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.”
Of social media she said, “I’ve recently wanted to share a little bit more of who I am, because I was feeling frustrated by people thinking they knew who I was. Instagram became a fun way of sharing. But it has to be authentic. I mean, me and my friends recently had a weekend together, and we didn’t take any photos or videos, and that’s how we know we had a good time. When it starts feeling like a chore to capture things or when you start to feel panicked about posting something, that’s when I have to put my phone down.” [Source]