Dakota Fanning stars with Robert De Niro and Elisabeth Shue in Hide And Seek. She tells Thatfilmthing, she’s not afraid of the dark. Honest.
TFT: What made this role so appealing?
Dakota Fanning: Emily Callaway was so different to me and so different than any other character that I’ve played. Also to get to work with Robert De Niro is just unbelievable. I still can’t even imagine that I worked with him – I feel so blessed.
Did you struggle with any of the dialogue in the film?
It’s kind of strange that I was being so mean to Robert De Niro, I felt kind of weird. But he was so nice to me. And I had to be mean to Elisabeth Shue, which was also hard, but I did another movie with her where I was nice to her, so that was good.
What’s it like to do those kinds of things?
That is what’s so fun about acting, you get to do things that you would never do in real life. That’s one of things I love about it.
When did the character of Emily become real to you?
Well John Polson the director thought it’d be neat to have a different look. When it comes to the dark circles and the long brown hair, it was so fun. I loved that long hair, when you could flip it.
Do her actions make sense to you?
I think when I put the wig on and had the makeup I kind of just became her. And when I was in those situations, I kind of knew what she was going through and what she was feeling, what she was thinking, and I just became her.
Why is she the way she is?
She’s walking the line of being a bad child or a good child, you don’t really know. She’s just trying to cope with everything that’s going on in her life and she’s very confused.
What do you do in between scenes?
Because it was such an emotional film we just had to laugh. We had to laugh and we would have fun, because the whole movie was so intense.
How do you play fear?
You just use what’s going on around you in the scene, and that is usually scary. When you’re actually filming it’s scary to your character so it’s scary to you and I think that’s what helped me a lot.
Why do you think people like being scared?
It’s fun, you know what I mean? I think it’s exciting to go there and just be scared. I think it’s enjoyable for people because it’s something different.
Did you enjoy working with the director, John Polson?
He was just very open to all our ideas. We would try different things and if it worked we’d do it and if it didn’t we’d do different things. I thought he was great because he would let us just go.
Have you learned more about being an actor and is it still what you want to do?
Definitely, I want to be an actress forever. When I look at I Am Sam I realise I’ve learned so much more since then. And it’s made me a better actress. I feel more confident now. Hide And Seek was such a challenge to do but it was a fun challenge. I loved doing it and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Are you afraid of the dark?
Not the dark. Not the dark.
What scares you?
Well my worst fear in life happened when I was in Kentucky filming Dreamer. It was in the summer and there were a lot of lightning storms and my sister and I are both so scared of thunder and lightning. It was the same when we had the rain storm here in LA and there was lightning, we were freaking out. We were like, “it’s not supposed to do that in California, and there’s not supposed to be lightning and thunder here.” At least when we were in the South we were kind of prepared for it because we knew it happened in the summer. But I was not prepared for it in California so I got a little worried about that.
What was your first reaction when you saw the film?
It was amazing because I watched it with Elisabeth and we were screaming. Even though we knew what was going to happen we were still scared. And even though I knew what was going on, I was like, “wait a minute, I filmed that and I read the script, so I know what’s going to happen but I’m still trying to figure it out,” but it was fun.
Is it strange to work on a film that your friends aren’t old enough to see?
I know, that’s weird but they’re excited about it. They like it and I got to see it so that was great.
Will we get to see you play a normal little girl who does normal things anytime soon?
I’m doing Charlotte’s Web, which is the book by EB White. We’re doing a live action film and there’s some wonderful people doing the voices of the animals. I’m being normal so that’s something that you’ll like because I’m just going to be Fern.