Elle Fanning:’ It’s a task, but it’s also about dressing up and professing’
The actor goes back to her southern roots for the gothic chiller The Beguiled. She talks about ripening pains, stagecoach mothers and the joyfulnes of playing the bad girl
Once upon a occasion, a young ingenue took a journey across Los Angeles to meet Hollywoods equivalent of the large-hearted bad wolf. The controversial Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn was casting the lead role in The Neon Demon, a terrifying fiction of the fashion industry, and is concerned that nutritious Elle Fanning might not be tough enough to stay the course. So Refn questioned her out of the blue if she envisaged she was beautiful a question deliberately are aiming to journey her up and move her wiggle. The tactic succeeded. But exclusively up to a point.
In the end I said yes, Fanning reminisces. I said that yes, I did feel I was beautiful. Because I knew it was a test, he was trying to get me to crack. And I thought that this was what I should say, what the specific characteristics “ve said”. And it was right, it made, because I got the part.
It was the remedy answer for Jesse, the pristine protagonist of The Neon Demon, who floated her road through an LA inferno of vampiric runway patterns. But maybe it says something about 19 -year-old Fanning as well, who has spent a lifetime in Hollywood and managed to develop similarly unsullied. Its not that I dont anticipate ghastly things can happen to young performers in Hollywood, she holds. I know they certainly do. Ive merely been very fortunate that they havent happened to me.
We meet inside a beachfront hotel during the course of its Cannes film festival, where sunlight leapings off the marble walls and motorists toot their trumpets in the street down below. Fanning, it transpires, has been in town all week, attending a variety of events in a variety of wears. Her array of stylists refer to themselves as crew unicorn, as though they are administering to the needs of some mythic animal. Today, they have applied her in a sheer dress of such perfect whiteness that one fairly anxieties for safety and security; a sigh of air might irreparably discolour it. Dont worry, a publicist murmur in the actors ear. We can get you changed before you go to lunch.
Fanning territory her first acting job at the age of two and has been working steadily ever since. She points out that her latest film, The Beguiled, is actually her first role as young adults; the first in which she was not required to have her mum accompany her on the established. So that stimulates it a very special film for me, she replies. It was a flavour of impunity. Figuring it out. Ripening up. She gestures down at her 5ft 10 in chassis. Emotionally , not physically. Im tall enough as it is.
In The Beguiled, Fanning has even moved away from playing the innocent to playing the wolf. Sofia Coppolas film is a juicy southern melodrama, covered in spanish moss and thrumming with sexual tension. Nicole Kidman stars as the upright headmistress of a Virginia girls seminary; Colin Farrell as the wounded civil campaign Union soldier who initially thinks he has found heaven. Fanning, as befits her freshly adult status, gives firecracker subscribe as Alicia, the oldest of the girls, who plagiarizes away from the dinner table to weed a kiss on the soldiers mouth. We can show him some real southern hospitality, she coos to her friends, shortly before the movie tones towards outright bloody-minded horror.