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Posted by admin on May 25th, 2020 / No Comments

On IMDb’s new podcast, ‘Movies That Changed My Life,’ the star of Hulu’s ‘The Great’ opens up on just that — the films she watched growing up that influenced her career.

Elle Fanning is allergic the phrase “strong female characters.”

That’s what the star of Hulu’s new MRC-produced series The Great explained on the latest episode of IMDb’s newly launched podcast Movies That Changed My Life.

“What does that mean?” Fanning asked, in reference to her character Catherine, as in Cathering the Great, to host Ian de Borja, best known for his work on The IMDb Show. She wanted to show all sides to the historical figure, who gets a reimagining in the Tony McNamara-created series in which she stars opposite Nicholas Hoult. “I was really aware that I wanted to humanize her. She makes mistakes; sometimes she waivers, sometimes she’s weak and sometimes she’s incredibly brave. There’s room for that on TV — to have complicated female characters.”

There’s nothing complicated about Movies That Changed My Life. The weekly series features actors and filmmakers discussing the movies that inspired them and helped launch their careers. The podcast joins other popular IMDb original video series including The IMDb Show, IMDbrief and What to Watch. The inaugural episode features Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright, who was followed by Joel McHale, Judy Greer, Felicia Day and Kevin Smith.

New episodes come out every Thursday wherever podcasts are found, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, IMDb.com/podcasts and through IMDb’s iOS and Android apps.

Says Nikki Santoro, head of IMDb Consumer: “These personal and in-depth conversations with our customers’ favorite actors and filmmakers will reveal the defining moments in their lives, ultimately providing listeners with a greater understanding of their favorite performers, as well as recommendations for new films to add to their IMDb Watchlists.”

On the episode with Fanning, she also dishes on her upcoming film The Nightingale, a role that put her opposite sister Dakota for the first time in their careers; how the first time she watched The Neverending Story was with Bijou Phillips at Sean Lennon’s apartment next to John Lennon’s piano; and how she would dress up as the iconic Sandy while watching Grease. To listen to Fanning, click here. [Source]


Posted by admin on May 25th, 2020 / No Comments

With a starring role in a new Hulu series, Fanning is now in the driver’s seat of her career, taking on edgier and more ambitious parts.

“The Great” is, in many ways, Elle Fanning’s star-making turn.

Sure, she’s been famous for about a decade, but always with the wide-eyed wonder that accompanies youthful renown. When cannibals were eating her in “The Neon Demon,” her mother was stationed nearby on the set, supervising her 17-year-old daughter’s employment. She was there when Fanning dined opposite Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” ice-skated to Gwen Stefani in “Somewhere,” got alien-abducted in “Super 8,” experienced her first kiss in “Ginger & Rosa,” charmed a devilish Angelina Jolie in “Maleficent” and took a pregnancy test in “20th Century Women.”

Her parents no longer convoy her during shoots, which is probably for the best: “The Great” finds Fanning at her most adult, playing an anachronistic Catherine the Great discovering her own sexual and ideological moxie. Good thing Mom stayed home when it came time for Fanning’s big seduction scene in the second episode of the limited series, which premieres on Hulu this weekend. She was 21 at the time, having gained autonomy after years of consulting her folks on every career move.

“I was just so excited because I knew that I was pushing myself in another direction that I’d really never gone,” Fanning said during a Zoom interview last month. “I feel like I’m someone that loves being under pressure. I love feeling terrified and I thrive in those situations. And this certainly put me in those positions.”

Part of that had to do with the material. “The Great” is a dark comedy, and Fanning had never done comedy before. Tony McNamara wrote eight of the 10 episodes, channelling the same satirical spirit he brought to “The Favourite,” another farce about an 18th-century monarch. Fanning needed to capture the nuances of someone who has come of age without understanding the harshness of the real world. At once naive and headstrong, Catherine arrives in Russia for an arranged marriage to the buffoonish emperor Peter III (Nicholas Hoult). As a woman, she’s entitled to very little power. She can’t even open a library. She’ll have to force her way to the top by manipulating her husband’s intellectual shortcomings.

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Posted by admin on May 25th, 2020 / No Comments

The Great is the latest historical drama to revisit the life and rule of Russian Empress Catherine the Great. Unlike previous versions, however, creator and the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Favourite Tony McNamara makes no apologies about its satirical take and disregard for historical accuracy in the stylish and bitingly funny Hulu series starring Elle Fanning as a younger version of the aspiring ruler adjusting to royal life as wife to Emperor Peter III (Nicholas Hoult).

