Thursday, February 23, 2012

Birthday Girl: Dakota Fanning

Everyone knows that Dakota Fanning has been working in the business since she was extremely young, but did you know she worked on a film that came out six years before she was even born? Well that's one of the things I found out as I perused her credits over at IMDb today. That film, by the way, was Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro which did come out in 1988, but was only released by Disney with American voice actors in 2005. So unfortunately no weird time traveling for the young Fanning who celebrates her 18th birthday today.

It's pretty insane that she's only 18, right? The first time I saw her was in an episode of Ally McBeal when she was just 6 years old. Then she appeared in films like I Am Sam and Sweet Home Alabama. Many other film roles followed as she became the go-to young actress of her generation... until she wasn't. Saoirse Ronan, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, and even little sister Elle Fanning are challenging her for the same types of roles now. The first three have even received Academy Award nominations.

To her immense credit though, she seems to have navigated through the pitfalls of being a child actor relatively unscathed and seems to be transitioning well into more grown-up fare. For example, she was pretty great in 2010's The Runaways as Cherie Currie and she has a handful of films coming out this year. She also very recently appeared on the cover of W Magazine with her sister with the magazine interviewing both.

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