Dakota Fanning, 16: “I’m not that young little girl anymore”


I know Dakota Fanning is a bright, capable, intelligent, surprisingly-low-key young woman. But I am still finding it really hard to accept that she’s old enough to be on the cover of fashion magazines and have lesbian makeout scenes with Kristen Stewart. In my mind, she’s still the adorable little 8-year-old prodigy. But now she’s 16 years old, and she’s a big movie star, and she’s got nothing but good vibes for her future. As far as her photo shoot for August’s Marie Claire, I’m kind of meh on it. The cover shot in particular makes her look like she’s about 12 years old, but some of the other photos are rather lovely and truly high-fashion. The full Marie Claire piece is here, and here are some highlights:

Kristen Stewart on Dakota: “Dakota is so unfaultingly steady. In most cases, I feel like she’s older than me. It’s only when she starts talking about boys that I remember how young she is.”

Dakota doesn’t have a boyfriend: So far, she says, there has been “nothing serious.”

Dakota on wearing red contacts for her role in Twilight: Given how much actors rely on their eyes to communicate emotion, the contacts were a handicap that might well have unsettled another, less confident performer. “It’s something that’s always been there for me, that I have huge blue eyes — it’s been something that people have always talked about,” Fanning says. “But I enjoyed the red. You’re automatically transformed into a creature when you put those red eyes in.”

On the Twilight Saga books: “They’re so addicting!” she says, though her natural taste in literature tends toward the more refined: Right now she’s reading Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel, The Virgin Suicides.

On growing up in front of the camera: “When you start out young, people get really attached to who you are at 6 years old,” Fanning says. “I hope that The Runaways was kind of a moment to be like, ‘You know, I’m not that young little girl anymore, but I’m still not all grown up, either.’”

On her future in the business: “As you get older, there’s so much more that you can do in films,” she says. “I’ve never wanted to rush that; I’ve always wanted to do what’s right for my age, but as you approach 18, a whole new world opens up to you as an actor, and I really look forward to that.”

[From Marie Claire]

Dakota does sound very smart and… what’s the word I’m looking for? Like, she’s hip to way Hollywood can f-ck up a young woman. She’s ambitious, but her ambition is channeled into her work and being an authentic actress rather than being a “celebrity”. Will Dakota end up some Lindsay Lohan-esque disaster? My guess is no, she won’t. But I bet there will be a few moments where she parties and acts like a dumb kid, and we should be prepared for that! Either that, or Kristen is just going to introduce Dakota to marijuana, and Dakota will just end up a paranoid pothead who works constantly. Either/or.

By the way – Dakota and Taylor Momsen are the same age. Just thought I’d throw that out there.




Photos courtesy of Marie Claire.

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48 Responses to “Dakota Fanning, 16: “I’m not that young little girl anymore””

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  1. Ogechi says:


  2. LindyLou says:

    She sounds so grounded. I really hope she keeps her poop in a group. :)

  3. Heiyah says:

    awww… she’s so cute! Stay cute and grounded forever, sweet girl!

  4. lilred says:

    kudos to her parents they have raised a beautiful,talented and well rounded young lady.

    So nice to see.

  5. gabs says:

    Love Dakota. And Kristen. Everyone does pot at some time. no biggie. They wont end up like Lohan thank god. Dakota sounds very smart and aware. Taylor Momsen sucks

  6. viper says:

    …a 16 year old who thinks they are grown up …typical TEENAGER.

  7. Annie says:

    I wish I was as good a parent to my kid as her’s have obviously been to her.

    Bravo Dakota’s parents.
    Bravo to Dakota for listening to said parents!

  8. anjasmomma says:

    She is so talented!

  9. Jen says:

    @LindyLou: “I really hope she keeps her poop in a group.” Baaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahaha! That’s awesome…

    This kid has always reminded me of a softer Jodie Foster…not a bad person to take after, career-wise.

