Being part of the #MaleficentEvent is something that I will never forget. There were so many amazing and wonderful things that happened and I am so excited that I was part of it! We went to LA for the Press Junkets for Maleficent and Planes: Fire and Rescue. While we were there we were able to interview Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Elle Fanning, Robert Stromberg, Julie Bowen, Roberts (Bobs) Gannaway and more! Meeting all of these people was amazing, and then being able to talk to them about the movie completed the perfect experience.
I am excited to share this Elle Fanning Interview with you. She is so sweet and I loved listening to her talk about Maleficent and learning more about her.
Q : What’s it like taking on the role of a Disney princess?
“She was always my favorite one ’cause I felt like she was the one that I looked like the most”
Elle Fanning: It was my dream. When anyone asks what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was little, I would say, “A Disney princess,” ’cause that’s the ultimate goal in life, I think for any young girl. And especially Sleeping Beauty. She was always my favorite one ’cause I felt like I looked — you know, when you’re little you see which ones you look like the most and she was the one that I looked like the most. So I would go to Disney store and I would buy her clothes and her shoes and get to play. This is really like, the dream.
Q : Did you feel any pressure living up to Sleepy Beauty’s standards?
“They’ve already done it so perfectly…I have to live up to that”
Elle Fanning: Yeah. I obviously watched the animated movie so many times, and, it’s like you wanna do it justice because I feel like that Sleeping Beauty — they’ve already done it so perfectly, you know. I have to live up to that. So I did watch the animated film right before I started filming just because I thought it was in, she has a certain physicality ’cause she’s drawn, you know, drawn a certain way. And, and she holds her hands in this, you know, with these little gestures and her posture and her feet.
So I tried to bring that charm to the role. But also there is, in ours there is a little more to her ’cause she’s not just a delicate princess, you know. She, she has some strength and she actually shows real emotion. She gets sad and feels betrayal because a lot of secrets are hidden from her. So it was nice in ours that we could make her more human than just the cartoon.
Maleficent Trailer “Fairy Godmother”
Q : I felt like she was so very innocent to the point of being naïve. How different is the character from Elle?
“I’m still as happy and as curious as she is, so I like to soak up a lot of information, so we’re very similar in that way.”
Elle Fanning: Well she is that way ’cause she’s been trapped. She’s in this little cottage. She doesn’t know the outside world — raised by fairies. Definitely very naïve in that way, so everything she’s learned she’s kind of had to learn on her own. I guess for me, I’m still as happy and as curious as she is, so I like to soak up a lot of information, so we’re very similar in that way. But I guess, it is exaggerated as a fairy tale. So her naïveness is like to the point of so much. Whereas I don’t think any child can be that sheltered like she was in our time. So I guess I’m different in that way from her.
Q : I think you made her very believable and you kept us very attached to her.
“I thought that to bring a sense to her that she’s kind of desperate to learn and she’s trying to figure things out.”
Elle Fanning : Thank you. I, I tried to do that ’cause I know, it could get boring if it’s oh, that girl is just the one who’s happy and doesn’t know anything, you know? But I thought that to bring a sense to her that she’s kind of desperate to learn and she’s trying to figure things out, that’d be nice. And to show that she hasn’t been taught to be scared yet. She doesn’t know to be scared of things that look different.
So when she does see Maleficent, she’s not scared of her, which is very strange for Maleficent ’cause normally ‘everyone’s so terrified of me’, but this little girl’s not. Which I think that’s what makes them have this bond that they do.
Q : Have you been able to see the film yet?
“I’ve seen it but all the special effects weren’t done.”
EF : You guys have seen more than I have because you saw it in 3D and everything and I haven’t at all. I’ve seen it but all the special effects weren’t done.
Q : What was your favorite scene to shoot?
“Everything was building its way up to that monumental moment and I wanted to do it right. Everything has to be a certain way, ’cause that scene impacted me a lot when I was little.”
