Like many these days, Dakota Fanning had no idea about the story in her new film “The Last Days of Robin Hood”: that notoriously loose Hollywood star Errol Flynn (played by Kevin Kline) left this world dating underaged teen Beverly Aadland (played by Fanning). It’s a role she loved playing, even if now, at 20, she’s pretty much done playing well below her age.
Doing research into real Aadland: “I really didn’t do that much research. [Laughs] I looked at certain things, like how she looked and how she wore her hair and what her makeup was like. There’s an article from her perspective, but there’s a lot of things that are from other people’s perspective. I wanted to have my own point of view of what happened instead of reading Florence’s [her mother’s] book. Kevin did a lot of [research], so if I needed to know any facts I could ask him.
The responsibility that comes with playing a real person: “You do feel a responsibility, but you also have to let that go, to a certain extent. It’s ultimately a movie and it’s never going to be exactly the way it was. You are, in some ways, creating your own character.”
What attracted her to the role as a role: “Minus all the surreal or controversial details of the story, she was just a young girl. She was 15 — she wasn’t even starting her life yet. She got caught up in this whirlwind and she was very naive. You do see her find her way and mature and be happy and strong — and then you also she her get lost. She didn’t have anybody to rely on after Errol died. It was interesting to play someone who went full circle and around again.
Those 1950s costumes: “The first week you wear the clothes, it feels so foreign and strange. By the end it’s your dress. It feels so normal. And retro’s in now. Sometimes it’s odd to me when people wear one style of clothing all the time. I wear different things all the time. But it’s a very flattering shape, retro.
Trying to avoid playing high school roles again: “I find that weird. High school was so long ago. Going back that would be weird. When I see people who are 30 playing high school students, I’m like, ‘God, that’s so strange.’ In this I was playing younger than I was. But I try not to think about age too much. So much of my life has revolved around what age I am. I’m kind of bored of it. [Laughs]”
Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge