Dakota and Elle Fanning might seem like frivolous fashionistas appearing frequently and wowing critics at red carpet events. They are the press’s darlings, blonde celebrities who regularly answer the clamoring reporters’ question, who are you wearing. However Dakota (22) and Elle (18) are much more than that. Each had starring roles in this year’s Hamburg Film Festival. Dakota plays the beloved and disturbed Merry in Ewan McGregor’s AMERICAN PASTORAL. She embodies the rebellious, radicalized daughter who turns against her parents during the Vietnam War. Elle stars as Ray in ABOUT RAY (Alle Farben des Lebens). She brilliantly plays a transgender teenager hoping to begin hormone treatment to start transitioning into a boy. Not once does this feminine fashion plate slip up as her very masculine alter ego.
Born in Conyers, Georgia, the sisters later moved to California with their parents when older sister Dakota’s career took off. Neither of their parents are actors as might be expected, but both had been professional athletes. Dakota began her career starring in a Tide commercial at the age of five. At seven she was the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role in I Am Sam. She has been in more than forty films and appeared in twelve television series. Younger sister Elle has been in almost as many films and series, including the role of Princess Aurora in Maleficent.
Dakota and Elle Fanning didn’t appear on the red carpet in Hamburg this year, but their time may come. Someday they may triumph at the Hamburg Film Festival not just as It Girls, but as accomplished actors.