PRO­FILE

Elle Fan­ning is ready for her 20s.

ELLE (Canada) - - Contents - By C ARLI WHITWELL

ELLE FAN­NING IS re­ally, re­ally feel­ing the Western-in­spired out­fit she’s wear­ing for our in­ter­view dur­ing the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (TIFF). (It’s head-to-toe Fendi from the fall/win­ter 2018 col­lec­tion, btw.) “I love the boots!” she says, draw­ing out the word “love” for em­pha­sis. Fan­ning gives credit to her stylist, Sa­man­tha McMillen, for her look to­day but says she’s al­ways in­volved in wardrobe picks. “I’m re­ally in­vested in the clothes,” she says. “I like pick­ing out out­fits for red car­pets.” This, af­ter all, isn’t her first rodeo. Though just 20, Fan­ning has been work­ing since be­fore she can re­mem­ber, play­ing the tod­dler ver­sion of her big sis, Dakota, in 2001’s I Am Sam and then go­ing on to star in Hol­ly­wood block­busters like Malef­i­cent and We Bought a Zoo. The ef­fer­ves­cent

L’Oréal Paris am­bas­sador is at TIFF to pro­mote her new movie, the mu­si­cal Teen Spirit, in which she plays an iso­lated Bri­tish teen who en­ters an in­ter­na­tional tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion with dreams of be­ing a pop star. Fan­ning sings in the movie, but that, sur­pris­ingly, wasn’t her big­gest chal­lenge. (This is an ac­tress who can carry a tune.) “My char­ac­ter hardly smiles in the film,” she says with a laugh. “It was hard. I’m so smi­ley!”

So, Elle Fan­ning, pop star?

[Laughs] “Se­cretly, deep down, I wanted to be ei­ther an ac­tress or a pop star. Not many peo­ple know [about the singer part], so it’s cool to shock them. It was a lot of work. I’ve never done a ful­lon mu­si­cal like that; peo­ple haven’t seen that side of me. I did choir in school but noth­ing huge like this, where I have to be on­stage and re­ally per­form and sing in front of peo­ple!”

Lots of mile­stones for you this year. You’re also pro­duc­ing a movie, All the Bright Places. Is pro­duc­ing some­thing you’ve al­ways wanted to do?

“When you’re on sets grow­ing up, you see peo­ple around you and all the other jobs that they’re do­ing—pro­ducer, di­rec­tor—so I’ve been around a lot of dif­fer­ent oc­cu­pa­tions. I love films, and I would also love to di­rect one day. As an ac­tor, you have cre­ative freedom, of course, and it’s my dream job. But you’re ful­fill­ing the di­rec­tor’s vi­sion, and I would like to ful­fill my own.”

You’ve suc­cess­fully made the tran­si­tion from child ac­tor to adult star, which can be tough. How did you get through it?

“I have a great fam­ily. Also, I love what I do, so I think that helps. Peo­ple who don’t nec­es­sar­ily love it maybe get dis­tracted or side­tracked. But I just feel like I want to learn and I want to do bet­ter, so I stay fo­cused in that way.”

Does 20 feel any dif­fer­ent from 19?

“I mean, 21 is big be­cause it’s the drink­ing age [in the United States]. But I feel like 20 is just as big be­cause you’re not a teenager any­more so it’s a lit­tle sad and nos­tal­gic. I don’t nec­es­sar­ily feel dif­fer­ent, but I’ve started to feel that I am leav­ing [some things] be­hind. A whole new world of roles is open­ing up, young woman roles, so it’s ex­cit­ing to get scripts like that.”

What do you hope to ac­com­plish in your 20s?

“Wow, that’s so hard! [Laughs] Songs would be cool be­cause we are re­leas­ing an al­bum with this film. Fash­ion shoots and hope­fully new, in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters. Who knows where I’ll end up? Gosh, now I’m think­ing about what I’m go­ing to do!”

Sorry! Let’s talk fash­ion. What was it like open­ing and clos­ing the fall/win­ter 2018 Miu Miu show?

“It was in­cred­i­ble—al­most as nerve-rack­ing as singing. You kind of have to dis­ap­pear into a char­ac­ter. Es­pe­cially for Miu Miu—Mrs. Prada loves movies, so her shows are very cin­e­matic. The girls had a strong look—our hair was re­ally big, and we were kind of bad girls, so they said, ‘Go out there and try to look tough.’ It was hard, and peo­ple could see I was crack­ing a smile be­cause I was so ex­cited when I was do­ing it. It was to­tally spur of the mo­ment. I thought I was just go­ing to the show, but the day I was leav­ing for Paris, they asked, ‘Do you want to walk?’”

Have you al­ways loved fash­ion?

“I was the child who got to wear what she wanted. My mom al­lowed me to have my ex­pres­sion of style. I guess that’s where this all comes from! Oddly, in high school, I was not em­braced for my fash­ion by the other kids. But then I had the fash­ion world, red car­pets. There were two dif­fer­ent [in­flu­ences]. I was try­ing to find my­self and bal­ance that.”

What ac­tresses do you look up to?

“I’ve al­ways loved Holly Hunter. And I’m for­tu­nate enough that I’ve had the priv­i­lege to work with An­gelina Jolie and have a re­la­tion­ship with her. She is very gen­uinely her­self, and she’s also un­apolo­get­i­cally her­self, which is so in­spir­ing, as was her power on-set as a woman and pro­ducer on Malef­i­cent. She has a lot of say and in­put and care. The way she talks about it, it’s not like she’s just ‘Oh, I’m just putting my name on some­thing’—she’s re­ally pro­duc­ing. She’s get­ting the work done and also fly­ing to other coun­tries over the week­end just to do some­thing with her char­ity and com­ing back to film.”

Suc­cess­ful peo­ple put the work in.

“There’s a hus­tle!” What are you like when you’re not hus­tling? “I def­i­nitely love to have a great time. I re­ally do. I can laugh and laugh.” ®

L’Oréal Paris Par­adise En­chanted Scented Eye Shadow ($23) is Elle Fan­ning’s go-to. For de­tails, see Shop­ping Guide.

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