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“Numerous crew members have helped mold me into the woman that I am today,” said Elle Fanning, highlighting the behind-the-scenes stars while on stage at the Deauville Film Festival. The 20-year-old was on hand to receive the festival’s Rising Star Award and celebrate a career that counts more films than birthdays.
She took the opportunity to dedicate the award to her longtime hairstylist, Shandra Page Edwards, who passed away in April.
Fanning and Edwards worked together on several films, including the premiering film Galveston. “We spent hours together howling with laughter in the movie trailer, sharing secrets and collaborating on authentic styles together,” said Fanning in a touching speech. Grey’s Anatomy also paid special tribute to Edwards earlier in the year.
Earlier in the day, the actress told THR that she has received no official word that Amazon has shelved another recent project, Woody Allen’s Rainy Day in New York, co-starring Timothee Chalamet and Selena Gomez. “There’s a lot of news about this, but they haven’t told me anything,” she said, adding that she would be okay with the decision if the film never sees the light of day.
“You just have to try to come to terms with it,” she said. “I feel like the experience that I had matters the most at the end of the day, and you do some great work and literally no one is going to see it…but that’s the way it is.” However, asked whether she would support Amazon’s decision to drop the film, the actress demurred.
But Rainy Day was just one of several back-to-back films. Her childhood dream of becoming a pop star comes true, on screen at least, when she plays a singer in Max Minghella’s Teen Spirit, which will world premiere Sept. 7 in Toronto.
Fanning was careful not to reveal too much about the project.
“I sing, so I get to be a pop star for a little bit. I finally got to live out my pop star dreams. I speak Polish in it, and I also have an English accent,” said the actress, who doesn’t rule out putting out an album a la Hailee Steinfeld.
Galveston is “maybe the darkest I’ve gone,” with the actress playing a young mother on the run from both police and the bad guys. “I haven’t seen what she’s seen. I don’t tend to bring experience from my personal life into my characters, [but] I find it quite fun to go to those dark places, and I think a lot of actors would say this, but when I’m the grittiest or dirtiest, I feel the best.”
Director Melanie Laurent expanded Fanning’s character’s role in the film, based on the novel from True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, but Fanning was sensitive about not dwelling on the physical or sexual violence.
Directing is also on her radar, especially after taking tips from Laurent during the shoot. “It’s definitely daunting, but when you grow up on film sets, you see directors telling their story, and it’s a bit, gosh, I’m here telling their story, so someday I would like to tell my own story,” she said.
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