When you meet Dakota Fanning, the first thing that hits you is simply how girly-but-poised the 14-year-old actress is.
One could be mistaken for thinking that’s a result of growing up alongside pros like Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise, but the truth is young Fanning had that demeanour right from the start.
Still, with seven years of movie making now behind her, there is one aspect of celebrity that has eluded Fanning — the inane personal fascination with fame.
“From the very first interview I ever did, I’ve been asked, ‘Do I have any friends?’” said Fanning during a recent interview. “When I was younger, I was like, ‘What does that mean? Of course I have friends’.
“I’ve always been confused by that question because I really want to ask, ‘Do you really think that I don’t have any friends?’”
For the record, she does. And while Fanning has been busy with two new movies that hit theatres this Friday — the thriller Push and the stunning animated hit Coraline — Fanning still makes time for pals at private school and cheerleading camp. It may be a double-life but one that’s hard-pressed to split her personality.
“She was nine years old (when we first met about Coraline),” said the film’s director, Henry Selick. “She was like pulling her hair and being a little girl but telling me in this incredibly intelligent way why she should be Coraline and what she loves about the book and I was just super impressed.”
Following the stop-motion animated style of his hit The Nightmare Before Christmas, Selick brings to life the thrilling story of a bored, young tomboy who finds a mystical secret door to a dark, alternate version of her life where everyone has buttons for eyes.
Fanning was such a fan of the popular Neil Gaiman novel, she dedicated five years to voicing the lead character.
“I just loved (the character’s) curiosity and admired her bravery and she’s so adventurous; I think you kind of have to be (adventurous) to do what I do, the places I go and the things I try out,” said Fanning. “I don’t know if I’m adventurous in the way she is (but) I’m definitely more girly.”
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