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Feb 6, 2023
Elle Fanning on Queenly Makeup, From Blush on The Great to Vivienne Westwood as Muse

The actor, returning soon for a third season as Catherine the Great, pays homage to classic screen stars in the campaign for Paco Rabanne’s latest perfume, Fame.

It has been nearly six decades since Truman Capote invited 540 pals to the Plaza Hotel for the Black and White Ball—a swanning crowd that included Frank Sinatra, Babe Paley, Gordon Parks, Andy Warhol, and the Italian princess Luciana Pignatelli gleaming in a 60-carat diamond (a Harry Winston loaner). But on a recent afternoon at the hotel, Elle Fanning is seemingly ready for a redux, wearing a high-necked white Paco Rabanne dress studded with tiny diamantés. Fanning, a student of history, summons another canonical reference: “Eloise at the Plaza!” she says, perched on a sofa in a high-floor suite. The 24-year-old actor has regal bearings in spades, as proved by her Emmy-nominated turn as the Russian empress Catherine II in Hulu’s The Great. But there’s an ebullient quality too, a through line from her earliest work onscreen—as a three-year-old in I Am Sam, playing the younger version of her sister Dakota’s character.

A woman so long in the spotlight is a fitting match for the latest Paco Rabanne fragrance, Fame. The bottle conveys the flashbulb sense of the word, styled with cat-eye sunglasses, au courant pierced ears, and the house’s signature chainmail. Fanning herself, having studied ballet through her teen years, also brings a performing-arts-kid magnetism to the role. If David Bowie’s “Fame” inspired the name of the 1980 cult movie, the song also soundtracks the Paco Rabanne campaign. In it, Fanning turns up at the brand’s Avenue Montaigne flagship, where the perfume sparks a series of understated homages to ’60s screen stars, including Audrey Hepburn (Two for the Road), Brigitte Bardot (Le Mépris), and Jane Fonda (Barbarella). It’s a familiar move for Fanning, slipping in and out of guises onscreen and on the red carpet, where she and her longtime stylist Samantha McMillen often showcase rare treasures pulled from Cherie Balch’s Shrimpton Couture. Here, the actor shares a few treasured looks, the makeup product she wishes she’d invented, and Catherine the Great’s approach to power dressing.

Vanity Fair: With fame in mind, what do you guard as private in your life and what parts do you relish being less precious about, whether TikTok or karaoke?
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Oct 25, 2022
The Great’s Elle Fanning On Fame, Feminism And Finding Herself

Oh my God, it’s four in the morning?” marie claire’s October cover star, Elle Fanning gasps. “That’s insane. Surely we can pick a better time to talk?”

“It’s fine,” I assure her. “Australian journalists are used to waking up at the crack of dawn for interviews with international stars.”

“Oh no, I’m so sorry. We need to make this quick! You have to get back to bed,” she insists. Even in our line of work, it’s not every day a Hollywood A-lister concerns themselves with your sleep schedule. However, Elle’s manners show the telltale signs of a Southern upbringing, even if her sunny Californian accent has no hint of a Southern drawl.

The actor and latest ambassador for Paco Rabanne’s new fragrance ‘Fame’ is chatting to marie claire from London, where she’s currently filming the third season of her hit television series The Great. It’s 9pm for her after a long day on set, her Chinese takeaway is waiting on the table until she completes our interview, and yet Elle is beaming.

I can’t actually see her—we’ve gone old school with a phone call rather than the “new normal” Zoom interview—but she’s one of those people who talks with such excitement and joy, you can hear her ear-to-ear smile as she speaks. And rightly so. The 24-year-old actor has plenty to smile about.

It’s been quite the year for Elle, who gained widespread critical acclaim for her surprising turn playing an uncharacteristically dark role in The Girl from Plainville, while also picking up an Emmy nomination for The Great.

News of the nomination came to her via her co-star Nicholas Hoult, who also received a nod for his work as Peter.
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Oct 24, 2022
Elle Fanning on ‘playing pretend’ and Paco Rabanne

Elle Fanning is the face of Paco Rabanne’s freshest fragrance, FAME.

