Elle Fanning

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Elle Fanning
Elle Fanning 2 SDCC 2014.jpg
BornMary Elle Fanning
(1998-04-09) April 9, 1998 (age 16)
Conyers, Georgia, U.S.
EducationCampbell Hall School
Years active2001–present
ReligionSouthern Baptist
ParentsSteven Fanning (father)
Joy Arrington Fanning (mother)
RelativesDakota Fanning (sister)
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Elle Fanning
Elle Fanning 2 SDCC 2014.jpg
BornMary Elle Fanning
(1998-04-09) April 9, 1998 (age 16)
Conyers, Georgia, U.S.
EducationCampbell Hall School
Years active2001–present
ReligionSouthern Baptist
ParentsSteven Fanning (father)
Joy Arrington Fanning (mother)
RelativesDakota Fanning (sister)

Mary Elle Fanning (born April 9, 1998) is an American teen actress. She is the younger sister of actress Dakota Fanning and mainly known for her starring roles in Phoebe in Wonderland, Somewhere, We Bought a Zoo, and as Aurora in 2014's Maleficent. In 2011, Fanning starred in her breakout role as Alice Dainard in J. J. Abrams' sci-fi-drama blockbuster, Super 8. For this role she received overwhelming critical acclaim and was often cited as one of the film's best aspects.[1] She received nominations for a Saturn Award, a Young Artist Award, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, a Teen Choice Award, a Scream Award, an MTV Movie Award, and more including a special Spotlight Award at the Hollywood Film Festival.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Fanning was born in Conyers, Georgia on April 9, 1998, the daughter of Heather Joy (née Arrington), who played tennis professionally, and Steven J. Fanning, who played minor league baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals and now works as an electronics salesman in Los Angeles.[3] Her maternal grandfather is American football player Rick Arrington, and her aunt is ESPN reporter Jill Arrington.[4] Fanning is the younger sister of Dakota Fanning, who is also an actress.[5] Fanning has Irish, German, English, and French ancestry. Fanning and her family are members of the Southern Baptist Convention.[6] She has been quoted as saying "We're just normal sisters. We both go to school and we just play together."[7] Fanning currently attends Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, which was also attended by child actresses Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen.[8]


Fanning started acting before turning three years old.[9] She began her acting career by playing the younger version of her older sister Dakota's characters in the mini-series Taken and the movie I Am Sam.[10] In 2002, at the age of four, Fanning won her first role independent of her sister in the comedy Daddy Day Care. Anecdotal evidence of her emerging skill was seen in the decision to cast her in the role of Ruth in The Door in the Floor (2004) opposite Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger. The film's producers originally planned to hire identical twins for the intense shooting schedule, but were so impressed with Fanning that they used only her.[11] Late in 2003, Fanning appeared in Because of Winn-Dixie in the small role of Sweetie Pie Thomas. In 2004, she did voice work in the English dubbed version of Miyazaki's animated film My Neighbor Totoro, in the role of Mei. Later that same year, she filmed I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With. In early 2005, Fanning filmed scenes in Charlotte's Web as the "future granddaughter" of Fern Arable played by Dakota Fanning. However, the scenes didn't make the final cut. In mid-2005, she played Debbie, the daughter of Richard and Susan Jones (played by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) in the Academy Award-winning film Babel. In early 2006, Fanning filmed scenes in both The Nines and Déjà Vu. In mid-2006, she filmed The Lost Room a sci-fi TV mini-series. Also in 2006, she appeared on the episode "Need to Know" of House: MD, playing the patient's daughter.

