LOS ANGELES — Elle Fanning has all the qualities necessary to be our new Sleeping Beauty.
Blonde, fair and endlessly sweet, Aurora was “my favorite princess always,” says the actress.
Minus one hiccup: Fanning shot Maleficent at 14. Today she’s 16, the age “Aurora is actually supposed to be,” she says, laughing. Plus, the princess is not so dainty anymore. In the 1959 animated version she’s “a little delicate, and sings and frolics around the forest,” says Fanning, who’s spruced up the fair-haired fairy tale fixture and given her some gumption.
And, for the first time, Aurora and Maleficent are interacting. “It felt like we were breaking a rule in our film having Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty in the same (scene), talking to each other,” she says.
Fanning’s been acting since she was two, but this is her first epic film. She calls Jolie elegant and playful, though intimidating “at first.” “It was fun to see her be a mom and very maternal and then to put on the power,” she says.
Today the younger Fanning (her sister is Dakota) is a sophomore at a “normal school,” with abnormal off-hours: she has two movies that sold at Sundance this year (Young Ones and Low Down). She went to prom recently, but saved a sparkly blue Elie Saab gown at home for months, knowing it was pitch perfect for the Maleficent premiere.
Today the alternative style star is mixing Balenciaga culottes, Celine mules and a cropped black Nina Ricci tank. “I try to have a very unique sense of style,” she says. “And maybe it’s not everyone’s favorite but I think for me, I love it. And even if it’s kind of weird, it’s OK.”
This summer, Fanning could use a fairy godmother at the steering wheel. “I don’t have my permit yet!” she exclaims. “You have to study for it. This summer I think I’ll have time to look at the pamphlet.”
But don’t expect lessons from Dakota. “My sister lives in New York. She has her license but she has forgotten how to drive,” Fanning laughs. “She really has!”
Client: USA TODAY
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