Elle Fanning Interview: “It was important for me to be able to play such an important historical female figure…” – ‘Mary Shelley’
PARK CITY, UTAH – Elle Fanning wants to keep pushing herself with every performance. That explains why her upcoming films are hardly typical fare for someone who looks more like the girl next door but revels in exotic characters. Over the coming months’ audiences will see her playing an alien punk rocker (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), an aspiring pop star (Teen Spirit), a runaway criminal turning hooker (Galveston), and the survivor of an apocalypse (I Think We’re Alone Now).
But perhaps her best work comes in MARY SHELLEY, a well-crafted film about the turbulent life of the trailblazing feminist author of “Frankenstein.” It’s not only a much overdue look at the woman whose reputation has been overshadowed by that of her husband, the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, but it also marks the first lead role of Fanning’s stellar career (although she arguably shared top billing in Neon Demon). Elle, a very capable and self-confident individual in her own right, felt that playing Mary Shelley gave her a chance to explore what it was like for a young woman trying to define herself in a patriarchal society.
“It was important for me to be able to play such an important historical female figure,” Fanning says. “I’d never had the chance to do that before. It was also interesting to play a very strong woman like that who was also very vulnerable which meant that I had to express her sense of determination in a more understated way.”