  10. YT says:

    She’ll do fine. Her mom has raised both girls well, especially with separating work from real life. Plus, Dakota and her sister are not only very talented, but they are intelligent as well.

    Hopefully the tabloids won’t harp on any typical dumb things that might occasionally happen. She’s a kid and a very nice one.

  11. Jeri says:

    Beautiful young girl. I hope she continues on her way with a well deserved bright future.

  12. TQB says:

    Bravo for being smart enough to recognize that you should be 16 when you’re 16, and that you have many, many years to be a grown up. 18 is something to be anticipated, not race into. The awareness of the significance of all this alone might be what saves her.

  13. FUTURESTARdelux says:

    Dakota is a great actress and wonderfully grounded, at the same age though i remember Lindsay having the same ambitions and drive but thankfully Dakota has a stable and loving family that have kept her grounded and out of the tabloids.
    When Lindsay was 17 her parents had allowed her to leave home and move in with a 34 year old man…
    I truly hope Dakota never falls into the pits that Lindsay has and i truly hope Lindsay drags herself out of them.

  14. kelbear says:

    love the big hair

  15. RK says:

    Love her.

  16. ams1 says:

    she is very very pretty!!!

  17. Melinda says:

    She is just so adorable.

  18. Obvious says:

    @Gabs, I don’t do pot and I never have. Not EVERYONE does it.

    Dakota sounds perfectly poised, grounded but she’s also ambitious. Best of luck to her!

  19. gen says:

    I hope she stays grounded & makes smart choices. Its so nice to see a 16 year old act her age as opposed to the miley cyrus’ of the world. You have the majority of ur life to be a grown up, enjoy being a kid for as long as you can. And I don’t mean a slutty kid.

  20. Eileen Yover says:

    She’s adorable and smart, you can tell her parents didn’t let education slide just because she is who she is. Love her!

  21. Sophie says:

    I love the picture with the hat and lace, she looks really pretty

  22. OC lady says:

    If she keeps her head together she could be the next Kate Winslett. I think she’s really talented. I hope she doesn’t get sucked into all the drama and partying that took Lindsay out.

  23. mollination says:

    I love her to pieces. Every single thing about her.

  24. lucy2 says:

    I’m really rooting for her. I think she will continue to have a great career, and I really applaud her and her family for doing things the right way and keeping her balance.

  25. Praise St. Angie! says:

    and this girl is 8 years YOUNGER than Lohan?

    really shows you what good (or bad) parenting can do for a person.

  26. mel says:

    I hope her career continues to be successful and that she doesnt turn out to be like Lindsay Lohan!

  27. connie says:

    i can’t see who posted it but i agree with the jodie foster career! i think she’ll stay well grounded throughout

  28. ctkat says:

    She’s going to be a Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson- a child actor who gracefully transitions to adult roles through Talent, Dedication, Maturity, and Common-Sense/Business Savvy.

    My rule of thumb for the successful transition of child stars: if I don’t know the names of their parents, then they have a good shot.

    If I know about the parents (think the Lohans, the Spears, Michael Jackson, Drew Barrymore, Macaulay Culkin, etc.), know their names, faces, details- those kids are going to have a really rough road.

  29. Tiffany says:

    The reason this girl is going to have an awesome career after puberty. Her parents are her parents, not her agents, publist, or managers. They give that 10% to someone else outside the family.

    She is going to do the stupid adolescent things and then move on. No one is going to bat an eye because it would probably be the stupid things we did at teenagers and can look back and laugh about or slightly embarassed. She will have the same and continue to be an awesome adult actress.

  30. jess says:

    wow. very fashion appropriate for her age.

  31. Liana says:

    …a 16 year old who thinks they are grown up …typical TEENAGER.

    Actually, she said that she wasn’t that little kid anymore, but nor was she completely grown up. She is very grounded and very secure in herself as a person. Way to go, Dakota! And her parents did a good job. She’s taken on some tough and harrowing roles, but through it all she remained exactly who and what she is.

