“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” star Elle Fanning covers the November 2019 issue of InStyle magazine photographed by Pamela Hanson.
On female empowerment: “My mom, my sister, my grandmother, and I, we all live together. So, there is a strong sense of female empowerment that I’ve always had in my life. It’s significant to know that there are so many different types of women. I hate that in order to be strong you have to look like this or to be soft you have to look like this. Those stereotypes are just not true. My worth is knowing I can be anything. In Maleficent I play a princess [Aurora] who is strong in being completely feminine and isn’t afraid of that feeling. It’s a quality I also have. And, obviously, this version is different from the first one. I’m not fighting with a sword just so I can be stronger.”
On working with Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer: “When I heard that Michelle was going to be in the film, I realized that the second movie is going to be about power. It’s about three generations of women in power and how they represent it in different ways. And, with Angelina, I was so young when I did the first film with her. I was very nervous then. My mom was with me. Now that I’m grown up, she sees me in a different way. We talked about different things. We went paintballing. Oh, she’s aggressive. [laughs] We would do outings because her kids were there, so she was trying to schedule activities on the weekends. I had never gone paintballing before. We were in full-on armor. We were the only people in the place, with all of her kids. She and I were not on the same team. I was so bad. I hit their security guard in the neck, and he was on my team! [laughs] Angelina’s really good.”
On being asked to politically engage publicly: “Sometimes I feel like I don’t know all the information. Like, am I qualified to speak on this? But I also think it’s OK for people to say that they don’t know or aren’t sure yet. Angelina [Jolie] said that to me after a recent interview we did for Maleficent 2. She said, “You know what? It’s OK not to answer things.” I mean, I’m still learning.”
On auditioning for roles: “Oh, auditions, I can’t [do them]—I mean, obviously, sure, I can, but they make me so nervous. I fainted in an audition once. It was with Jessica Chastain. I didn’t get the part.
On continuing to be starstruck: “I also love seeing celebrities. I’m not jaded by that at all. I met Beyoncé at the Met Ball the first year that I was there [in 2011, when she was 13]. I totally freaked out over that. Leonardo DiCaprio, I totally freaked out over him too.”
On playing characters with her sister: “You know, I’ve always just been interested in fashion. I love dressing up and playing characters. Growing up, my sister, Dakota, and I would do scenes but just for each other. There was a lot of Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada and a lot of desk jobs.”
On her love of Friends: “I was always curious and mischievous. Like when I watched Friends, I loved Phoebe. I loved that she was gawky. I had a real awkward phase. I grew 12 inches in a year. I didn’t want to be like everyone else in school. There was a certain confidence that I had, that I was like, “I want you to make fun of me because that makes me feel cool.”
The November issue is on sale October 18th.
Cover: Louis Vuitton Dress and Belt | Piaget Rings
Image 1: Jean Paul Gaultier Gown and Belt | Chopard Earrings | Tiffany & Co. Ring
Image 2: Francesco Scognamiglio Dress and Belt | Piaget Bracelet
[Photo Credit: Pamela Hanson/InStyle Magazine]