“PLAYFUL. SENSUAL. Empowered … She’s an icon. She’s a star,” reads the press release for Paco Rabanne’s freshest fragrance, FAME. And while these notes on the perfume are accurate, they may as well be describing Rabanne’s latest ambassador, Elle Fanning.

Fanning is the new face of the Couturier’s famed fragrance — and she’s in good company amongst a storied list of Paco Rabanne muses, including Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot.

The embodiment of young, contemporary America, Fanning is as multi-faceted as the classic muses and ultramodern as ever. Accordingly, she is the essence of the FAME woman; the wearer of an olfactory signature that contrasts a trio of incense with vanilla and sandalwood — sensuality with free spirit.

Below, the actress opens up about olfactory memories, what it is like to “play pretend for a career” and what it means to be a Paco Rabanne woman.

You have been an actor practically all your life. Looking back, how has this shaped you as a person?
I get to play pretend as a career, and because I’ve been doing it since I was so little, it’s allowed me to live in my imagination. I am not afraid to dream and take risks.

Throughout your career, you have been a ghost, a Disney princess, an alien, a 19th-century author, an 18th-century empress… What is it like to slip into different characters?
No matter what kind of character I’m playing, I always try to find empathy for them. I learn about myself with each character that I play. I am currently filming season 3 of The Great, so currently
thinking about Catherine. This is the longest I’ve played any character and she has meant so much to me as I figure out who I want to be in this world.
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Aug 19, 2022
Elle Fanning Keeps You Guessing

The Emmy-nominated star of The Great talks growing up on-screen and her deep love of Paris Hilton.

For W’s third annual TV Portfolio, we asked 21 sought-after names in television to pay homage to their favorite small screen characters by stepping into their shoes.

At just 24 years old, Elle Fanning has had a career that would strike envy in the hearts of even the most seasoned actors. Her film credits boast a who’s who of top directors, among them David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), J.J. Abrams (Super 8), Mike Mills (20th Century Women), and Sofia Coppola (Somewhere and The Beguiled). Now, Fanning is conquering television with her Emmy-nominated turn as The Great’s Catherine the Great—a part created by The Favourite’s cowriter Tony McNamara and Fanning’s first leading role on TV. Determined not to be typecast, Fanning followed up the second season of the dark comedy with The Girl From Plainville, Hulu’s limited series in which she transformed into Michelle Carter, the real-life teenager at the center of the texting-suicide case of Conrad Roy. “With each project, I have to go from one drastic thing to the next,” she says. “I want people to expect the unexpected from me, in the words of Big Brother.” It’s an approach that’s proven to be particularly fruitful—so much so, it’s almost easy to forget that she got her start as a toddler, playing a younger version of her sister Dakota’s character in 2001’s I Am Sam. Here, she discusses coming of age on-screen and her respect for one of reality TV’s most iconic duos.

Your sister introduced you to The Simple Life, right?

Right, though every two years or so, I’ll watch the show again. I love Nicole Richie. I love Paris Hilton. I’ve gotten to meet Paris a couple times, and she is the nicest and coolest. It was so fascinating hearing in Paris’s documentary how she put on this persona for the reality show. It’s quite clever. My sister and I would watch it and act out the scenes. I would normally be Nicole Richie, and she would be Paris. We would say “That’s hot” and “Loves it.” Finally, I get to dress up as Paris and have the dog, because Dakota always had the Chihuahua

You’ve been working for over two decades now. Have you ever felt boxed in by the child actor label?

It’s maybe not so much about the child actor label. As an actor in general, no matter what age, people want to put you in a box and describe the types of roles you should be doing or what you’re capable of. That can be hard when you’re a child, because you haven’t learned your limitations yet. But that really fueled my fire, because I would always try to make the daring choice, to challenge myself and really push the boundaries. Like with The Great and The Girl From Plainville, I had two weeks between those shows, and they are polar opposites. It was such a challenge, going from one set that’s a satire comedy to this very raw, real-life-drama, true-crime story.
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Aug 19, 2022
Elle Fanning: “I have an opinion and I’m not afraid to share it”

The actress and producer on the second season of The Great and how she’s taking control in her industry

If you want to make Elle Fanning happy, tell her how good her English accent is. “Oh really?” she beams at me. “I love that, thank you. It’s the best compliment ever when people who have seen The Great don’t believe I’m American. I’m like; ‘Yes, we’ve succeeded.’”

