Dakota Fanning is an actress who is famous for her breakthrough performance in I Am Sam. As a child performer, she has won numerous awards and remains to be the youngest person ever to have been nominated for a Screen Actor’ Guild Award.
Born on February 23, 1994 in Conyers, Georgia, Dakota Fanning is the daughter of Joy, a professional tennis player, and Steve J. Fanning, who played minor league baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals and now works as an electronics salesman in Los Angeles.
At the age of 5, Fanning tapped into the entertainment scene first by appearing on a TV commercial with Ray Charles for the state lottery and for appearing in a Tide commercial as well. She then landed her first significant acting job, which was a guest appearance on the medical drama ER, where she played a car accident victim who had leukemia. Gradually, she was offered more guest roles on shows like Friends, CSI, The Practice Spin City and Malcolm in the Middle.
In 2001, Dakota Fanning carved a niche for herself in the movie industry as she was chosen to star opposite Sean Penn in I Am Sam, the story of a mentally retarded man who fights for the custody of his daughter. For this role, she earned numerous awards and nominations, including a BFCA Award for Best Young Actress and a Satellite Award for Outstanding New Talent, just to name a few.
After her performance in I Am Sam, director Steven Spielberg cast Fanning in the lead child role of Allie in the science fiction miniseries Taken. Simultaneously, she worked on various movie projects such as Trapped, Sweet Home Alabama and Hansel and Gretel. In 2005, she starred opposite Robert De Niro in the thriller Hide and Seek, and reunited with Steven Spielberg in War of the Worlds, which also starred Tom Cruise.
The next year, Fanning took on the lead role in Charlotte's Web. She later voiced the titular character on the movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline. The star was soon known for her portrayal of Jane in Twilight Saga: New Moon and its sequel Eclipse. In 2010, she was cast as Cherie Currie on The Runaways, with her Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart.
She learned to read a little at the age of two.
At the age of eight, she became the youngest person to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award - for her supporting acting in the movie I Am Sam (2001).
When she received the Best Young Actor/Actress award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for her performance in I Am Sam (2001), she was too short to reach the microphone to give her acceptance speech. Presenter Orlando Bloom held her up to the mike for the duration of her speech, which turned out to be quite long.
She began her acting career at the age of five when she was picked for a Tide detergent commercial.
Her father named her Dakota, her mother named her Hannah. She then was named Hannah Dakota Fanning.
Dakota is one of 14 grandchildren.
Parents: Joy and Steven Fanning.
Her favorite films include Gone with the Wind (1939), Titanic (1997) and Steel Magnolias (1989).
Looks up to Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank, "not just because they're great actresses, but because they are amazing people".
Her last name "Fanning" is of Irish origin. Also, she is of half-German descent.
She donated many signed items to Rocky Stone to be given away as prizes in a Dakota Fanning Contest to benefit less fortunate kids as part of the Toy Mountain Campaign 2005 and Toy Mountain Campaign 2006.
First time she visited England was on the 19th June 2005 with Tom Cruise, to attend the premiere of War of the Worlds (2005) at London's Leicester Square.
Loves to knit and has knitted scarfs for Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Tim Robbins.
For the 'sad' scenes in I Am Sam (2001), she thought of her pet goldfish, Flounder, dying.
Carries a book of baby names with her wherever she goes.
She has been to Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, England, and France.
Is a member of the Red Cross.
On her eleventh birthday, Tom Cruise gave her a cell phone.
Is friends with Daveigh Chase.
Can play the violin.
Listed as a potential nominee on the 2004 Razzie Award nominating ballot. She was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actress category for her role in The Cat in the Hat (2003). She was also suggested as an official nominee in the "Worst Screen Couple" couple category with co-star Spencer Breslin in the The Cat in the Hat (2003). She was relieved to get neither of these nominations.
Is a member of the Girl Scouts USA, and her sister Elle Fanning is a Brownie.
Is learning to speak French. She also learned to speak some Spanish for her role in Man on Fire (2004).
Missed the premiere of Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005) (V) to go to Mexico while her sister Elle Fanning filmed Babel (2006).
Began kindergarten at the age of four and one-half. She began her freshman year of high school (the 9th grade) in the fall of 2007.
During filming of War of the Worlds (2005), Tom Cruise gave her an iPod.
Is now a Girl Scout [Oct. 2005].
After filming Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005), Kurt Russell, who plays her father, bought her a palomino horse, whom she named Goldie. Goldie lives on a ranch near Dakota's home where she can visit him often.
Tutor is Jan Cerwonka.
Her scene in Nine Lives (2005) was done in just one take. She was only required to work on this movie for one day.
Has said she would love to be a director.
On her 10th birthday, Robert De Niro gave her a doll that looked like Dakota's character in Hide and Seek (2005), with the brown hair and blue eyes.
Plays the piano, knits, collects dolls, ride horses and dances ballet.
Niece of Jill Arrington.
She was the youngest member of the "Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences", which admitted her in 2006.
Ranked number nine in "E!" TV's list of the cutest child stars, all grown-up - even though she was still just a girl in 2005.