  32. Siren6 says:

    Nothing dull about being responsible and grounded. Young Hollywood should take note.

  33. DetRiotgirl says:

    I still see the little girl in her face. But, I think in two or three years she will be a beautiful young woman. How refreshing to see someone her age who actually wants to be an actress, and not a celebrity train wreck! She’s very talented, and I think she will continue to do well.

    As for her being the same age as Taylor Momsen, that says a lot about Taylor’s parents (or lack there of). I don’t like to bash someone so young. But, I have a hard time picturing Taylor ever coming off this composed or mature in an interview.

  34. tls says:

    ctkat, you nailed it. You can tell when the kids have been pushed into the public eye by the parents, no matter who started wanting it. When the parents are just as much or bigger fame whores than their kids, you know it’s not going to turn out well. Parents like the Lohans haven’t done an honest days work since their kids hit the screen and will do anything to keep it that way. Dakota is going to high school, *real* high school, and was elected home coming queen. That isn’t going to happen with a spoiled little diva brat, kids wouldn’t let that go on for long at all. That tells me right there she is a genuinely nice young lady with her head in the right place.

  35. Camille says:

    Such a pretty girl, I look forward to seeing how her career evolves over the coming years.
    I too hope she does not go down the LiLo etc route, that would be a shame.

  36. GatsbyGal says:

    I adore Dakota Fanning, she’s growing into a lovely young woman.

  37. gg says:

    She reminds me of Jodie Foster as well. Enjoyed her very much in The Runaways.

  38. Isa says:

    She is all kinds of awesome. So mature and aware of who she is as a young woman and an actress. And so talented!

  39. ksmit says:

    I don’t understand why everyone ooh’s and ahh’s over Dakota Fanning, but constantly criticizes Miley Cyrus. Dakota is a year younger than Miley. She kissed Kristen Stewart in the runaways. Also when she was 13 (I think) she was in a movie where she was raped. I remember there being some criticism regarding that, but regardless I don’t understand the double standard. Both girls are under 18 and both are performers. Do people just turn the other cheek for Dakota because she was never in the spotlight as a role model for young girls like Miley was? Or do people just think Dakota’s art is better? If people didn’t love to hate Miley so much, would we consider her to be on the same artistic level as Lady GaGa instead of a spoiled brat pulling a Britney Spears? I just don’t get it.

  40. My2Cents says:

    She is going to be a stunna when she is in her 20′s.

  41. serena says:

    she’s very pretty.
    when she said “Nothing serious” with boys I guess what she means. F-ck and go? Um. We’ll see.

  42. Liana says:

    when she said “Nothing serious” with boys I guess what she means. F-ck and go? Um. We’ll see.

    Or maybe she simply means she doesn’t have a serious boyfriend. She is a bit busy for one. Honestly, sometimes it annoys me how people read into things.

  43. Emma says:

    She seems wise.

  44. Shawna says:

    @ksmit – Isn’t there a difference between playing a role and doing something in real life? Miley dresses questionably and acts questionably in public when she’s off the clock.

  45. Marianne says:

    I love the photoshoot. Plus I’m glad that Dakota seems mature for her age. You never see her in the tabloids for dressing inappropriately or partying…instead you hear about how she skips a premiere to take a test. She seems very grounded.

  46. ksmit says:

    @shawna I mean, kinda, but Miley said she was doing these things to be consistent with her album. It’s the same way that Lady GaGa is always “on” as Lady GaGa. Miley is playing the same role every day, or at least until her next album with a different image comes out. Dakota gets to be someone else for every movie she’s in and doesn’t have to promote it the same way a singer has to promote an album or single.

  47. daniel says:

    Does the photo with the Hat and Lace remind anyone of her one time co-actor Britney Murphy?…..Very Lovely
    I think Dakota is wonderful and gifted in so many ways. I certainly hope for her and her family the very best.

  48. Mia says: