to be confirmed), make a small appearance in the all-female Ocean’s Eight, and continue her work to get an adaption of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar off the ground.

However, you could say that The Alienist is Fanning’s biggest project to date. The ambitious adaption of the Caleb Carr novel of the same name saw the 23-year-old dive headfirst into a project with a crew of strangers, in a foreign country, no less. “I was really scared before I went,” she admits. “Six months is a big chunk of your life. I didn’t know, nor had I ever met, anyone I was working with, and while I’d been to Budapest before, I didn’t know the city that well.” She lights up, her voice sparkling: “But it was one of the most pleasant surprises of my life. I was so comfortable; I learned to unwind and really enjoyed my life there. I sobbed hysterically when I had to leave!” She laughs. “I was trying to explain it to my mum, who wasn’t able to visit, but she just didn’t get it. She was like: ‘Well, glad you liked it.’” She laughs again.

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