Has been in three productions with her sister Elle Fanning, yet they have never shared scenes. Elle played the younger version of Dakota's characters in I Am Sam (2001) and "Taken" (2002), and the two girls voiced sisters in a dub for Tonari no Totoro (1988).
While she was filming Man on Fire (2004) in Mexico, her sister Elle Fanning was filming The Door in the Floor (2004), so their parents had to go to and from their daughters' destinations.
Her first word was "Momo," which was the family cat's name.
Has mentioned in numerous interviews that she would love to work with her sister, Elle Fanning.
For her, the hardest thing at the end of a movie is saying goodbye to the cast.
A doll was made of her (as her character, Cale) for the movie Dreamer (2005).
She was friends with her late Uptown Girls (2003) co-star Brittany Murphy.
Is a fan of US designer Belle of the Ball. She has worn many Belle of the Ball dresses to events such as the Hide and Seek (2005) premiere.
Was originally offered the part of Leslie in Bridge to Terabithia (2007), but turned it down because of conflicting schedules. AnnaSophia Robb was later given the part.
Has naturally curly hair.
While she lived in in Georgia, she attended a Montessori school for a brief period of time.
Ranked number 14 on the Forbes List of The 20 Top-Earning Young Superstars in 2007.
Ranked number 94 on the Forbes List of "The Celebrity 100" in 2007.
In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated her earnings for the year to be $4 million.
Ranked number six in "Interview" magazine's "Hollywood Faces to Watch" article: "Future Stars of Tomorrow".
Ranked number 19 along with her sister, Elle Fanning, on "Entertainment Weekly" magazine's "30 Under 30" actress list in 2008.
Was ranked #8 alongside Abigail Breslin on TV Guide Top 10 Teen Star Countdown (2008).
Ranked number four in the "Moviefone" list of the "The 25 Hottest Actors Under 25" in 2008.
For the 2008 - 09 school year, she was a cheerleader for the "Campbell Hall", a private Episcopal Church college-preparatory school in North Hollywood, Calif., which fields a number of sports teams.
Her favorite scary movie as a child, was The Wizard of Oz (1939).
She had not read all of the books from the "Twilight" series by the writer Stephenie Meyer before she got hired for the cast of the movie New Moon (2009), but she wanted to take the part because she loved the cast and the script.
Started recording the voice of Coraline (2009) when she was just 10 years old, but this movie was not published until she was 15 years old.
She chose her costumes and looks in Push (2009). Some of the clothes were actually her own.
When the production of Coraline (2009) started, it was originally going to be a live action, still with Dakota in the lead.
While filming Push (2009) in Hong Kong, she wasn't recognized.
Because of rape scenes that she was involved in, her movie Hounddog (2007) was banned in many cities.
Has the rare distinction of being in the cast of two movies that opened on the same day in the United States: - Coraline (2009) and Push (2009), on February 6, 2009.
Close friend of John Travolta.
Good friends with Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner.
Has been friends with Abigail Breslin since she worked with her brother on the movie The Cat in the Hat (2003).
I've always wanted to be an actress, ever since I was a little girl. I've always played the mom and I play my sister as the daughter. I wanted to be an actress on television and movies instead of just around the house.
"Working with him, I loved every minute of it. I couldn't wait to see him everyday. He's one of the best actors in the world and I loved observing him." - on working with Denzel Washington on Man on Fire (2004).
I think Orlando Bloom is cute. I met him at an awards show. I was actually nominated and I won that one. When I went up on stage, they didn't have a step for me to step on at the Critics' Choice Awards so he had to hold me up. He held me for a LONG, LONG time!
I've been very lucky enough to do all kinds of movies. All the movies that I've done have been very different and all the characters I've done have been very different. I feel very lucky to have been able to do the movies that I've done.
I want to keep acting. I want to go to college, sure, but I really want to keep acting right now. It's so fun.
I'm just a normal kid, really. I just love to act.
I learned that it can be very hurtful to talk about others. You know, I read a quote by Oprah Winfrey where she said, "Turn your wounds into wisdom". It's not nice to spread rumors.
Acting is what I love to do. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I don't think of it as work. It's really fun for me. And home-schooling works out perfectly.
It's fun to know what I want to do - you know, when I grow up. I have friends who say, 'Oh, maybe I'll be an astronaut or whatever.' But it's cool to want to do this forever. I knew from my first commercial that I wanted to be an actress.
When I go on a movie set, I'm learning about movies. I learned 100 lessons a day from Steven [Spielberg]. I always think I might not have this opportunity again, so I try to cram a lot of information into my brain.
My dad named me Dakota and my mom came up with my first name Hannah. So it's Hannah Dakota Fanning.
[Talking about Hounddog]: It was a script that I loved and it's, you know, ultimately my decision because I'm playing the character, but of course my mom and my agent read everything, but it was no different than anything else.
I have no problem shooting emotional scenes.
I feel so blessed to have been able to be in War of the Worlds.
I think it's everyones dream to win an Oscar. I'd love just to go to the Oscars and it would be fun. That would be great!