Monday, 15 May 2017

Elle Fanning Is an Old Soul Who Has Visions of the Future—And Directing

You can tell the story of Elle Fanning through the things she does, but also through the things she does not do. Fanning would rather not sit still, for instance. She does not tweet. She does not learn her lines until the night before she shoots them (then she memorizes them in the bath) and does not watch her own talk-show appearances (“It’s like hearing your voice on an answering machine”).
She does not appreciate it when the paparazzi trail her to the gym, because she thinks she’s not famous enough to merit the commotion. (“The rest of the world is like, ‘Who is that person?’ I’m like, ‘I’m sorry!’ ”) When people now stop Fanning on the street (“Are you——”), she tries not to reply, “Dakota Fanning’s sister!” Fanning, then, would not be the first person—and might actually be the last—to realize what a rare and even spooky star Fanning, at nineteen, has become.
It’s not only the regal beauty—arching eyebrows, snub nose, and a sylphic whoosh of hair—or the growing catalog of impressive work. When I meet Fanning one evening at Tableau, a high-ceilinged restaurant in New Orleans’s French Quarter, what is striking is the outward flexure of her confidence, the way she knows just who she is and wants to pass along such certainty to you.

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