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March 25th, 2019 / No Comments

With a new Miu Miu fragrance campaign and a revelatory vocal performance in the pop-powered movie Teen Spirit, Elle Fanning is on the rise.

In her first movie role at age three, Elle Fanning might have played a younger version of her sister, Dakota’s, character, but she didn’t stay in the shadow of her sibling for long. As she turns 21 this month, Elle has already racked up an impressive array of performances in her young career, variously playing a fairy-tale princess, a punk-rock alien, and a fashion victim in more than 30 films. “At first I would get mistaken for my sister,” she says. “Of course, to us we look nothing alike—we have completely different noses!”

Besides her film roles, Fanning has been garnering a lot of attention of late for her newest career move: In January, she was named the face of Miu Miu’s new fragrance, Twist. The scent combines sweet, effervescent top notes with a sensuous base of pink amber. “It’s hard and soft, which I quite like,” says Fanning.

Somewhat appropriately, part of the campaign for Twist—a short film shot by the artist collective Canada that traces a movie star’s chameleonic routine through multiple roles—plays on her seemingly limitless capacity for reinvention.

On camera she may recede into her roles, but at five foot nine, the statuesque actress is built to stand out. “I feel very comfortable being on the red carpet because Hollywood embraces my quirkiness,” says Fanning. “I always felt like it was a safe place to be—it was actually more like home than high school was.”

As a grade-schooler, Fanning, who still lives with her mother and grandmother in Los Angeles when she’s not working, enrolled at a prep school and did her best to have a normal life. But her daring fashion sense routinely drew stares. “I always felt like an outsider,” she recalls. “I remember once in seventh grade I got a pink shirt at Opening Ceremony that had Big Bird printed all over it, and I wore it with flared pants and wedges even though I was already quite tall.”

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March 14th, 2019 / No Comments

“I always had this dream of being a pop star,” says Elle Fanning. Sitting at a corner table at West Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont in a gauzy ivory dress, the 20-year-old actress is so happy to be talking about how her dream finally came true in the new movie Teen Spirit that she lets her mint tea go cold. “That feeling, like I can just let loose and perform, was so attractive.”

In Teen Spirit, Fanning plays Violet Valenski, an introverted but tenacious English teenager who enters a singing competition in the hopes of escaping her dreary home life. Throughout the movie, Fanning sings various pop showpieces, in the end taking the stage in front of a live studio audience to deliver a primal performance of an unexpected song. To anyone familiar with Fanning’s career, her magnetism onscreen is no surprise. Still, watching her as Violet is like witnessing a best new artist Grammy winner at the moment of birth.

Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Max Minghella (perhaps best known as Nick on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale), Teen Spirit, which LD Entertainment and Bleecker Street will release on April 5, follows Violet from her humble beginnings, half-heartedly singing ballads in a local pub, to the titular televised competition. The role required Fanning not only to cover existing songs like Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own,” but to also record an original track with producer Jack Antonoff, which Fanning calls a “super surreal” experience. “Jack did [Taylor Swift’s] reputation. He recorded [Lorde’s] ‘Green Light,’” she says. “I felt like, ‘Wow — maybe I am good.’”

Teen Spirit joins a rapidly expanding number of recent movies set within the music industry and led by young female actors who portray not pop personas, but real, complicated women. In the 2018 film Vox Lux, Natalie Portman played a school shooting survivor turned pop diva and sang original tracks written by Sia. Alex Ross Perry’s forthcoming Her Smell stars Elisabeth Moss as a messy, troubled, Courtney Love-style rocker. And then, of course, there’s A Star Is Born’s Ally, a character largely inspired by Lady Gaga herself.

“On some level it’s coincidence,” says Teen Spirit producer Fred Berger of this spate of films (Berger also produced 2016’s La La Land). “But music is one of the most manipulative tools we have. The [film] industry has caught up to the fact that, in an environment where people need an excuse to go to the movies, they want to feel something big.”

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January 19th, 2019 / No Comments

The face of the newest Miu Miu fragrance, Twist, tells us about her singing prospects, plus what she does in Ubers.

