We see it so often, young actresses getting breakout Hollywood roles, becoming household names overnight, then before you know it they are getting out of cabs sans underwear, getting caught smoking a spliff and there goes the career, class and everything else…
But every now and then comes along a rare young man or woman who knows how to separate fact from fiction and stick to their standards. Having good parents or guardians and strict guidelines at home is something that can make a huge difference.
Dakota Fanning was one of those young Hollywood starlets who kept her wits about her and her career and personal life have not been splashed all over TMZ on a regular basis. Well the credit should be given to her parents because her younger sister Elle is following in the well-rounded shoes of big sis Dakota.
Vogue Magazine sat down with the 14 year old to talk about balancing Hollywood and Highschool. After starring in J.J.Abrams’ blockbuster Super 8, she will next be seen playing a 16 year old caught in the middle of family drama in Ginger and Rosa.
It’s a role that forced the then-13 year old to “play” out issues that were far beyond her years or experience. Material like this can sometimes be what causes young actresses to go off the rails if it is not properly handled. But not so with Elle, who tackled the role with such intelligence, says director Potter. It is this intelligence that definitely is a trait seen in all aspects of her life.
Her parents Steven and Joy Fanning raised their girls in Georgia before moving with them to San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Having the stable family unit around them is evidence of the protection that young children need in the entertainment industry. It is important they maintain that sense of normality during formative and influential years.
Acclaimed director Sofia Coppola, who cast her in her indie flick Somewhere said despite all the attention she is getting, there is no hint of attitude which is so common amongst others that have gone before her. (Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes anyone?) One of the things she pointed out to Vogue how important school is to her. She shared with the magazine how her parents make sure this is a priority in her life. She even turned up to the interview in her school uniform!
We think Elle Fanning is going to set a new trend for Young Hollywood: well-adjusted young men and women who have their priorities straight and their boundaries firmly in place. While many celebrities, such as Rihanna, claim they don’t want to be role models, the fact is it is part and parcel of their job. Millions of young women everywhere are looking to their every move to copy. So it is their duty to want to set good examples and relish every part of their role in the public eye.
Aspiring actresses take note: school is important, so is family and developing a variety of interests in life. Acting is not just a fancy lifestyle you see on the pages of a gossip magazine or a blog, it is a career that takes hard work and dedication. It is highly competitive and not for everyone. But if it is something you are passionate about and want to pursue, we hope you can seek out positive role models to emulate, such as Elle Fanning.