Feature Friday : The IT girl, Elle Fanning

by kranARI

Elle Fanning

There have been a lot of IT girls going around this year. Emma Stone has been the Comedy IT girl, Natalie Portman is the current Oscar Favorite for Best Female Performance – but I’d like to bring this little girl to your attention.

She might be channeling Twiggy in the featured photo shoots, but Elle is only 14 and she has amassed a great variety of films under her belt. Her second teeth are still coming out and she still manages to be a total professional on film sets and photo calls that require long hours and lots of soul searching. My favorite blog post this week on her is one that I stumbled upon that summarizes Elle JUST PERFECTLY:

“An actress arrives on set in an atypical mood. Almost always a whirlwind, she is calm today. Typically a chatterbox, she has gone strangely quiet. For the scene she is about to shoot, she needs to take herself to a dark, sad place, and she is trying to edge up to it. She puts out the word to the cast and crew that they should please, please not be insulted by her withdrawal.

She has played tough moments before. In one movie she found herself abandoned in the Southern California desert. In another she was mute, struggling to communicate through sign language, and in yet another she grappled with a brother’s death in a hit-and-run accident.

But her character this time is in even greater pain, tormented by an inability to control obsessive-compulsive behavior that threatens to tear her family apart. And when the cameras roll, the actress must, in a fit of crying, communicate a lifetime of wishing that things were different and worrying that they might never be. As she glumly readies herself, some of those around her marvel at the wisdom and maturity of her approach. That’s because — the missing detail — she is 9 years old.”

(Thank you for sharing this- VINTAGE CHIC)

And yes, it makes me smile that I write this but she does indeed belong to the FANNING Dynasty – and I say Dynasty because it looks as though anyone who comes out of that family in the creative field is bound to blow you away.

Elle Fanning-Interview magazineproperty of Interview Magazine

Elle Fanning in Valentinoproperty of Interview Magazine

Her sister Dakota has not ceased to impress viewers and critics alike since her first voice-over in the Hayako Miyazaki’s film My neighbor Totoro.

What really blows me away about these siblings is their seemingly effortless acting technique. They are natural yet immerse themselves in their role and are able to generate a deep range of emotions if need be. Especially for parts like those played by Dakota in I am Sam or Hounddog and The secret life of Bees.

Elle is equally impressive and if you want a taste of those acting chops just try immersing yourself in films like Somewhere, Phoebe in Wonderland and Babel.


Phoebe in Wonderland


What I really wonder is who chooses these juicy amazing roles for the girls. Is it a parent behind the scenes or do they make these decisions themselves? The thing that amazes me is the fact that all the movies above have similar characteristics and style. They are often of  independent nature and the collaborations with the directors and cast members are always high calibre. Cast mates include Cate Blanchett, Denzel Washington, Sean Penn, Felicity Huffman and Patricia Clarkson just to name a few.

It’s quite amazing to read about how Felicity Huffman in particular describes what it’s like working with Elle.

“That said, Huffman’s quick to point out that her young co-star wasn’t affected by playing Phoebe. “We’d be acting sort of intense scenes,” recalled Huffman, “I’d be in there going, ‘Oh, I have to – it’s dark and upset…’ We’d do the scene and Daniel would yell cut and Elle would jump up and go, ‘That was fun! Can we do it again?’ It was such a lesson to me about the joy of acting that you forget about as you grow older. You have your self-doubt and all that stuff and [Elle] goes, ‘Oh no, it’s play. It’s fun.'”

(interview by Rebecca Muray, About.com)

In any case, I urge you to let her work her magic spell on you and watch one of her fabulous movies. I’m sure she’s going to be around for a long time to come.

Elle Fanning

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