Elle Fanning, when you meet her in person, is so much like her character Aurora in Maleficent, it’s easy to see why when she walked in to audition, they pretty much gave her the part.
We talked to Fanning about the box office blockbuster, and she admitted that she was a little apprehensive to meet Angelina Jolie, not only because of that haunting costume as the Sleeping Beauty villain, but because she is probably the most famous woman in the world.
“I was extremely nervous to meet her. I mean you hear that name and you know exactly who she is,” Fanning told Movie Fanatic.
“I remember it was during rehearsals and we were in Pinewood Studios and I didn’t know I was going to meet her that day, we were doing like costume fittings and stuff, and then everyone started saying, ‘She’s here! She’s here!’ And I’m like, ‘My God.’ The knot was like growing in my stomach and then I turned the corner and there she was. She gave me a giant hug right away and said, ‘We’re gonna have so much fun working together.’”
To say that meant a lot to Fanning and put her at ease is clearly an understatement. “To have Angelina Jolie just hug you right away, it was really impactful,” Fanning admitted.
“I still get butterflies when I see her in an odd way even though we’ve worked together -- that kind of intensity that she has in photographs and on red carpets and that force around her. But then you meet her and she’s just a girl in a way, and we would just talk about girl things. You get to see her sensitivity and she’s super playful.”
Fanning was particularly taken with Jolie and her role as mother. “All her kids were on set and they’d yell, ‘Cut,’ and she’d be in her whole outfit and pick up Vivie and Knox on both hips in the cloak and all. For me to see that, it was such the opposite of what I kind of thought she would be.”
We know our favorite Top 11 Angelina Jolie movies, what are a few of Fanning’s favorites?
“Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Girl, Interrupted, that’s one of my favorite movies, so, I really love that one,” she admitted.
One of the big appeals for Fanning was how this film truly celebrates women. It’s not about a couple of girls gabbing about guys. Even though in the fairy tale, it is Prince Charming who saves the day, as seen in the Maleficent trailer, this story is slightly different.
“I’m glad that our film was like that. Also kind of the way it ends up, it’s more of like a maternal love and a friendship love that wins out over a romantic love with a guy,” Fanning said -- something we marveled at in our Maleficent review.
“That was a nice take on it, especially her being so powerful and being a leading lady in the movie. She’s totally in charge of the whole film and she’s a woman.”
The young actress was eager to join the Maleficent cast as a huge fan of the Disney movie, but also to become a part of a new take on it. “I was such a huge fan of the animated one and I’m like, ‘I feel like we’re breaking some weird Disney rule,’ like Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty aren’t supposed to talk to each other. They’re enemies,” she said.
“But the way it turned out, it’s a fresh take on it. And I think for the modern world, we need to have a modern story and it is. It’s very different.”
Of course for anyone who knows the Sleeping Beauty animated movie, or the fairy tale for that matter, you know that Fanning’s Aurora spends a little bit of time asleep. She had to actually fight falling asleep in real life!
“I’d go in and get dressed and put on everything and just sleep the entire day! It was so nice,” Fanning said and laughed.
“But then it’s like you can't really act. 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 like start moving and not knowing you were asleep! It’s kind of hard. You had to fight yourself not to fall asleep!”