Believing she’s marrying for love, a wide-eyed Catherine is shocked to learn that she’s seen as nothing more than a means to an heir when she arrives in Russia. Over the course of the season, with the aid of her servant, Marial (Phoebe Fox), and other newfound allies in court, the disenchanted consort sets out to kill her horrible husband and uproot the depraved kingdom she’s come to call home.

Similar to The Favourite, the series mixes humor, wit and a modern point of view with plenty of sex and nudity to bring to life this darkly funny version of events. “That’s so unique to Tony,” Fanning tells ET’s Katie Krause about McNamara turning this entire world on its head. “It’s just such a fascinating way to tell that story.” Hoult agrees, applauding McNamara for transforming a genre of “dull and dry” period dramas. “This felt just completely different to all those.”

If there are any other comparisons to McNamara’s film about Queen Anne, which also starred Hoult as Earl Robert Harley, it’s all in tone. “Tony’s voice is so idiosyncratic. Having done The Favourite, I did recognize the kind of rhythm and the pacing and that humor that is in this show,” Hoult continues, adding that Peter was “a really fun role to inhabit.”

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Posted by admin on May 18th, 2020 / No Comments

There’s something to be said, given all Catherine the Great did in her lifetime as the late 18th-century ruler of Russia, that the unfortunate bestiality rumor — you know, the one about the horse — remains.

“Fake news,” said Elle Fanning on the Variety After Show, presented by National Geographic, on Instagram Live. “It’s pretty sad [that] this extraordinary, almost — dare I say — first feminist icon has been reduced to this horse rumor,” she said.

Fanning plays the Russian empress in her new Hulu satirical series, “The Great,” which kicks off with Catherine’s arrival in the country to wed the mercurial, temperamental Peter (Nicholas Hoult). Her optimism about the union is quickly dissolved as Hoult’s Peter soon reveals his capacity for cruelty and selfishness, leading to her plans for a coup. The show, as Variety critic Caroline Framke puts it, “straddles the line between period drama and slapstick comedy with acrobatic ease.”

“We’re definitely in the pocket of that dark comedy, and [creator] Tony [McNamara]’s writing is so specific and witty and irreverent,” said Fanning. “It’s so fun to play with, but you have to get the tone right — especially the rhythm of the words needs to be at a certain pace. And I think it was so important for us — the whole cast is so gifted dramatically and comedically — so we were able to go back and forth and walk that tightrope.”

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Posted by admin on May 13th, 2020 / No Comments

Dakota and Elle Fanning have both been in show business since they were very young, but they’ve never really shared the screen together. All that will change when they take on their roles as sisters Vianne and Isabelle in the film adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s bestseller, Nightingale.

Though they both appeared in 2001’s I Am Sam, Elle, 22, tells ET’s Katie Krause that she doesn’t count that as sharing the screen with her older sis.

“Technically, in I Am Sam I played her at a younger age, so we weren’t really acting together and I was so young, so yeah, this is the first,” she says of her upcoming role in Nightingale.

The story follows two sisters torn apart at the start of World War II.

“Your sister knows you more than anyone. She can sniff anything out of you, she can push your buttons more than anybody,” Elle adds. “It’s like that dynamic is so special and unique, you’re family more than anybody. That’s the closest, she is my closest person. The book really explores that. They’re a bit misunderstood more in the book but still we have that foundation. That we won’t have to work hard for, that’ll be there.”

Unfortunately, the film was just about to start production when the coronavirus pandemic hit, putting a halt to filming on almost all major shows and movies.

“We haven’t shot it yet, so that’s the thing. We were about to go shoot and then everything happened, so it was kinda put to a halt and I know as much as you,” Elle admits.

But that doesn’t mean the actress isn’t busy. Even while quarantined at home with her family in Los Angeles, Elle is hard at work promoting her new Hulu period dramedy series, The Great, in which she plays Catherine the Great.

She co-stars alongside Nicholas Hoult, who was also on the video call to talk about their hilarious new project.

“Tony McNamara, who is our showrunner, creator, wrote the pilot and is the man,” Elle says of The Favourite scribe. “His tone and irreverence and just that dark humor is completely up my alley… It’s just such a fascinating way to tell that story full of humor and really delicious language. That’s so unique to Tony. And just Catherine as a character, I absolutely loved playing her. It was just the ultimate gift to be a part of this show and get to bring her to life and show our version of Catherine.”