By the end of 2006, Fanning began to book lead roles.[12] The first of these was the one of Emma Learner in Reservation Road—the grieving daughter of Grace and Ethan Learner.The film deals with the aftermath of a tragic car accident in which Emma's brother is killed.[13] In early 2007, Fanning reunited with her Babel co-stars, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, in a small part in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as the younger version of Blanchett's character. Mid-year 2007, Fanning filmed the title role Phoebe of Phoebe in Wonderland—the tale of a little girl who won't—or can't—follow the rules. Phoebe in Wonderland also starred Felicity Huffman and was released in March 2009. From July through October 2007, Fanning appeared in The Nutcracker in 3D, playing Mary. Set in 1920s Vienna, this is a tale of a little girl whose godfather gives her a special doll on Christmas Eve. The movie was filmed in Budapest, Hungary and was released late 2010. In March 2008, Fanning and her sister Dakota were scheduled to star in My Sister's Keeper, but the opportunity fell through when Dakota learned she would have to shave her head. The sisters were immediately replaced by Abigail Breslin and Sofia Vassilieva.[14]

Variety reported in April 2009 that Fanning would be starring in Academy Award-winning screenwriter Sofia Coppola's 2010 film, Somewhere. The plot centers around a "bad-boy" actor who is forced to re-evaluate his life when his daughter, played by Fanning, arrives unexpectedly.[15] The film was released during the 2010 awards season. At its first film festival, the 67th Venice Film Festival, it took out the Golden Lion.[16] In late 2010, Fanning began working on Francis Ford Coppola's 2011 film Twixt, that Coppola wrote, based on a dream he had.[17] She plays the role of a young ghost named V. In 2011, Fanning starred in J. J. Abrams' sci-fi-drama film Super 8 as Alice Dainard. The movie was released on June 10, 2011 and centers around a group of kids who are forced to deal with strange happenings in their small town.[18]

In December 2011, Fanning appeared in Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo.[19] She played Lily, a thirteen-year-old who is working at the zoo's restaurant, and lives on the property with her only parental figure, Kelly (Scarlett Johansson). In September 2012, Fanning starred as Ginger along with Alice Englert who played Rosa in the drama film Ginger & Rosa that took place during 1962 in London. The film was directed by Sally Potter and was released on October 19, 2012.[20] Fanning has received widespread acclaim for her performance, with A. O. Scott of The New York Times writing that she "shows a nearly Streepian mixture of poise, intensity and technical precision. It is frightening how good she is and hard to imagine anything she could not do."[21] Ty Burr, film critic for The Boston Globe, praised her "luminous naturalism that seems the opposite of performance" and felt that "Fanning easily convinces you of Ginger’s emotional reality."[22]

Fanning starred alongside Angelina Jolie in the 2014 Walt Disney film, Maleficent, directed by Robert Stromberg. Jolie played Maleficent and Fanning played Princess Aurora.[23]


2001I Am SamYounger Lucy
2003Daddy Day CareJamie
2004The Door in the FloorRuth Cole
2005My Neighbor TotoroMeiVoice only (English dub)
2005P.N.O.K.Rebecca BullardShort film
2005Because of Winn-DixieSweetie Pie Thomas
2006Déjà VuAbbey
2006BabelDebbie Jones
2006I Want Someone to Eat Cheese WithPenelope
2007The NinesNoelle
2007Reservation RoadEmma Learner
2007Day 73 with SarahSarahShort film
2008The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonDaisy, Age 6
2008Phoebe in WonderlandPhoebe Lichten
2009Astro BoyGraceVoice only
2010The Nutcracker in 3DMary
2011Super 8Alice Dainard
2011The Curve of Forgotten ThingsShort film
2011We Bought a ZooLily Miska
2012Ginger & Rosa[20]Ginger
2012Leaning Toward Solace[24]SaraShort film
2014Low Down[25]Amy-Jo Albany
2014Young Ones[25]Mary Holms
2014Maleficent[23]Princess Aurora
2014The Boxtrolls[23]Winnie(voice)Post-production
2016Live by NightLoretta FiggisPre-production


