She’s beautiful, just celebrated her 16 birthday and stars as the ever-popular princess Aurora in the upcoming Disney film Maleficent. Elle Fanning’s childhood favorite was Sleeping Beauty and this is a dream come true for her to be in this classic yet modern-day story. After sitting with Elle I understood why she was cast as Aurora. She is as energetic and happy as she was on the big screen. She’s truly a wonderful fit for this movie and a delight to talk to!
Here are some fun facts about Elle and her experience as the Sleeping Beauty:
Elle’s biggest goal when she was little was to grow up to be a princess. “To say that I actually got to do this is the biggest deal ever especially for Sleeping Beauty because she was my favorite. I felt like I looked like her when I was little. I felt that she was my princess, if I had a choice to play anyone it would have been her.”
The classic animation was the main resource for bringing Aurora to life. Elle watched the film as a child but also watched it before started filming for reference. Elle explains, “Aurora is delicate and passive and a bit one dimensional in the film. I tried to bring out physicalities such as hand gestures and her stride.” She continues to say, “We wanted to spice her up a tad. We tried to add to some depth to her even though she’s always happy. She does experience real emotion.” Elle is glad that her character was a stronger character for young girls to look up to.
Elle actually fell asleep during her “sleeping” takes. “One time I did fall asleep laying there and it was so scary because you’re there and then that could be so bad because you can mess up the scene if you start moving and not know you were asleep. So it’s kind of hard because you had to fight yourself not to fall asleep.”
What was her favorite moment from the film? “I loved when I got to prick my finger on the spindle. That was the last day for me on set. Everything was building up to that moment. That is a classic scene from the animated film and also a scene that scared me. I wanted to make sure that in our film we gave that scene justice.”
What was it like meeting Angelina Jolie? Elle was extremely nervous to meet Angelina Jolie and had knots in her stomach when they first met. “We’re both big huggers, so she gave me a giant hug right away and she shook my shoulders and she said, “We’re gonna have so much fun working together!” To have Angelina Jolie like just hug you right away, it really created an impact.
Elle loves what she does. She likes to play pretend, “You can do things that you yourself would never do so you can do it in a character. I want to play different roles, mix things up, and recreate myself.”
Elle’s grandma went to the Disney Store, grabbed as many Aurora dolls she could snatch up until she was told that she could only buy five. That’s how many she bought.
Another dream is to be in a movie with her sister, Dakota. ” I would love to do a drama with her”. We also learned that Elle loves sad stories and she loves to cry when she watches movies.
What’s next for the young actress? She went directly to two other films after Maleficent. Look for her in the independent films, Young Ones and Low Down which both appeared at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. She is also the voice of Winnie in the upcoming LAIKA film The Boxtrolls where Elle will once again work in an English Accent.
Maleficent is in theaters on Friday, May 30th and is rated PG.
* I attended a press junket to facilitate this post.