'New Moon' villain Dakota Fanning talks about joining the 'Twilight' family

Compared to most of her Twilight: New Moon co-stars, 15-year-old Dakota Fanning — who plays the powerful Volturi Jane — is already an old hand at movie-making. But behind the star of hits like War of the Worlds (2005) and I Am Sam (2001) is a surprisingly normal student at an L.A. high school. On the Monday after New Moon‘s record-breaking bow, Fanning made time for a quick pre-class chat with EW about the Twilight phenomenon and the joys of playing a villain.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where are you right now?
DAKOTA FANNING: I’m at school. I’m hiding from any teacher that would see me on my phone right now. But technically it’s allowed because it’s before school has started.

What’s it like to come back to high school now that the move is out?
That’s my life. That’s what’s normal to me. I don’t really know anything different. I’m really lucky that I get to go to school and have that normal life, whatever that is, and then also get to do what I love to do and be a part of really great projects.

How do you think your classmates will react to the movie?
Most of them have already seen the movie, so they’re very excited about it. I’ll definitely be talking to some people about it today, I’m sure.

What was your reaction when you started hearing the box-office numbers?
I mean, I think that there are so many fans of the book and the movie, and it’s just sort of exciting that so many people went to see it on the first weekend. I know so many people were camping out for days to wait for it. And I think that it’s great that everyone got to see it right when it came out.

You knew that it was going to be big. But the biggest opening day ever?
I don’t know if I realized it would be the biggest, but I certainly knew it would be big because of all the fans you encounter at the premiere. Everyone is a Twilight fan in some way, I think.

Did you do anything special to celebrate how well the movie did?
I’m such a little part of the film. It’s really Kristen, Rob, and Taylor and everyone who should be doing the celebrating. It’s all of their hard work. For me, I was just there for a week and a half and got to have so much fun. I was really excited to be a part of it.

Were you a fan of the series before you were cast?
Of course I was a fan. I had read the books and everything.

Your character, the Volturi member Jane, is terrifying. Was it fun to play evil?
Yeah. It’s one of the first times that I’ve done that. And this is a character that really takes pleasure in causing people pain. And that’s kind of a fascinating character to get to play. So that was definitely one of the reasons that I wanted to do it.

Are people reacting to you differently now that they’ve seen you play a villain?
I guess people and fans of the series that have seen me in the movie will see me in a different way, but I think that’s what being an actor is. It’s getting to manipulate yourself to fit characters. I think your job is to be a blank canvas and take on your characters, so that’s what I love doing. And I love getting to play all different kinds of people. And, yeah, surprise people with my red eyes, I guess.

Those were creepy. Were they actual contacts?
They’re hand-painted contacts. I’ve never worn anything in my eyes before, so it was definitely a feeling I’d never experienced. But they have someone to put them in and take them out. You can kind of feel them. But you get used to it after a while.

Did they help you get in character?
Yeah, I think you automatically have kind of a creepy look to you no matter what you’re doing or saying, so it definitely helps.

How many more Twilight movies will you do?
The third one is already done. I already filmed.

And after that it’s up in the air?
Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know about the fourth one.

Do you have other projects lined up too?
Well, I have The Runaways next spring, which is also with Kristen [Stewart], and I’ll probably be working next year, too, on something or other.

Photo Credit: Kimberley French

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
  • UGH

    C’mon, EW! Give us all a break from this Twilight crap! Can you not go ONE day?

    • Sally in Chicago

      I didn’t know Dakota was in Twilight (haven’t seen it)….she’s getting practically NO publicity.

      • DUH

        You don’t have to CLICK on it if you don’t want to read it, UGH.

      • Shana

        she’s actually just in 5 minutes of it that’s why.

  • michka

    Okay that’s it! Just show us the real name of this website: is it tEWilight or nEW moon?

    • Jane


    • Ceballos

      I thought it was decided a while ago (by me) that it was actually Entertwilight Weekl, um, Daily.

      Honestly though, the movie had a humonguous opening so even though I’d be perfectly ok with not seeing another Twilight-related article until 2010, I recognize that there IS a huge demand for “Twilight”-related articles.

      Also, I’m pretty amused that Dakota Fanning apparently goes to a regular high school and that she has to use her cell phone discreetly like anyone else so she doesn’t get busted.

      • Big James

        Dakota is also on the cheer leading squad. She tries very hard to keep a normal life and for that she gets a ton more respect.

        Big props.

