Dakota Fanning is an American actress who first rose to fame as a young star in the early 2000’s. A natural performer ever since she was a little girl, she starred in a handful of plays prior to appearing in a national television commercial when she was five years old. The next year, she made her small screen debut when she appeared in an episode of the popular medical drama, ER, in which she played the role of a car accident victim. From there, she went on to guest star in a number of television series that same year including Ally McBeal, Strong Medicine, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Practice and Spin City. After a couple of years of acting in front of the camera, Fanning was cast as a lead character in the drama film, I Am Sam (2001). Critically praised for her performance, she soon became the youngest actress to receive a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination at the age of seven.
Gradually climbing her way to stardom, Fanning was eventually offered a starring role in the sci-fi mini series, Taken (2002)ーa work of renowned film director, Steven Spielberg. Noticed for her talents, she also appeared in Trapped, Hansel and Gretel and Sweet Home Alabama later that same year. Establishing herself as a successful child actress, she continued to star in a number of films throughout the 2000’s including Man on Fire (2004), Nine Lives (2005), Hide and Seek (2005), War of the Worlds (2005), and Charlotte’s Web (2006), to name a few. Despite her young age, Fanning received countless awards as a child star including three Young Artist Awards, a Saturn Award, a Satellite Award, an MTV Movie Award, a Hollywood Film Festival Award, amongst numerous others. To date, the blonde has appeared in well over fifty roles as an actress.
Aside from her established acting career, Fanning is also involved in the fashion industry as a model. She made her modelling debut in 2009 when she appeared on the covers of several popular magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair and Elle. More recently in the 2010’s, she took part in the 2014 and 2015 New York Fashion Week events. Talented beyond her age, the 22-year-old has been featured in many television talk shows throughout her career including The Rosie O’Donnel Show (2002), On-Air with Ryan Seacrest (2004), Today (2005), Ellen: The Ellen Degeneres Show (2008), Late Show with David Letterman (2009), the list goes on. She has even lent her voice to multiple animated films and series such as My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Family Guy (2001), Kim Possible: A Stich in Time (2003), Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005) and Coraline (2009).
So what has the former child actress been up to in the recent years? Has she starred in any films or TV series as of late? What happened to Dakota Fanning? Where is she now in 2018?
Dakota Fanning’s Childhood and Early Start in the Show Business
Born on February 23, 1994, in Conyers, Georgia, Dakota Fanning is the daughter of Steven J. and Heather Joy Fanning, an electronics salesman and a former professional tennis player respectively; she has a younger sister named Elle Fanning, who also works in the entertainment industry, and is of Irish, German, English and French descent. When she was a preschooler, he mother enrolled her in acting classes. Proving herself to be a natural performer, she eventually landed a commercial gig on national television when she was five years old. Quickly finding success as a child actress, she later made her small screen debut in the popular NBC medical drama, ER as a car crash victim at the age of six. That same year, she also guest appeared in Ally McBeal, Strong Medicine, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Spin City and The Practice.
After a handful of successful guest appearances, Fanning received a big break when she was cast as a leading character in the motion picture, I Am Sam (2001). Released in theatres in December 2001, it revolved around a father named Sam, who despite his developmental disabilities, fights for custody of his seven year old daughter, Lucy. Although it was met with a fair amount of mixed reviews, it was a hit at the box officeーhaving grossed over $97 million from a $22 million budget. Aside from Fanning, who portrayed the part of Lucy, the cast list also included Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianne Wiest, Richard Schiff, Laura Dern and last but not least, Sean Penn, who played the role of Sam. Nominated for a Grammy Award, I Am Sam played a huge part in the launching of the young actress’ career. For her part in the film, she became the youngest star in history to receive a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination; in addition, it also garnered her a Satellite Award, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award and a Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award.
Dakota Fanning’s Continued Acting Career in the 2000’s
Following her rise to fan in I Am Sam, Fanning was offered a lead role in Steven Speilberg’s science fiction mini-series, Taken. Originally aired in the SCi-Fi Channel in December 2002, the show followed the lives of three familiesーthe Keys, the Crawfords and the Clarkes, over six decades. In the series, the young actress played the role of Allison Clarke, a three year old who has the ability to manipulate both space and time. Immensely popular upon its debut on television, Taken featured a number of talented actors in its star-studded cast list including Joel Gretsch, Matt Frewer, Steve Burton, Ryan Hurst, Eric Close, John Hawkes, Tina Holmes, and many others. Spanning ten episodes, the series later went on to win a Primetime Emmy Award for the category of “Outstanding Miniseries” in 2003.