2002TakenAllie Keys – Age 3"Charlie and Lisa"
2003Judging AmyRochelle Cobbs"Maxine Interrupted"
2003CSI: MiamiMolly Walker"Death Grip"
2004CSI: NYJenny Como"Officer Blue"
2006House M.D.Stella Dalton"Need to Know"
2006Law & Order: Special Victims UnitEden"Cage"
2006The Lost RoomAnna Miller3 episodes
2006, 2007Criminal MindsTracy Belle2 episodes
2007Dirty Sexy MoneyKiki George"Pilot"

Awards and nominations[edit]

2004Daddy Day CareYoung Artist AwardBest Young Ensemble in a Feature FilmNominated
2007The Lost RoomYoung Artist AwardBest Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special (Comedy or Drama): Supporting Young ActressNominated
BabelBest Performance in a Feature Film: Young Actress Age Ten or YoungerNominated
2011SomewhereBroadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Young Actor/ActressNominated
Young Hollywood AwardActress of the Year AwardWon
The Nutcracker in 3DYoung Artist Award[26]Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young ActressNominated
Super 8Hollywood Film FestivalSpotlight AwardWon
Satellite AwardBest Actress in a Supporting RoleNominated
Scream AwardBreakout Performance: FemaleNominated
Teen Choice AwardChoice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/FantasyNominated
Choice Movie ChemistryNominated
Phoenix Film Critics SocietyBest Ensemble ActingWon
Breakthrough Performance on CameraNominated
Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role: FemaleNominated
2012Broadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Young ActressNominated
Young Artist Award[27]Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young ActressNominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble CastNominated
MTV Movie AwardBest Breakthrough PerformanceNominated
Ginger & RosaBritish Independent Film AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a British Independent FilmNominated
2013Broadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Young ActressNominated
2014MaleficentTeen Choice AwardChoice Movie Actress: ActionNominated


  1. ^ Horatia, Harrod (16 July 2011). "Elle Fanning: Is this the face of a future Oscar winner?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Hollywood Film Awards - Honorees Search". Dick Clark Productions, Inc. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Dakota Fanning ancestry". Ancestry.com. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ Stein, Joel (February 27, 2005). "The Million-Dollar Baby". Time. Retrieved December 10, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Elle Fanning FAQ". Totally Elle. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Interview: Dakota Fanning". lifeteen.com. 2007. 
  7. ^ "Elle Fanning Quotes". Totally Elle. Retrieved March 23, 2013. "We're just normal sisters. We both go to school and we just play together." 
  8. ^ "Hollywood be thy name...". The Episcopal News. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Mary Elle Fanning". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Elle Fanning Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  11. ^ Elle Fanning Biography, NetGlimse
  12. ^ "About Elle". Always Elle Wordpress. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Reservation Road Reviews & Ratings - IMDb". Imdb. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Giles, Jeff (February 14, 2008). "Abigail Breslin Is My Sister's Keeper". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  15. ^ Sofia Coppola books Marmont film – Entertainment News, Variety
  16. ^ Leander, Arthur (September 11, 2010). "Sofia Coppola's SOMEWHERE Wins Venice Film Festival's 2010 Golden Lion". Art Film Guide. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  17. ^ Connelly, Brendon (November 5, 2010). "Francis Ford Coppola Discusses His New Horror Movie, Twixt Now And Sunrise". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Cast Set for J.J. Abrams' Super 8". ComingSoon.net. September 20, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ Sciretta, Peter (November 9, 2010). "Patrick Fugit and Elle Fanning Join Cameron Crowe’s ‘We Bought a Zoo’". /Film. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Potter, Sally. "Ginger & Rosa". Sally Potter. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  21. ^ Scott, A. O. "Ticking Bomb in Their Friendship". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ Burr, Ty (March 21, 2013). "Elle Fanning makes ‘Ginger & Rosa’ dance". The Boston Globe. 
  23. ^ a b c Prinzivalli, Fallon. "Angelina Jolie's 'Maleficent' To Hit Theaters In 2014 - Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV.com". MTV. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  24. ^ "the valtari mystery film experiment". sigur-ros.co.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Fanning, Elle. "Vivaldi". cinemarx. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  26. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  27. ^ "33rd Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 

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