Elle Fanning has seamlessly slipped into characters since she was two years old. In her very first film, she appeared as the younger version of big sister Dakota in I Am Sam. Since then, the now 20-year-old actress has played a princess (Maleficent), a supermodel (Neon Demon), a transgender male teen (3 Generations), a ghost (Twixt), a novelist (Mary Shelley), a twisted schoolgirl (The Beguiled), and an alien (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), among many others.

Off screen, she transitions just as easily into someone else, be it an ice skater or a masseuse—just two of the many personas she’s explored while riding in an Uber (more on that later). Fanning has even boarded a plane in Los Angeles as a regular front-row celeb and gotten off in Paris as a show opener for Miu Miu, a “spur-of-the-moment” casting idea Miuccia Prada came up with for fall 2018. Given the star’s experience on red carpets and big-screen runways (she tackled a treadmill in a dress for Neon Demon), she was a natural—save for having to contain her big, bubbly personality in favor of a cool supermodel smize on the catwalk.

The day of our interview, Fanning is fully committed to her role as the face of Miu Miu’s newest fragrance: Twist, an airy blend of apple blossom, cedarwood, and pink amber inspired by the house’s signature matelassé material. In her bubblegum-colored dress, glitter platform heels, and teal blue eye inspired by Anna Karina, she’s the ultimate Miu Miu ingénue lounging across a settee or posing leisurely on the balcony.

The second the camera isn’t zoomed in on her every movement, however, a big goofy smile breaks out across her face, and she’s polishing a table with a makeup wipe in order to get one of the picture-perfect shots seen here. At this point in her life and career, she’s a pro at playing someone else, but underneath it all, she’s shockingly normal and completely comfortable in her own skin.

Here, Fanning reveals what was going through her head on the runway, the song she’s ready and willing to whip out at karaoke, and the best lies she’s told from the backseat.

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April 4th, 2018 / No Comments

When you look at the April cover of Glamour, there’s no question that the three women pictured on it—Elle Fanning, Camila Cabello, and Aja Naomi King—are beautiful. I mean, just look at them. But, like the rest of us, they haven’t always felt confident in their own skin: As a kid (and before her Fifth Harmony days), Camila says she never saw herself—a Cuban-Mexican immigrant—represented in pop culture. When she first started playing with makeup, Aja found that some products just didn’t show up on her dark skin—and that stung. And Elle, who has been in the Hollywood spotlight since age three (yes, three), admitted to feeling pressure to conform to old beauty ideals by straightening her naturally curly hair for her first day at public school.

Isn’t it about time we rewrite this conversation? In honor of International Women’s Day, I spoke with all three of these remarkable women about how our definitions of beauty are finally shifting. As Camila put it: “When you look at the cover with me, Aja, and Elle, you see different body shapes, different skin tones, different backgrounds. It just shows you that beauty looks like everybody, you know?” Yep, we know.

Elle Fanning

Forty-five. That’s how many movies Elle Fanning, at age 20, has under her belt. I wasn’t convinced that was even possible until I counted them myself. You can literally see her grow up onscreen, under the Hollywood spotlight: at age three, playing the younger version of big sister Dakota in I Am Sam. As a dreamy young girl in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere. And kicking off 2018 with critical favorite I Think We’re Alone Now, a post-apocalyptic love story from buzzy director Reed Morano.

Still, Fanning tells me she’s never felt scrutinized for her appearance by the industry, which has been pretty accepting of her playful makeup looks (just part of the appeal when L’Oréal Paris signed her as a face last year) and quirky fashion sense (frilly Rodarte pants are kind of her thing). It was her ­contemporaries—​kids at school—who made her feel she should conform to a certain mold. So what does she want to say to the world about beauty and feeling good in your skin? Hear it in her words.…

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March 13th, 2017 / No Comments

IN IMDB YEARS, ELLE FANNING SHOULD BE APPROACHING her mid forties. She’s taken on 55different roles (with a further seven films coming) since her first acting gig, aged two, in I Am Sam, alongside her older sister, actress Dakota. Of course, in reality, 18-year-old Elle’s long résumé has created a teen with a depth of experience and wisdom.

