Dakota Fanning is one of the biggest child actresses after making her breakthrough in 2001 alongside Sean Penn in I Am Sam.
She has worked steadily since appearing in Man On Fire, War of the Worlds, Charlotte's Web, and most recently The Secret Life of Bees.
Her latest role is a change of pace as she moves into sci-fi alongside Chris Evans in Push.
Is there anything about these characters which resonated with you personally?
I am kind of the opposite of my character. I am definitely not as rebellious and as sassy and have such an attitude like she does. But that’s the thing about acting, you get to play people who are not like you at all.
You are in the coolest and the most technical sequence in the film. Can you talk about the fish market scene and the difficulties of shooting that?
I took some shrapnel from the fish tank’s plastic sign. It exploded right as I ran by.
Dakota, you’ve grown up in the business. Do you feel like you’ve missed out on anything, especially with being home schooled?
Well, I go to a regular school now. From second to eighth grade I was home schooled and when I started high school I attended regular school and I’m a sophomore now. It’s great. I think you can have both if you really want to.
I don’t think I’ve missed out on anything. I think it’s made my childhood so much better. I’ve been able to go so many places. I had the opportunity to go to Hong Kong when I was thirteen years old which is crazy. I lived there for three months. It was amazing. I couldn’t ask for a more enriched life so far.
Would you like to go to college?
I do want to go to college. I think that is something that is important and is something I’ve always wanted to do.
What attracted you to this character?
I think that she was very different to anything I’ve ever played before and I would get to develop her. She has this special power which I’ve never played in a movie, so it was kind of new and interesting to me.
What was your initial reaction when you read the script?
It was so great to read the script for the first time. I didn’t want to stop. Then I met with Paul and it just all came together. I really wanted to work with him. I thought he would do something cool and interesting and something I really wanted to see.
Dakota, did you do any of the drawings?
They were done by the art designer, because they had to be spot on. That would not be good if I had to do it.
There was some graphic violence in the movie. Were there any restrictions involved for you in this, especially with the gun scenes?
No I had done films before that deal with that. I do hold a gun at one point in the movie, but it was totally fake. It was very plastic.
Which powers would you like to have?
I’m going to stick with ‘pusher’.
What do you think makes this movie different from a lot of superhero movies?
I don’t think anybody has ever seen a movie visually like this one before. I love the categories of the different people. I think that is new as well. I think it’s a lot of things people won’t expect. I think it will be very interesting and fun to watch visually.
The outfits were very edgy and stylish. Would you wear them in real life?
That’s my T shirt which I wear in the movie, so yes, I would wear the T shirt. I don’t know if I would wear it all together, especially with the combination with the pink hair and everything. That’s her look. I will leave that for the movie.
Do people recognise you?
Yeah, people recognize me all the time. I think it’s really nice. I don’t mind it at all. It feels kind of surreal when people know who you are and I think that it’s really cool.
Do you feel pressure growing up in front of the camera?
I don’t. I recognize that it is different from most other people. I can only live my life in this way. I don’t think I would be living it a different way if I wasn’t acting.
Are you preparing for that acting transition into adult roles?
You know I think I’ve been asked about the transition from childhood to teenage and now I’m gearing up for another one. I can’t seem to break out of the freakin’ transition here! (Laughs) I just enjoy the time I have now.
I really enjoy what I’m doing. I think you have to have a good time and not look too far back or too far ahead.
Who do you turn to when you want advice about scripts?
I think ultimately my mum reads them and my agent, but mostly it’s me. When you’re acting you put so much of yourself into working.
As much fun as it is, it’s still hard work and it’s still a challenge. You have to be totally one hundred per cent committed to that. I do value everyone else’s advice, but ultimately I have to listen to myself.
Push is out now
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