Dakota Fanning: Actors don’t know what something is like just because they acted it

Angelina Jolie visits The Louvre in Paris with her kids

Is it just me or does Dakota Fanning resemble a young Amber Heard on the cover of Vogue Australia? RIGHT? I’ve never really seen a resemblance between Amber and Dakota before, but there it is. Dakota is currently promoting her role on the new TV series The Alienist, where she absolutely does not play a crime-solving ghost, despite what the commercials might make it seem like. She plays a young secretary who is deeply interested in what was then – in the 19th century – the start of criminology and forensic criminology. Anyway, her Vogue Australia interview is somewhat interesting, in that she seems like a pretty well-adjusted young woman, all things considered. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Why she’s working in television now: “Television has become an amazing place; I feel like I’m watching more TV than I am movies at the moment. So it was something I was completely open to, I just hadn’t found the right project… There is something so exciting about TV. The way things are now, certain films will only screen in certain theatres and countries, and people might not even know they exist. So it’s something really cool for me to know that this show is going to be available every day and reach more people in their own homes. ”

She’s not a crazy-method actress: “[There’s] a boundary, and I’ve always said or thought this in the back of my mind: maybe it’s because I started when I was younger, but it’s all make-believe. It’s like: ‘Oh, I’m going to go pretend to do this.’ As I’ve gotten older, the boundaries have always been clear and that’s stayed with me. So I still am just like: ‘Oh, I pretended that happened to me.’ It’s also important to remember that just because you acted something doesn’t make you actually know what it’s like.”

She’s never been a child-star cautionary tale: “I think because I’ve always maintained that I never felt that I was entitled to anything because I did movies. I guess that comes from my mum. It took her years and years to admit that we lived in Los Angeles. When people were like: ‘Oh, where do you live?’, her answer was always: ‘We’re from Georgia, we live in Georgia, we’re just out here doing this for some film Dakota is doing for a little while.’ There was no: ‘We’re moving to Hollywood so Dakota can be an actress!’ I just never wanted to make too big of a mistake that jeopardised what I love doing. There can be other reasons that it goes away – nothing is ever guaranteed. But, I never wanted it to be taken away from me because I had made a really bad decision, you know? And I’m also really scared of my mum and didn’t want to get in trouble or disappoint anybody.”

On the controversial Marc Jacobs campaign she did at 17: “There are much more important things to talk about than what I’m wearing or not wearing. It’s a waste of energy. I’d done things with Marc Jacobs before and [photographer] Juergen Teller is a friend of mine and when somebody tried to pollute that, I was just like: ‘You’re not going to take this away from me. This is so cool. It’s girlie and pretty and I can wear that I want. If you’re being creepy, then you have the problem.’”

She’s dating: She says she’s “happily not single”, but not dating “a public person”. “I’ve always sort of dated somebody a little bit removed. I see the whirlwind of [famous] people dating [famous] people and it just looks so intense.”

She’s a social media stalker: “Hey, I’ve done it! I swear, when it comes to Instagram, my stalking abilities are unparalleled. I can find out anything, I really can. I have a private account for my stalking. But it would weird me out if someone started talking about all that stuff. It’s like: ‘Okay, look it up for your own personal knowledge bank, just don’t tell me you have!’”

[From Vogue Australia]

SO MUCH THIS: “It’s also important to remember that just because you acted something doesn’t make you actually know what it’s like.” I love that. I love how she describes how she sees her job as an actor, and how she’s basically side-eyeing actors who go on and on about their crazy method and their struggles and whatever. And the actors who believe that because they played a ballerina or whatever that they are actually an expert in that field now. How is that Dakota – at the age of 24 – has this all figured out? She’s great.

Embed from Getty Images

Cover courtesy of Vogue Australia, additional photo courtesy of Getty.

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21 Responses to “Dakota Fanning: Actors don’t know what something is like just because they acted it”

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  1. tealily says:

    She’s 24 but she’s been doing this a long time! I really like her. She seems like she has a good head on her shoulders and good parents.

  2. Milla says:

    Clapping all the way! She is grounded and she’s saying what people are thinking.

    Not fan of that cover, but she’s pretty girl, with interesting face, like young Dunst.

  3. deets says:

    I thought it was Amanda Seifreid at forst glance. Dress is gorgeous and always liked Dakota.

  4. Regina Falangie says:

    Yaaaaas!!! Like the dudes that do a military movie and then brag because they “trained” for 6 weeks with the REAL military and consider themselves equal. Nah bro, nah.

  5. OOOHH! says:

    I don’t side eye people who do method acting, whatever it takes people to achieve what they truly want to achieve is fine by me, as long as the portrayal is achieved. Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York will forever be my all time favourite character in any movie, and I believe that took some method acting. Anyway, to each their own. At the end of the day this is a livelihood for a lot of them and they do what they need to do to stay employed, even if its talking about method acting to make sure the studio know how dedicated they are to their craft. Sometimes it stems from security of how fickle the environment is.

  6. Lucy says:

    Such a good gal, this one. Great interview.

  7. HH says:

    Kudos to her parents for raising her to know that acting is a job and not a lifestyle. It sounds like she was shielded from the Hollywood machine.

  8. NicoleinSavannah,GA says:

    I am just SO dang happy The Alienist is a series!

    • dj says:

      Dakota is so good in the Alienist. It is the best thing on TV right now. I am obsessed! I read the book years ago and loved it.

  9. JA says:

    Good parenting yo! I can totally relate to being “scared of my mom and disappointing her”. My mom never tried to be my best friend and she was the enforcer of rules and I thank her everyday! We have a good relationship now and I often wish we lived in the same city so we could do lunch, shop and just hang out! There’s going to be time to be friends with your daughters…Dakota is a well adjusted adult and no doubt great parenting when it could have gone really bad (.Lindsay Lohan, Drew Barrymore, etc) is the reason

  10. smcollins says:

    She’s really grown into a very grounded and insightful young lady. I think the fact that her parents were normal and not aggressive stage parents trying to live vicariously through her & her sister, or making them the family breadwinners is a major factor in that. I remember reading about her going to a regular public school and doing regular teen things like cheerleading, and that she had chores and got a small allowance. In other words the complete antithesis of a Lindsay Lohan-type child actress.

  11. Nicole says:

    She has parents that keep her grounded. I remember there was some article where her mom was talking about how she kept Dakota and Elle on a strict allowance. More than most kids but still pennies compared to all they’ve earned. I think it starts from the parents to keep these child actors from falling off the edge

  12. serena says:

    I really like what she said here! I have a soft spot for her, been following her career since Taken, she’s a well-adjusted woman and her movies are always somewhat interesting for me.

  13. cake says:

    I love her, and I am def tuned into to her show the Alienist. its very good actually.

  14. amilue says:

    She’s a pretty girl, but she looks literally nothing like Amber Heard.

  15. Justbee00 says:

    She’s stunning!

  16. Katherine says:

    She sounds reasonable, good for her. Some actors just can’t resist believing their own hype and that makes them quite out of touch, she seems to have avoided that, which is very smart of her

  17. Tig says:

    I am so loving The Alienist. She is very good in it, and hope she gets an Emmy nomination. Beautiful cover shot-love the outfit.