As Harper Lee wrote, ‘You never really understand a person… until you climb into [her] skin and walk around in it.’ And through her work, Elle has done just that. She played a transgender boy in About Ray, a Disney princess in Maleficent, a politically awakened teen in Trumbo, a lonesome 11 year old in Somewhere, a narcissistic supermodel in The Neon Demon, and a young feminist in this month’s 20th Century Women.

‘When you get these parts, the women become a part of you,’ she tells me over breakfast in her home city of Los Angeles. ‘I was acting while growing up myself, so I’d feel older after each character.’ Who better then to solve some of our life dilemmas?

We asked readers to submit their questions, and it turns out that Elle was born to be an agony aunt. ‘Friends come to me for advice,’ she says. ‘I say it how it is. They know I’ll be honest with them. There’s none of that post-truth stuff with me.’

Elle is, perhaps, the teenager we all wish we’d been: she’s kind (even to grumpy waiters) and looks entirely together at 8.30am in a black cashmere polo, midi skirt and Dr. Martens. She’s the epitome of cool and has Solange’s number in her mobile to prove it – the pair recently met, by chance, in a cafe in New Orleans, and Knowles insisted they hang. But it’s Elle’s spirit that’s most enviable. She throws herself into everything she does with assurance, drive and unadulterated joy, even when that’s plunging into a pool, mid-winter, for our cover shoot.

She’s recently back from six weeks shooting Sofia Coppola’s Civil War remake of The Beguiled in New Orleans alongside Nicole Kidman, with some life advice of her own: ‘Nicole told me, “Find your tribe, and they’ll always be behind you.” I like that.’ So lie back on the couch, Dear Reader, and take heed of Elle’s wisdom.

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March 8th, 2014 / No Comments

Before Elle Fanning hits the big screen as Princess Aurora opposite Angelina Jolie in Maleficent, she’s playing a fashion princess in Paris during fashion week. The star of Miu Miu’s spring campaign, the 15-year-old (soon to be 16-year-old!) actress was all smiles in the front row yesterday.

We caught up with her to talk getting older (as in turning 16) and learning to drive.
Hi Elle, do you mind answering a few questions for… ELLE?

Ha, sure, Elle for ELLE!

I know you’re a big fan of the brand…

This is the first Miu Miu show I’ve ever been to. I got to do the campaign, so I’m so excited to be here.
What was the experience like of shooting the campaign?

It was very fun. That collection in particular I loved, it all looked like sherbet. It was so girly, and I’m a fairly girly girl, so I love it.

How would you describe your style– has it evolved?

I’m getting older: I’ll be 16 soon.

Sweet 16!

Yeah, it’s a big deal! And I feel like I’m dressing a bit older, but it’s kinda just how I feel. I haven’t been analyzing it. I just put on what I want to put on. It’s like, ‘I don’t hate that today.’ I’m discovering some things in my closet that I used to wear and bringing them back. I never get rid of anything. I always keep it all.
Are you an organized closet person?

Messy organized. It’s very messy but I know where everything is.
So, any birthday plans?

I might not be in town for my sweet 16 so I had a dinner with my friends already, so now I’m just going to be with my family.
If you could get anything for your birthday…

That’s so hard! I haven’t even thought about what to get. I like really weird gifts. Someone already gave me antique opera glasses made out of pearl. They’re really cool.
And are you driving?

Nooo! I don’t have my permit because I haven’t had time to learn the stuff. I mean, it’s hard. They ask you things, that, like, my mom doesn’t even know the answer. But I’m definitely going to learn. [Source]



February 11th, 2013 / No Comments

Is there any bigger affront to the most stylish 14-year-old girl in Hollywood than having to wear a kilt to school? Done in a traditional tartan, it’s part of the uniform at Campbell Hall, Elle Fanning’s private school in the San Fernando Valley, where it’s paired with a polo or blouse in white and navy (seniors may add two colors) and a navy overcoat (all jackets, including hoodies, must be navy). Fanning—co-star of films like Super 8, We Bought a Zoo, and the upcoming BFF-betrayal indie Ginger & Rosa—likes to wear her skirt short, but not too short, on her “five-seven-and-three-quarters” frame, and who’s to say what’s short anyway? “The kilt’s supposed to be long enough that your fingertips can reach the ends [when you’re standing]. But what if someone has extra-long or extra-short arms?” she says, giggling.