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Posted by admin on May 13th, 2020 / No Comments

Elle Fanning has friends in high places! “The Great” star tells Access Daily’s Mario Lopez and Kit Hoover that she and sister Dakota get a special treat from Tom Cruise every Christmas – and the superstar also sends Dakota a new pair of shoes for her birthday! Elle also reveals why the chance to work with Angelina Jolie on “Maleficent” was so special and teases that her upcoming series, in which she portrays Catherine the Great, is “not your classic period piece.” “The Great” premieres May 15 on Hulu.


Posted by admin on May 8th, 2020 / No Comments

Elle Fanning has spent most of her 12-year career making movies. Now, at 22, she’s jumping into television, starring as Catherine the Great in Hulu’s 10-part satirical comedy series “The Great,” which debuts on May 15. Written by “The Favourite” scribe Tony McNamara, the show follows Catherine’s rise to power, from her arranged marriage to Peter III (Nicholas Hoult) to becoming empress of Russia in 1762 after having her husband assassinated.

“I didn’t know much about her. I knew the she-had-sex-with-a-horse propaganda,” Fanning says. “That’s what I knew about her, which is extremely sad. But I came to learn that she’s this kind of feminist icon, and she brought enlightenment to Russia and brought female education and art and science, and really did amazing things. She invented the roller coaster as well. She’s quite fun.”

What have you been doing during quarantine?

I’ve been with my sister [Dakota Fanning] and my mom and my grandmother cooking and baking a lot. My sister has been doing paint by numbers, and also this kind of bedazzling thing. Everyone’s embroidering. We’re getting creative. I’m doing a jigsaw puzzle of the “Top Gun” movie poster.

I love the paint by numbers.

She did a giant, a really big one of a flamingo. I got one. I haven’t done it, but it’s of spotted dogs.

Let’s talk about “The Great.”

It starts when Catherine is quite young and she arrives in Russia. She’s extremely optimistic and open and romantic and slightly naive to what is about to happen to her life. She’s going to marry Peter, who is the emperor of Russia. She meets him, and he is definitely not anything that she thought he was going to be. Reality hits her in her face, and she quickly realizes that she needs to kill her husband for her life to be OK. We’re not here trying to give a history lesson to anyone, but there are elements in each episode that are true, slightly based on what Catherine did. It was a play that was put on in Australia that Tony had done years ago. Then it was going to possibly be a movie. I read the movie script that actually spanned much more of her life. It was her young, up until her death. Then there was talks of, “Hey, there’s so much information, TV is so hot right now, or whatever.” Let’s do a TV show. Tony asked if I would help kind of develop it with him and come on as a producer, which was huge for me. Also, I felt a lot like Catherine in finding my voice in that space as a young woman.

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Posted by admin on April 19th, 2020 / No Comments

As Russian monarchs in Hulu’s upcoming series The Great, the costars put a saucy spin on the period piece for your next quaran-TV escape.

There have always been despots, but once upon a century there were moments of enlightenment amid monarchical madness. In 1762, Catherine the Great seized power in Russia, engineering a coup against her feckless husband, Peter III, and—current world leaders, take note—transforming an uncertain era into a Golden Age. She didn’t exactly abolish the feudal system (that’s a monarch for you), but she aligned her country with Europe and even had herself inoculated against smallpox to prove to her people that the science was sound. The Great, a new series which premieres next month on Hulu, tells the story of Catherine’s rise, with Elle Fanning shrewdly strategizing as the young monarch and Nicholas Hoult flouncing and fulminating as Peter. With some dramatic license, the show is a rich, wild portrait of one of history’s greatest executive moments. “It’s honestly kind of Shakespearean,” says Fanning. “It is hard-core monologues of amazing language that’s absolutely hilarious and dark.”

The cheeky scripts—by Tony McNamara, the Oscar-nominated cowriter of 2018’s The Favourite—are full of vibrant one-liners that make for a deliciously royal romp. Hoult’s character, for one, makes sudden pronouncements like “I would like a bird that shits chocolate!” and the actor says he frequently cracked up on set, citing the time he told Catherine he couldn’t join her in bed because he “ ‘blew my bag in another woman.’ ”

“I’d never heard the expression ‘I just blew my bag,’ ” says Hoult. “It’s so ridiculous, and I almost couldn’t say the line. Even the camera operator was laughing.” The 30-year-old actor also starred in The Favourite, as the priggish adviser Harley, and took inspiration from that film. “At moments, I’d think, Ah, what would Olivia do?” he says of star Olivia Colman, who won an Oscar playing another erratic and spoiled royal, Queen Anne.

