Dakota Fanning Says Child Stardom Makes It Harder To Get Adult Roles

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer

Hitting the ground running as a child star can make it harder to get adult roles, Dakota Fanning has said.

Now 22, Fanning appeared in her first commercials aged five, before landing a role in ‘ER’, and then shows like ‘CSI’, ‘Spin City’ and ‘Ally McBeal’.

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And she was only seven when she starred opposite Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘I Am Sam’.

But it can prove to be a hinderance rather than a help.

“It’s definitely not as easy of a road when you start out younger because people do develop a lot of preconceived notions about who you are,” she told the Press Association.

“That’s just frustrating in life in general when people assume things about you without knowing the truth.

“There were definitely times when it would be annoying but I definitely have made my peace with that and have done the best I can.”

She also agreed that fame too young can be hugely detrimental, though she feels she’s managed to avoid going off the rails or losing the ability to perform.

“People would always say to you: ‘Are you worried about growing up? Are you still going to be able to act?’” she added.

“It would make you crazy and it would make you act out or think you need to grow up too fast, and that leads to making mistakes.

“I’m a very rational, logical person so that was never an option for me because I don’t want that for my life,

“But I can kind of understand it because it could turn you into a very insecure person, very easily.”

Her breakthrough role was ‘War of the Worlds’ in 2005 with Tom Cruise, followed by the gritty ‘Hounddog’ in 2006, which found her parents criticised for allowing her to take part in a scene of sexual abuse.

She retaliated at the time, saying: “It’s not really happening. It’s a movie, and it’s called acting.”

Next up, she’s appearing in ‘American Pastoral’ with Ewan McGregor, his directorial debut.

Image credits: PA/Rex Features