Dakota Fanning was a fresh-faced nine-year-old when she played Pita in the 2004 film “Man on Fire.” A year later she broke out in the Tom Cruise film “War of the Worlds.” Now 23, she’s still fresh-faced, but there’s no doubt she’s matured into an A-list Hollywood siren.
Fanning has become a force of her own in filmmaking, both on the big-screen and now on television.
She spent the best part of last year in Budapest filming her first television series, Netflix’s “The Alienist.” This year, she’s starring in director Ben Lewin’s film “Please Stand By.”
She’s also making a cameo appearance in the all-female film “Ocean’s Eight” and continuing to work to get Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” into production, according to Vogue Australia.
Fanning tells the magazine about her Hollywood upbringing and living in the spotlight, and poses for a stunning photo spread for photographer Emma Summerton.
“The Alienist” is Fanning’s biggest project to date, film exclusively in Budapest, Hungary.
“I was really scared,” she admits. “Six months is a big chunk of your life. I didn’t know, nor had I ever met, anyone I was working with, and while I’d been to Budapest before, I didn’t know the city that well,” she says.
“But it was one of the most pleasant surprises of my life. I was so comfortable; I learned to unwind and really enjoyed my life there. I sobbed hysterically when I had to leave!”
The show is a crime drama set in the late 1800s. Fanning plays Sara, a secretary turned detective, who tries to break the case of several seemingly related murders.
“Television has become an amazing place; I feel like I’m watching more TV than I am movies at the moment,” she says. “So it was something I was completely open to, I just hadn’t found the right project.”
Although she’s appeared in more than 45 films since she was a child actor, Fanning says she was never sucked into Hollywood’s darker side of sexual assault or sexual harassment, even though she posed for some racy photo spreads as a teen.
Her campaign for Marc Jacobs when she was 17 and still a minor was widely criticized for over-sexualizing her.
Fanning will turn 24 this month (Feb. 23), marking what she refers to as her “make-believe age”: the number that’s always been her age when playing dress-ups.
If there’s any doubt she’s all grown up, just check out her sultry photos.
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To read the interview in full, check out Vogue Australia online.