Her English intonation is on excellent form in The Great’s second season, which debuts on Channel 4 this week. The comedy-drama series, which bills itself as an “occasionally true” retelling of the story of Catherine the Great, was a smash hit in its first incarnation, garnering multiple awards and nominations – including a Golden Globe nod for Fanning. While season two has already premiered in the states (and has just earned her another Emmy nomination) the UK release, Fanning explains, is perhaps more meaningful. “We film in this little studio in East London and all of our crew and most of the cast is English, so I feel like we’re ultimately a British show.”

“The set is honestly probably even more fun than you even think it is,” she continues. “We just have become such a family; I genuinely love them with all my heart. And then when you add in the humour of the show, it’s inevitable you’re just going to be laughing nonstop. Wait until you see the blooper reel.” The second season was, if possible, even more fun to film, she says. “A lot of it was shot during lockdown so the only socialisation we had was when we were on set and inevitably you just get so much closer to everyone,” she says. “The party scenes were the best, because it was the only time any of us actually got to go to a party that year!” Her accent, one assumes, is not the only thing she has perfected filming this show; “Oh, the British sense of humour? Absolutely. Dry, very witty, sharp. I love it.”

Fanning is 24, but her general demeanour belies her years. She is confident and erudite while demonstrating a humility that speaks to experience rather than naivety. She has an ‘old soul’, as they say, and it is not hard to see why. Fanning began her career before her third birthday and has accrued the sort of CV that would make a freshly graduated drama student faint with glee – from Disney blockbuster Maleficent opposite Angelina Jolie to critically acclaimed cult films, like Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon and two collaborations with Sofia Coppola: 2010’s Somewhere and 2017’s The Beguiled.
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Jul 1, 2022
Elle Fanning Shares How Her Love of Vintage Translates to Beauty

While Memorial Day Weekend is the kickoff to the summer season for many, it’s Cannes Film Festival for in-demand celebs. It’s the day after Elle Fanning’s Cannes red carpet debut, and she’s gushing: “Cannes is such a glamourous place, but it’s also on the beach, so during the day, I try to be very glowy; I want to stay fresh, and I like a dewiness to the skin.” The Great actress is on the go—right after Cannes, she is heading to Paris and then back to London to start filming Season three of The Great. Nevertheless, she takes 15 minutes from her beach day to talk with ELLE about her summer beauty routine, which era inspires her red carpet looks, and the key to kicking nail-biting.

For Elle Fanning, journeying to the South of France means it’s time to kick up her sun protection. “My summer beauty must-have is sunscreen because I’m the palest person ever,” she laughs. Low-maintenance beauty looks are in, focusing on skin, which is in alignment with the beauty looks Fanning loves. Fanning likes to keep her off-duty routine simple when not on the red carpet simple: “I always have a concealer; L’Oreal has this kind of crayon, True Match Concealer. It’s like, the lightest one, but it’s so perfect,” she reveals. Like many fans of the affordable product, Fanning raves about the formula—“It goes on easily. I love it. That’s always in my bag.” In addition to concealer, Fanning loves blush. “That is my number one,” she states regarding her “must-haves”—“I want to look like I have rosy cheeks,” she explains.

However, when it’s time to turn up the glam, Fanning isn’t afraid to go bolder and looks to Old Hollywood to show her the way. “I have always loved [Marilyn Monroe]—Grace Kelly [too],” she shares, which is no surprise, as it’s public knowledge of Fanning’s love for vintage clothing. Her style choices are reminiscent of the era. The star was spotted wearing Lapima’s Julieta sunglasses in black days before. The chic cat-eye frame paid homage to an age she loves. “The 50s-60s are my favorite beauty era regarding makeup. I think it’s glamorous and sexy for a woman,” she coos. She’s a fan of the cat-eye, originating in ancient Egypt and popularized in the United States in the 1950s. “I think it really can make you stand out, but I’m not doing it myself,” exclaims Fanning before adding, “Oh God, I can do one [eye], I just can’t do the other one!”
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Jun 24, 2022
Elle Fanning on Why She Was Hesitant to Star in Hulu’s ‘The Girl From Plainville’

Elle Fanning is Hulu’s MVP this year, in contention via both her edgy comedy series “The Great” and the dark limited series “The Girl From Plainville.” Not only does she star in both she also serves as an executive producer on the two projects.

