«I do not hate my sister!»: Dakota Fanning on her younger sibling, Elle, who is hot on her heels

The Fanning sisters, Dakota and Elle, have been immersed in the film industry from a tender age. This is not merely a figure of speech: the elder has been acting since the age of five, the younger even sooner. Both are strikingly beautiful, extraordinarily talented, and virtually of the same age. One might surmise that jealousy and competition would be inevitable in such circumstances. But is this truly the case?

A Dramatic Misunderstanding

Nowadays, they can be seen arm in arm, strolling down the red carpet, and hugging each other at social gatherings. Once upon a time, however, the sisters could barely find a common ground, to put it mildly.
Dakota and Elle Fanning
Dakota and Elle Fanning
The source of their disagreements was the mundane four-year age gap. "We were going through utterly disparate experiences. At ages 9 and 13, there was no common ground between us, just as there wasn’t at 12 and 16. We simply didn’t know how to interact with each other," Dakota elucidates. The root of their discord was as mundane as a four-year age difference. "We were navigating wholly divergent experiences. At ages 9 and 13, there was nothing we shared, as was the case at 12 and 16. We simply didn't know how to engage with each other," Dakota reveals.
Sister Fanning in their childhood
Sister Fanning in their childhood
The girls quarreled relentlessly, perpetually attempting to prove something, at times not speaking for weeks on end. Disputes arose over any pretext: over some silly blouse, an 'improper' glance, the queue for washing dishes – anything at all! Elle often initiated these confrontations, as despite her tender years, she was taller and stronger.

And when 10-year-old Dakota was cast for a minor role in the final season of 'Friends', Elle's fury knew no bounds. The young girl had also auditioned but wasn't selected. Dakota was promptly subjected to a boycott, and when the long-anticipated episode aired on television, Elle stormed out of the room declaring, "I refuse to watch this!" in a show of defiance.


All grievances are now a thing of the past. Elle often revisits not only that particular episode of 'Friends', but also the old movies and talk shows featuring her sister. "She was so adorable! I watch them over and over again, and they somehow bring me to tears," confesses the younger Fanning sibling.

In every interview, Dakota finds herself having to reassure journalists that she does not, in fact, "despise her sister", that they are on good terms and there is no reason for rivalry.
Inside Dakota Fanning And Elle Fanning's Sibling Relationship
She speaks with sincerity. Both Fannings indeed have their own impressive achievements. Dakota boasts roles in Quentin Tarantino's hit 'Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood', 'Twilight', and the powerful female blockbuster 'Ocean's 8'. Elle, on the other hand, has 'Maleficent', a collaboration with Woody Allen, and the scandalous thriller 'The Neon Demon' under her belt.

Surprisingly, given their extensive filmographies, the sisters have only starred in three movies together. Furthermore, in two of them, Elle barely remembers her part – they were filmed in the early 2000s, when she was 3-4 years old. The Fanning parents, both former athletes and now seasoned in the ways of the film industry, subtly slipped the younger child into scenes with her older sister. A few extra dollars, you see, always come in handy, and it's beneficial for a future portfolio...

A full twenty years passed before the girls found themselves side by side on a film set again. The world is eagerly awaiting the premiere of 'The Nightingale', a drama about the lives of two sisters, portrayed by the Fannings, during World War II. For other remarkable roles of Dakota, refer to her biography on zoomboola.com.