Rising in popularity, Fanning went on to appear in a number of smaller productions before starring in the 2003 comedy, Uptown Girls alongside actress Britanny Murphy. Directed by Boaz Yakin, it opened at number five at the U.S. box office and grossed over $11 million in its opening weekend. Based on a story by Allison Jacobs, it revolved around the relationship between a mature eight year old girl and her college-aged babysitter, who in many ways, is more of a child than the grade schooler. Although Uptown Girls was panned by critics shortly after its release, it was a commercial successーhaving raked in over $44 million from a $20 million budget.
Two years later, Fanning was cast as a supporting character in the drama film, Nine Lives (2005). Directed by Rodrigo Garcia, it followed the lives of nine womenーall with their own difficulties and challenges in life. Depicted through a series of vignettes, Nine Lives starred an ensemble cast which consisted of Sissy Spacek, Amy Brenneman, Amanda Seyfried, Holly Hunter, Molly Parker, Robin Wright Penn, and many others. Praised for its brilliant acting and realistic story lines, it received two Satellite Award nominations, two ALMA Award nominations, and three Independent Spirit Award nominations. For her portrayal of Maria, the daughter of Maggieーone of the nine women in the film, she received an award for “Best Actress” at the Locarno International Film Festival.
That same year, the actress played a lead part in the sci-fi disaster film, War of the Worlds alongside Tom Cruise, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins and Miranda Otto. Adapted from a novel of the same name by author H. G. Wells, it followed the lives of one family as they struggle for survival after the invasion of extraterrestrial war machines on earth. Filmed between different locations in California, New York, Connecticut, Virginia and New Jersey, War of the Worlds was a critical hit upon its releaseーhaving garnered mostly favourable reviews from critics. Praised for its narration and acting, the movie was a huge success at the box office; it earned approximately $81 million in its opening weekend and went on to gross over $591 million worldwideーmaking it the fourth highest-earning film of its year. Nominated for three Academy Awards, War of the Worlds also earned Fanningsーwho played the part of the family’s ten year old daughterーa Saturn Award for “Best Performance by a Younger Actor.”
In 2006, the actress starred in the fantasy comedy film, Charlotte’s Web. Based on the popular children’s novel by author E.B. White, it told the story of Wilburーa pig who hatches a plan with a spider named Charlotte in attempts of preventing himself from ending up on the dinner table. In the adaptation, Fanning played the role of Fern Arable, the film’s main female protagonist. While Dominic Scott Kay provided the voice of Wilbur the pig, other live-action actors in the motion picture included Kevin Anderson, Beau Bridges, Essie Davis, Siobhan Fallon Hogan and Gary Basaraba. Positively received, it debuted at number three at the box office and eventually went on to gross over $144 million worldwide. A successful role for the then 12-year-old actress, it garnered her a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award for “Favourite Movie Actress”, amongst a couple of other recognitions and nominations.
After appearing in the coming-of-age drama film Hounddog and the video short Cutlass in 2007, the actress starred in the motion picture, The Secret Life of Bees (2008) alongside Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Sophie Okonedo. Co-produced by Will Smith and his wife Jada Smith, the film took place in the mid 1960’s and revolved around a fourteen year old girl named Lily Owens, who finds herself being haunted by the memories of her late mother; she eventually discovers her mother’s hidden past after fleeing to South Carolina with her close friend, Rosaleen. Although The Secret Life of Bees received mixed reviews from critics, it was successful at the box office, having ranked at number three and grossed over $10 million in its opening weekend. Presented with two People’s Choice Awards for “Favourite Independent Movie” and “Favourite Movie Drama”, it also earned Fanning a nomination for a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award in 2009.
Where is Dakota Fanning in 2018 – News and Updates
Still a regular in front of the cameras, Fannings starred in the crime film, American Pastoral this past September. The first motion picture for director Ewan McGregor, it was adapted from the 1997 book of the same title. Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, American Pastoral revolved around a former high school athlete (played by Ewan McGregor)ーwhen his teenage daughter vanishes after being accused of having committed a violent act, he makes his his mission to find and reunite her with the family.
Given a limited theatrical release from Lionsgate that October, it was met largely with less-than-ideal reviews by critics. In the film, Fanning played the role of the protagonist’s sixteen year old daughter, Meredith Levov; other members of the cast include Jennifer Connelly, Peter Riegert, and Rupert Evans.
In terms of upcoming movie projects, it has been announced this year that the actress will be starring in a film adaptation of The Bell Jar, which is set to go into production in 2017 and in the heist comedy, Ocean’s Eight, which is to be released sometime in 2018.