smells like teen spirit

Emirates Woman - - Coverstory/ellefanning - Words: Maddison Glendin­ning

WITH THREE FILMS AL­READY DUE FOR RE­LEASE IN 2018 ALONE, A NEW AM­BAS­SADO­RIAL ROLE WITH L’ORéAL PARIS AND A 17-YEAR CA­REER AT JUST 19 YEARS OF AGE, ELLE FAN­NING IS THE GROWNUP GIRL-NEXT-DOOR

if there was ever a per­son that looked like a char­ac­ter from a Dis­ney movie come to life, Elle Fan­ning is it. Tall, blonde and with per­fect, rosy­cheeked skin, the 19-year-old is prac­ti­cally a mod­ern-day princess, which was re­alised in her role as Princess Aurora in 2014's Malef­i­cent. Since then, how­ever, she's taken on de­cid­edly edgier and more adult roles - made all the more im­pact­ful by her ever-youth­ful face – namely The Neon De­mon in 2016, which older sis­ter Dakota, 23, al­most walked out of be­cause she was so scared for her sis­ter in the scenes. “I was so moved by her as an ac­tor,” she told press af­ter the screen­ing.

It's high praise com­ing from Dakota, who be­gan act­ing ahead of Elle and forged the path for her younger sis­ter. Elle's movie de­but came at just two years of age as the younger ver­sion of Dakota's char­ac­ter in I Am Sam. For a few years, Elle played Dakota's dop­pel­ganger be­fore land­ing her breakout role in 2011 in JJ Abrams' sci-fi thriller Su­per 8. From then on Elle was a cer­ti­fied star.

She has ap­peared along­side Hol­ly­wood heavy­weights like An­gelina Jolie, Ni­cole Kid­man and Colin Far­rell and has worked for big-name di­rec­tors like Abrams and Sofia Cop­pola – all of whom can­not speak highly enough of the young star. Kid­man, who starred along­side Elle twice in the past 18 months, said: “Her work feels ef­fort­less,” while Far­rell prof­fered that he was “not sure I've ever worked with an ac­tress who seems to op­er­ate from such a place of deep in­stinct as Elle”. The fact that she's worked with Cop­pola not once but twice also speaks vol­umes.

Her lat­est film with the famed direc­tor is The Beguiled, in which she stars with Kirsten Dunst and Kid­man. If it weren't for her face, it would be easy to for­get that Fan­ning is still so young, which she re­minded us of when ad­mit­ting that film­ing for this movie was the first time she'd been on a set with­out her mum. “There was a sense

of free­dom and a lit­tle re­bel­lious­ness,” she said of go­ing solo. “It was cool to hang out and be one of the girls.” The film de­buted at this year's Cannes film festival, where the youngest Fan­ning had two films show­ing (the other was John Cameron Mitchell's How To Talk To Girls At Par­ties).

It was a big year for Elle at the French festival as, in ad­di­tion to her movies, she made her de­but as the new­est am­bas­sador for beauty gi­ant L'Oréal. The ap­point­ment was an­nounced just ahead of the 12 day-long event and was par­tic­u­larly mo­men­tous, given that this year marked the brand's 20th year of part­ner­ship with the festival. Of the ap­point­ment Elle said: “Ex­cited does not even be­gin to de­scribe how thrilled I am to be a L'Oréal Paris spokesper­son. L'Oréal al­ways strikes the per­fect bal­ance be­tween cre­ativ­ity and beauty,” adding on In­sta­gram that she is “be­yond proud to rep­re­sent a com­pany that cel­e­brates women.” Her favourite prod­uct? The Lash Par­adise mas­cara, which ap­pears reg­u­larly on her In­sta­gram ac­count in an ar­ray of cutesy Boomerang posts. “I al­ways have to keep lip balm and mas­cara in my purse,” she says. “Mas­cara is very im­por­tant to me. I feel like my eye­lashes can some­times be a lit­tle re­bel­lious so I have to get them un­der con­trol, curl them and put a lot of mas­cara on to get them to open up.”

She's a smart choice for the brand as she brings a whole new, younger cus­tomer with her – but her fear­less and of­ten risk­tak­ing ap­proach to her own beauty is un­doubt­edly what caught its at­ten­tion. While she is the poster child for barely there make-up (did some­one say #skin­spo?), Elle of­ten likes to ex­per­i­ment with vivid eye­shad­ows in elec­tric blue and peach hues and she rocks state­ment bur­gundy lips like it's no­body's busi­ness. Plus, who could for­get her now-iconic glit­ter-strewn eyes at Saint Lau­rent's au­tumn/win­ter 2016 show?

In this lat­est role, the young ac­tress is hop­ing to act as a role model for girls her age. “[At 19] you're just dis­cov­er­ing who you are. You're still dis­cov­er­ing your style and what type of woman you want to be. It's a cru­cial part of grow­ing up. So to play into that area for [young girls] is what I am most look­ing for­ward to.”

Far more ma­ture than her 19 years of age be­lie, Elle possesses a rare com­bi­na­tion of youth­ful in­ge­nu­ity and sea­soned ex­per­tise, ren­der­ing her a force to be reck­oned with. A dar­ling of Hol­ly­wood, whether act­ing, di­rect­ing (which she hopes to pur­sue in the fu­ture) or fronting cam­paigns, she's all but guar­an­teed a life­long ca­reer in the spot­light.

And one thing's for sure: it's be­cause she's worth it. n

“EX­CITED DOES NOT EVEN BE­GIN TO DE­SCRIBE HOW THRILLED I AM TO BE A L'OREAL PARIS SPOKESPER­SON. L'OREAL AL­WAYS STRIKES THE PER­FECT BAL­ANCE BE­TWEEN CRE­ATIV­ITY AND BEAUTY,”

cov­er­story/elle­fan­ning

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