  • Sarah

    To the previous 2 posters (and everyone else): EW posts these stories because people read them. They monitor what their readers want, and, clearly, Twilight stories are widely read. It’s all about the bottom line, people! It sells, it garners interest, so the writers deliver it. It’s not rocket science.

    • Andy

      Not all readers what to read about Twilight and its hard to ignore it if the website keeps shoving it down our throats. Enough is enough.Example: New Moon polls. Switching Teams? Bella really the best role model.
      and there’s a hell alot more stupid twilight articles in this website.

      • Yesenia

        “Not all readers what to read about Twilight and its hard to ignore it if the website keeps shoving it down our throats.”

        No it isn’t difficult. I don’t like spoilers so I don’t read Ausselio’s postings. I don’t read any article that doesn’t interest me. Why are you?

      • Andy

        @Yesenia,there is too much twilight articles here in EW.com and some of them are really unnecessary.How would EW know that they are overdoing the twilight articles if no one tells them?

      • Sarah D

        Hey Andy, how are we supposed to respect your opinion when it’s so poorly written? “Not all readers want (not what)”…”there are too many twilight articles (not There is too much twilight articles). Get some grammar, then stop moving you mouse over the Twilight postings and clicking. Please.

      • Jennifer


        Do you know how EW tracks what are the most read articles? I’m guessing that they can tell how many times a link was clicked on. If this is correct, you and all the other haters out there are actually hurting yourselves by clicking on the articles just to hate on the people who truly enjoy this series. Get over it People.

    • UGH

      The only part of your statement that was correct was about rocket science. EW finds it necessary to dumb down their site with pointless drivel.

      • Sarah

        I am not agreeing or disagreeing, approving or disapproving, about the amount of Twilight coverage. I am just saying — there are enough people that want and read the stories to overrule those that don’t (and their opinion). EW does not care if you like it or not — they KNOW there is enough interest (deserved or not!) that the positives of covering the movies outweigh the negatives (i.e., your comments). That’s all. THAT is what’s not rocket science.

    • Ceballos

      I’d agree with your statement, except that at this point, it seems to me (and this is totally unscientific, mind you) that the majority of the comments generated in these posts are more along the lines of “I’m tired of Twilight!” followed by “If you’re tired of Twilight, go away!” than anything pertaining to the actual blog item.

      • Sarah

        Yeah, it does seem like at least 50% of the comments are just bickering between those who do and do not like Twilight. Kinda ridiculous. I imagine it will die down somewhat in the next couple weeks (I hope!!).

  • Deb

    I thought Dakota Fanning, for as little time she was onscreen, gave the best performance in the movie; she looked absolutely evil and portrayed the part perfectly and was a welcome change from boring Bella

    • Gina

      Boring and mary sueish Bella.

  • Susan

    Bad questions! I expected better Entertwilight Daily!

  • Pslightly Psycho

    BREAKING NEWS:EW has just learned that Kristen Stewart uses Tampax tampons and douches daily. Also, Robert Pattinson had a bowel movement this morning at 8:23 (ET); it was brown, long, and stunk. More TWILIGHT news to come…

    • Ceballos

      Blasphemy! We all know R. Pattz’ dung doesn’t stink!

      • Sarah D

        Buahahahahaha! Right on Ceballos!

  • yeahandalso

    I adore her! She seems very normal and is extemely lucky to have parents that seem well grounded and supportive, as opposed to attention seeking or stage mom type parents that many young stars unfortuantely have *caugh*lohans*caugh*

  • sarah

    Ummm, how about if you are not interested in reading a Twilight article, you don’t read a Twilight article. That isn’t rocket science either. Haters.

  • Andrea

    good for you dakota. i lvoe that you’re still managing to keep a normal life even with all of this twilight/new moon hype.

  • AlyGirl

    Dakota is awsome! and haters, here is common sense lesson; if you dont like Twilight then dont read a twilight article. Sheesh.

  • wendy

    I think Dakota did great in the movie. And I really like both movies. So I guess there is a reason for this article after all.

  • darkestred

    Dakota was excellent – would have liked to see more of her. Anxious to see what she does with Jane in Eclipse & hopefully Breaking Dawn!

  • Rachael

    I enjoyed Dakota in new moon she portrayed Jane beautifully and can’t wait to see her in eclipse, apparentley they extended her character, well done

  • ron

    i do not particularly dislike the twilight series, although since anne rice started the trend toward wimpy, apologetically guilt-ridden, emo-vamps, i have found that tiring. to have the pretty, little, uptown-girl playing a REAL vampire is AWESOME!

  • comment person

    I just think…TWILIGHT ROKZ

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