“Hulu comments on my Instagram photos all the time,” she says. “And it’s always a boost from Hulu. They’re like, ‘Yes, Queen! You’re doing great!” It’s like, thanks, Hulu! Whoever’s running that, they’re really giving me a boost in the morning when I check my comments.”

That affirmation is appreciated by Fanning as she heads to London soon to shoot Season 3 of “The Great.” Last year, she kept a grueling schedule in which she filmed “The Girl From Plainville” just days after wrapping Season 2 of “The Great.”

“It was a complete 180,” she says. Fanning spoke to Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast about both shows, and in particular what it took to research the story behind “The Girl From Plainville” and depict her character in an honest way. Also in this episode, we chat with “Pachinko” creator and showrunner Soo Hugh about the origins behind her Apple TV+ show, and what’s next. Listen below!

In “The Girl From Plainville,” Fanning plays Michelle Carter, the teen who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to end his life. It’s indeed a marked contrast to playing a rebel Catherine the Great in Hulu’s wild “The Great.” And at first, given the salacious nature of how the story of Carter and Roy was covered in the media, Fanning wasn’t so sure she was interested in the role.
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Jun 24, 2022
Awards Chatter’ Podcast: Elle Fanning

The former child star, who is now 24 and garnering career-best notices for her work on a Hulu comedy series and limited series, reflects on growing up in the industry alongside Dakota, when she took ownership of her career and what led her to projects on the small screen.

Elle Fanning is a gifted actress who is already a widely respected veteran at the age of just 24. She is the younger of two sisters — Dakota is four years older — who both made tremendous impressions as child performers en route to impressive careers as young adults, with no major personal bumps along the way. Of her work on the big screen, she is perhaps best known for 2010’s Somewhere and 2017’s The Beguiled, both directed by Sofia Coppola. But she has also starred in films big and small under the direction of, among others, Francis Ford Coppola, J.J. Abrams, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, David Fincher, Cameron Crowe, Sally Potter, Jay Roach, Mike Mills, Nicolas Winding Refn, John Cameron Mitchell, Tony Scott, Terry George, Ben Affleck and Woody Allen.

This year, Fanning played substantial parts on and executive produced two TV programs, both for Hulu, and both of which could bring her Emmy nominations to go with four prior Critics Choice Award noms, two Golden Globe Award noms, one Spirit Award nom and one SAG Award nom. The first is The Great, a comedy series on which she portrays Catherine the Great, who arrived at the Russian court of Emperor Peter III with a twinkly eyed vision of life as his wife, mother of his heir and reformer of an empire, only to get a rude awakening. And the second is The Girl From Plainville, a limited series on which she portrays Michelle Carter, a high school student in Massachusetts who encouraged her own boyfriend to kill himself, and then, after he did so in 2014, wound up on trial for involuntary manslaughter.

During a recent episode of THR’s Awards Chatter podcast, Fanning reflected on all of the above and more. You can listen to the full conversation or read excerpts of it below.

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Current Projects
The Great (TV Series)

Role: Catherine
Release Date: 2020
A royal woman living in rural Austria during the seventeenth century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor.

The Nightingale

Role: Isabelle
Release Date: 2022
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'.

The Girl from Plainville (TV Series)

Role: Michelle Carter
Release Date: 2022
A young woman from a small town in Massachusetts is accused of persuading her boyfriend to commit suicide.

Francis and the Godfather

Role: Ali MacGraw
Release Date: 202?
Young director Francis Ford Coppola faces off against producer Robert Evans during the production of 'The Godfather.'


Role: Stratten
Release Date: 202?
The founder of the all-male strip club, Chippendales, becomes suspicious of the New York choreographer he hired to help turn it into a highly-successful enterprise.
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