At home, Fanning keeps her Campbell Hall clothes separate from her going-out clothes, things like Prada geisha shoes, loose Céline pants, and floor-sweeping dresses by the Rodarte sisters, for whom she has been a muse. “I have a sliding glass door on my closet,” she says, “and when I slide it one way I can see all my uniforms, and the other way is all my own clothes.” And, of course, she can make a kilt work if she has to. Today, arriving at the cozy, buttercream-scented headquarters of Duff’s Cakemix, a “cake-decorating studio” in Hollywood, she’s accessorized with maroon Alexander McQueen ballet flats with a brass skull medallion at the toe (a tweak on conservative staples like Tory Burch’s), a stack of diamond and ruby rings (loaded up on her ring finger like a middle-aged woman’s anniversary bands), and two gold chains. “I like necklaces that are short, the way skateboarders used to wear them in the seventies,” she says, touching the one that hangs a bit lower than the other on her alabaster neck.

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December 17th, 2012 / No Comments

At just 14, Elle Fanning has already fallen in and out of love, risen from the dead, and survived an alien invasion. Her performances are fraught with an increasingly heady mix of innocence and experience, and she’s just getting started. Kathryn Borel sits down with the ‘Ginger & Rosa’ star as she prepares for take off.

ELLE FANNING would make more sense if she’d walked into the lobby of the Sunset Tower Hotel with her face pointed toward her steel-capped boots, grim-mouthed and moping behind a flat sheet of blond hair. The characters she has recently played have had a tender, distinctly mid-’90s languidness that recall the combined agita of Jeffrey Eugenides’ Lisbon sisters and the tentative, bruising vulnerability of Angela Chase. Fanning is only 14 years old. Surely she’s experiencing some pubescent anguish.

But on the morning of our interview, Fanning makes her entrance as though she’s morning itself—cheery, optimistic, and with an airy lightness that reaches all corners of the room. She’s lithe and foal-limbed in a long rose floral dress that brushes the round tips of her sensible clogs. Her face is fresh-scrubbed, and possesses a luminous grin that seems almost physically impossible to invert. As she energetically shakes my hand, I find myself searching her clear eyes for some darkness or injury lingering deep inside, closer to her brain. But all I get is clarity and more clarity, the pure goodness of a person who so far has eluded the Bad Feelings brought on by the emotional shifts of adolescence.

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October 10th, 2012 / No Comments

British filmmaker Sally Potter’s new film about the inseparable friendship between two teenage girls set in Cold War-era London has gained praise as a return to cinematic form for Potter and a powerful acting turn by American teen Elle Fanning.

Fanning, the rising star and younger sister of Dakota Fanning, auditioned for the role at the age of 12 and adopts an accomplished British accent to play politically aware Londoner Ginger in “Ginger & Rosa,” which screened Monday at the New York Film Festival.

“Orlando” filmmaker Potter, 63, told a news conference that while the film features various U.S. actors including Annette Bening and Oliver Platt, she did not set out to cast Americans Fanning and Alessandro Nivola in the central roles of Ginger and her charming, pacifist father.

She was searching for an unknown young English actress and scanned more than 2,000 such leads before coming across Fanning, who started acting just before age 3 and who recently caught attention in “Super 8” and other films.

A giggling Fanning told reporters her blonde hair was dyed red, befitting the name of her nuclear bomb-protesting and poet title character, for the film that explores adolescence, family discord and political and moral contradictions.

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Upcoming Appearances

May 14-25, 2019: Cannes Film Festival

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Current Projects
A Rainy Day in New York (2019)
Elle as Unknown
Two young people arrive in New York for a weekend where they are met with bad weather and a series of adventures.
Teen Spirit (2019)
Elle as Violet
Violet is a shy teenager living in the Isle of Wight who dreams of pop stardom as an escape from her small town and shattered family life. With the help of an unlikely mentor, Violet enters an international singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition.
All the Bright Places (2019)
Elle as Violet Markey
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.
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