Elle Fanning: Mine was when I pricked my finger on the spindle ’cause it’s so iconic. When I think about the original, that’s the scene I think of. And especially to film that scene, it was the very last day of filming that we did. Everything was building its way up to that monumental moment and I wanted to do it right, you know, everything has to be a certain way. ‘Cause that scene impacted me a lot when I was little.
It scared me more than Maleficent did because of the way the lights were and it looked like Aurora was morphing into Maleficent, like, with that green and purple light. So I was like, “We have to have those lights.” So they made it more of a green hue and then I had the trance and so I think it turned out good.
Q : Can you tell us about your audition process and where you were when you found out you got the part?
“I heard there was gonna be a Maleficent movie which you know is from the villains point of view. There has to be an Aurora in there. So I was like, oh my gosh, I hope I get to be that.”
Elle Fanning: Yeah, it’s funny ’cause it all happened really fast. I heard there was gonna be a Maleficent movie which you know is from the villains point of view. There has to be an Aurora in there. So I was like, oh my gosh, I hope I get to be that. And they asked me to come in, the director Rob, for a meeting. So I met with Rob and Linda, and Linda was the writer. She wrote Beauty and the Beast, so I was excited to meet who wrote Beauty and the Beast too.
And so I went and had a meeting with them and we just talked and I think they just wanted to get a sense of me, kind of what I was like. And they didn’t describe much of the story ’cause they kind of already decided that they were gonna give me the part. So they told me in there that I got it. And then they handed over the script. So then handing over the script was like the coronation of everything. I read the script in the car and kind of got motion sickness reading it while driving home. But I did not stop. I just kept going. I was so excited.
Q : Was it hard for you, without being able to see everything that was going on because of the special effects, to get where you needed to be in that moment?
“You want to make sure that you’re still playing your character but you still have to be aware of the little hand that you’re holding, but you’re not holding a hand, it’s air. So you have to make sure how would I hold it if it was there?”
Elle Fanning: It was a lot, it was more than I’d ever done before. You’re on a set so there is a stage and things are built on it, but everything basically surrounding you. All the little fairies, those are just tennis balls or little lights. And there’s like green and blue screens that you’re basically standing in, so you really have to imagine everything. It also can get a little technical too, but then you don’t want your performance to be prohibited by the technicality of it.
You want to make sure that you’re still playing your character but you still have to be aware of the little hand that you’re holding, but you’re not holding a hand, it’s air. So you have to make sure how would I hold it if it was there? We also had to do all this scanning. So what we would do, whenever you had a hair change or a wardrobe change, you stand on this turntable and stand completely still and they turn you inch by inch and scan your body.
So then that makes, like, a virtual you into a computer and then they can take that virtual you and put you onscreen. So when I did all the floating and stuff, a lot of that was manipulated. I don’t know how it works but they did it.
Q : Do you feel bummed out that you got a princess role with no singing?
“I was like, I’m surely gonna get to sing the song”
Elle Fanning: I know! I was thinking about that! I was like, I’m surely gonna get to sing the song, you know? But I think that for this one it just didn’t happen. Lana Del Rey sings that song in our trailer, and it’s so perfect. ‘Cause our movie’s more gothic, you know? So it’s nice to have her haunting voice, a different take on it than just the original one.
Elle is really so sweet and happy. It was really a pleasure meeting her and talking to her about the film. She just makes you want to smile all the time. I think that she did an amazing job playing Aurora in Maleficent. My daughters are going to really connect with her and what she feels and goes through in the movie. Make sure you head out and see it May 30!
For more updates and info:
Like MALEFICENT on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyMaleficent
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YouTube Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTnR43JTLNs8AKNpJ4KFI6SSdpTzkcXjw
MALEFICENT is rated PG and
releases in theaters everywhere on May 30th!
You can follow along with all of our Maleficent experiences here.
Photo Credits: Disney and Louise from MomStart
Disclosure: The trip was sponsored by Disney and all posts I do on behalf of the trip are part of that sponsorship. However, all opinions are my own and they are not affected by that. I will only share information that I believe will be beneficial to my readers.