HFPA journalist Katherine Tulich had a lively in-depth conversation with Dakota Fanning at the Association's offices in West Hollywood. Lately, we have seen Fanning as the secretary to police commissioner Ted Roosevelt on the dark limited series The Alienist. She was excited about her uncommon and strong female character in a story based on Caleb Carr’s book about a serial killer in 1896 New York.
Fanning started at age six in commercials - she recalls that her mom knew early on she would be a performer. “My mom wrote on my baby book that I can be a little actress. She saw those elements in my personality already when I was two.”
After she worked on the drama I Am Sam in early 2000, the family moved from Georgia to Los Angeles where she continued to get parts for movies like Uptown Girls, The Cat in the Hat, Man on Fire, War of the Worlds, Dreamer, and Charlotte’s Web. Even though she was busy with her career she went to a regular school. “My mom would always check in and make it clear that I didn’t have to do this anymore if I didn’t want to.”
In this conversation, Fanning addresses how change is important in Hollywood. And also: Why did she take nine suitcases to Budapest? Why does she like to be well organized? Why is she ready to move from New York, where she has been studying film and women in film, back to Los Angeles? Why does she keep the torso of the doll Jane Twilight in her kitchen? And why her sister, Elle, is important to her.
Besides acting, Fanning just directed her first short film Hello Apartment. Her next challenge is producing and starring in a movie called The Bell Jar. But before that, she will be seen in the heist comedy Ocean’s 8, in June.