As for Fanning, she ascended not just to the throne for the series but also to the role of executive producer, a TV first for the 22-year-old. While pushing to get The Great made, she often found herself in meetings with the usual male execs. “It was interesting to just be in a room full of men,” Fanning says. “As I get older, I realize how my voice does have self-worth. My opinion does matter.” Life began to imitate art imitating history. “I felt very much like Catherine.” [Source]


Posted by admin on February 8th, 2020 / No Comments

Elle Fanning has large shoes to fill in her portrayal of Catherine the Great.

Otherwise known as Catherine II, but born Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, Catherine was Empress of Russia and served as the country’s longest-ruling female leader for more than three decades from 1762 to 1796.

Most recently played by Helen Mirren in the HBO series “Catherine the Great,” the historic figure is now being channeled by Fanning, 21, in “The Great,” a satirical comedy set in 18th century Russia that chronicles the meteoric and unlikely rise of Catherine.

Fanning spoke with reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena, Calif. last month, and when asked by Fox News what she’s learned about herself throughout her journey as Catherine, Fanning gave an interesting explanation for dealing with “serious situations.”

“I really had to let my guard down because I think there’s something with drama that you can kind of hide behind something sometimes when it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s a very serious situation’ but with comedy, there’s no hiding behind anything,” she said. “Like, you have to be bare and be on it and you have to be really in the scene and reacting and especially with this language.”

Fanning explained to the group of reporters that the era in which she is thrust into performing created a dichotomy among herself and the dialogue that she initially found difficulty adjusting to.

“It’s also kind of like Shakespeare, weirdly, this dialogue – because I have never done Shakespeare, but I’m assuming… we have to be word-perfect, very specific,” Fanning said. “So memorizing the lines is something that is of the utmost importance. And we have such respect for the words that if you add an ‘and’ or ‘the,’ it’s like, ‘Oh my… what did I do?’”

“We really care that much,” she added. “We’re saying it’s kind of like the ‘West Wing’ period with all these words kind of going back and forth but it’s amazing. Definitely, my mind is at work.”

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Posted by admin on February 8th, 2020 / No Comments

Elle Fanning may only be 21 years old, but she’s racked up a century of life experience from her acting gigs alone. She’s played Aurora, the Disney princess doomed to a life of permanent slumber at the hands of her father’s scornful ex in Maleficent. She’s been Teen Spirit’s Violet, a small-town girl entering an international singing contest to escape her complicated home life. She’s chased aliens as Alice in Super 8. She survived an apocalypse as Grace in I Think We’re Alone Now.

With all those roles came their wildly different beauty looks, all of which have informed Fanning’s real-life eccentricity bit by bit since she began acting at three years old. As she adds two more films (The Roads Not Taken and All the Bright Places) to that always-growing portfolio of work, we asked the actress about her recent beauty obsessions — including the colorist behind her signature blonde hair, her go-to perfume, and the best tip she ever learned from older sister Dakota Fanning.

ALLURE: You’ve been in the spotlight since you were a pre-teen. Now that you’re 21, how do you think your outlook on beauty has changed?

ELLE FANNING: “I have a very eclectic style, and I take pride in being able to show a lot of different sides of myself. I love the red carpet, funny enough, because it’s a creative outlet for me. Ever since I was young, my mom would allow me to dress up in crazy outfits and go out of the house and just express myself. I feel so fortunate that I got to have that because I got to find who I am, but I’m still discovering. I don’t think I follow the trends that much — I try to be unique to myself. I think that’s important.”

A: What’s the best beauty tip you’ve learned from your sister, Dakota?

EF: “My sister’s really good at doing her makeup. Whenever she’s doing her makeup, I always try to learn and look. She really uses her hands a lot to apply everything, and I feel like a lot of the best makeup artists do. She loves products that can kind of go everywhere. It’s like you paint the eyes, go on the cheeks, and do a bit on the lips.”

A: Your natural freckles are such a key part of your red-carpet beauty. How do you keep them noticeable underneath base makeup?

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All the Bright Places

Role: Violet Markey
Release Date: 2020
The story of Violet and Theodore, who meet and change each other's lives forever. As they struggle with the emotional and physical scars of their past, they discover that even the smallest places and moments can mean something.
The Roads Not Taken

Role: Molly
Release Date: 2020
Sally Potter's film follows a day in the life of Leo (Javier Bardem) and his daughter, Molly (Elle Fanning), as he floats through alternate lives he could have lived, leading Molly to wrestle with her own path as she considers her future.
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: 2021
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'.
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