Welcome to Dakota Fanning Network your best source for everything Dakota Fanning. Here you can find the latest news, photos, multimedia and all that you want to know about her. Please, enjoy your visit and come back soon!
Aug 15, 2017
Dakota Fanning on ‘Zygote’, Working with Neill Blomkamp, and ‘The Alienist’

From filmmaker Neill Blomkamp and made through the experimental Oats Studios (which is looking to make original short film content that will eventually lead to full-scale feature films and series from the titles they create), the sci-fi short Zygote follows two lone survivors (Dakota Fanning and Jose Pablo Cantillo) who are forced to fight for their lives. Stranded in an Arctic mine, they must evade a horrific and terrifying creature that can anticipate any move they might make.

During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Dakota Fanning talked about how she got involved with this short, wanting to work with Neill Blomkamp, why this character was appealing to her, getting to see the creature come alive, the physical challenges of this shoot, being open to further exploring this character, if they were to make a full-length feature, and why she feels like she’s in a good place, creatively.

Collider: I have to say, I really enjoyed this short, but the creature has stuck with me since I watched it. What did you think of the creature, once you saw the final gallery?

DAKOTA FANNING: I saw images of what it was going to look like, but of course, it was completely computer generated, so when I saw it for the first time, it was so much grosser than I had pictured. It was cool to see it come alive. The noise, the movement and realizing what it’s made of was so gross.

When and how were you approached about this project, and what were you told about what this would be?   

FANNING: I worked with Neill Blomkamp on his BMW commercial (The Escape) last summer. We shot for 10 days and got to know each other a bit, and then a few months later, he asked if I would be interested in doing an experimental project – a short film – for his studio and he sent me the script he had for it, at the time. I loved working with him so much and I think he’s so talented, and I thought that this idea was super cool. I was excited to be a part of something I’ve never really done before. This was the kind of character I’d never played. And then, when I got there and saw what everything was going to look like, in the end, I saw how talented the people were who were working on it. With the special effects, I learned a lot and was excited by it. Just from working with him before, he thought of me for this and the timing worked out, so here it is.

You probably never imagined doing a short film for BMW, so was it working with Neill Blomkamp that got you interested in that project?

FANNING: I don’t know if you’re familiar with the BMW shorts that were made years ago, but I was familiar with those and a fan of those. So, when they were making a new one, I thought it would be so cool to be a part of it. When I worked with Tony Scott, he showed me the one he made and he was very excited about it. It was a full circle thing to be asked to be in one. Also, of course, I’m a totally huge fan of Neill, so the opportunity to work with him was exciting. We had a really great time doing it, so I knew Zygote would be a good experience because he’s a good person and he’s talented.

What do you enjoy about working with Neill Blomkamp?

FANNING: He’s very direct about what he’s looking for and the vibe of everything, and I appreciate that. He’s also so knowledgeable about the special effects side of everything, and he explains it in a palatable way for someone like me who doesn’t know anything about that. I could understand it and it made sense to me. He’s able to mix the story with all of that, so that it doesn’t become too technical of an experience. He’s really good at that, which is important on a project like this.

You said that this is a character that you haven’t played before. Were there things that you were most excited about getting to do because of that?

FANNING: I was excited for the running around and the handling of the weapons, and being chased and the fear, and all of that. By the end, my character becomes a bad-ass, and I liked getting to see her 20-minute journey of having to fend for herself and figure out how to get herself out of danger. I was excited by the traditional bad-assness.

You really have to fight for your life in this film. How physically challenging was that, and how hard was it to drag such a large gun around?

FANNING: I was carrying that large gun around on my back for most of it, and then I’m also carrying the other character because he’s wounded, so I had a lot going on. We shot this right before this past Thanksgiving. We shot it in Canada, and then I flew home to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I was changing and my sister came in my room and was like, “Oh, my god, what happened?!” I had this huge black bruise on my ass, which I knew that I had, but she hadn’t seen it. It was from the gun, slamming against me as I was running. It didn’t last forever, obviously. It went away, but I had a little mark left over.

This story unfolds in a way where there are only two of you for about half of the short, and then there’s just you for the other half. What was it like to have Jose Pablo Cantillo there to interact with and establish that dynamic, but then also be on your own for quite a bit?

