If you’re in the same age group as me — and I assume everybody is, all the time — then you’ve grown up watching the Fanning Sisters be slightly younger than you and way more famous. And even though they’re younger, they’ve had a ton of visibility. For a couple years there, I was pretty sure that the Pied Piper of Hamlin had passed through Hollywood and lured all the children away, and Dakota Fanning was the only one left. That’s how many projects she was working on for a while. And her younger sister Elle Fanning isn’t lagging behind too much, either. She’s really making a name for herself in indie films and blockbusters alike. But let’s not just enjoy these ladies for their talent and ignore the other lessons they can teach us; that would be wasteful. Instead, how about we use them as tests to learn more about ourselves? Because even though they share a last name and a hair dye, these two little gremlins could not be more different.
So, are you an Elle or a Dakota? And what does it all mean? Meet Dakota Fanning, age eighteen. Or, re-meet her anyway, because she’s been in every single movie since her breakout role in I Am Sam. Really, that’s a scientific fact — every single movie. How do you know if you’re a Dakota? Well, here are some indicators. Dakota got her first role at age seven, so you have to be a real go-getter. Russell Crowe said she was the best actress he’d work with in his career after starring with her in Dreamer, so you know you have to be better than Anne Hathaway. And since she’s done so many projects (thirty-four movies and miniseries to date, according to Wikipedia), you’re more of a Dakota if you’re a micro-manager, not overly emotional, and straightforward. Otherwise where would she have found the time? You’re also a Dakota if you find yourself trying to defy a reputation that the people around you are clinging to about you. Since Dakota started so young, most people still see her as a child actor, so she’s trying to shed that image with grittier roles.
And then there’s Elle Fanning, age fourteen. You might not recognize her as readily, but she’s a little more of a free-spirit than her sister. She seems to be drawn to smaller projects, so you’re more of an Elle-type if you prefer to operate on the social fringes instead of busting right in as the popular girl at the party. That doesn’t mean you’re not as good as them, just quirkier and quieter and more willing to share the spotlight, a trick Elle learned after years of playing the younger version of her sister in movies. She’s broken out of that box more recently, though, taking on larger projects like Maleficent with Angelina Jolie, so you’re more of an Elle if you feel like this is the year that you finally step out of someone’s shadow. Also if you consider yourself an optimist — Elle’s so free with her smiles that you can tell she’s a little more carefree than her business-minded sister.
So now you know which one you are. Go forth into the world and use that knowledge for good! I don’t know how you’ll manage that, but channel a Fanning and try!
(Images: FayesVision / WENN.com)