FANNING: I love working with other actors, so I was happy to have him there, for sure. We filmed this in such a short amount of time that we’d work together for part of the day, and then I’d be alone for the other part of the day. I, of course, enjoy working with other actors, but sometimes when you’re by yourself, you have to push yourself in a different way. You’re working more with your surroundings and you’re thinking more about your own emotions, instead of what someone else is giving you. It’s just different, not better or worse.

How long was this shoot?

FANNING: It was only five or six days, or something like that.

Did you think about what happened to this young woman, beyond the final moments of this short? Is that something that you talked to Neill about, at all?

FANNING: I actually didn’t. We kept it isolated to the story that we were telling. But I think that there is a journey for her, for sure. I’d be excited to see that. I’m excited to see what happens to her, before this and after this. But no, in my experience, when you’re making a short film, or something that’s not a full-length feature, sometimes it’s important just to focus on what you’re trying to say because you don’t have a lot of time to say it, so we kept it to what had been written.

Is this something where, if he does turn this into a full-length feature, you’d like to be a part of it and further explore this character?

FANNING: That would be great, but that’s up to Neill. I was definitely excited to be a part of this and to get to have another experience working with him. I’d be open to it, sure.

You’re making very interesting choices in your career, as far as the types of projects you’re doing, the variety of work, and the characters that you’re playing. Do you feel like you’re in a really good place, creatively?

FANNING: Yeah, I’m feeling so good. I’m working on The Alienist, which is a television series. I’ve been working on it since March, and it’s been so rewarding and amazing. It’s been very different from making a film, just in terms of the time, but at the same time, the work is always just the work, and I’m working with such great people. I’m feeling very inspired by what I’m doing, and I feel like I’m in the best place I could be. It’s a nice feeling.

Does that make you nervous to find that next thing that gets you excited, or do you get more excited about the possibility of what’s next?

FANNING: I never try to get too far ahead of myself. I just try to enjoy the experience that I’m in and trust that the next thing will always be different, but it will bring something new to my life or teach me something different. I try to just stay in the moment. I’m going to be [in Budapest] until September and I’m already panicking about finishing because I’m having so much fun.

Zygote is available for free via the Oats Studios YouTube, Steam and Facebook channels. And exclusively on Steam, you can access specialty behind-the scenes content, including dailies, an HQ stereo version, concept art, sound stems, 3D models, the musical score and more, for just $4.99. [Source]

Tags: Interviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Latest Photos
Cover Girl
Support to the site
Dakota Fanning Network is no longer under free hosting, so if you want to help to keep the site alive and online, please consider giving a donation. Any amount, no matter how small, will be more than appreciated. All donations will go to domain renewals, monthly hosting bills, HQ photos for the gallery... Thank you!
Current Gif
Current Projects
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.
The Watchers (2024)
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.
The Perfect Couple (202?)
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.
The Nightingale (202?)
The lives of two sisters living in France are torn apart at the onset of World War II. Based on Kristin Hannah's novel 'The Nightingale'.
Elite and top affiliates

Elite spots are reserved for friends and co-stars. Apply here.
Help Out & Donate
You and all the people can help here and any help would be more than appreciated. The goal is to be your #1 Dakota Fanning source and for it, I need all the help you can give me. Anything you done will be creditted to you!

This site is always looking for pictures that I don't have up, so if you have scans, stills, shoots or any other picture that I could use, send to me. Full credits will be given.
Photo of the moment
Visit our photo gallery with over 38.400 photos and growning often!
Link Us
Site Stats & Disclaimer
  • Name: Dakota Fanning Network
  • Since: May 03rd 2010
  • Owner: Anne
  • Version: 7th

  • I am in no way affiliated or connected with Dakota Fanning, and this site is in no way official. This is just a fansite, created by a fan. I don't know anything about her personal life except what is on this site. Everything on this site is ©2010-2024 Anne unless other is noted. Do not remove anything without permission. No copyright infringement is ever intended.
    Privacy Policy | Terms
    DMCA.com Protection Status
    Candids Policy

    This fansite is strictly against any paparazzi or stalkerazzi pictures. We will not support any kind of bashing or privacy intrusion into Dakota’s life and/or the one of people around her. The gallery contains just paparazzi photos related to Dakota’s work, such as on-set photos and promotional related (arriving or leaving TV Shows…).

    Copyright & Requirements
    © Dakota Fanning Network 2010-2024
    All here is copyrighted by Dakota Fanning Network unless other is noted.
    This website is best viewed in a resolution of 1024 or higher, 32 bit color, and in Mozilla Firefox. Javascript, Pop-ups, CSS and Tables.