Date of Birth
9 December 1998, Conyers, Georgia, USA
Mary Elle Fanning
5' 9" (1.75 m)
Mary Elle Fanning was born on the 9th of April 1998 in Conyers, Georgia, USA, to Heather Joy (Arrington) and Steven J. Fanning. Her mother played professional tennis, and her father, now an electronics salesman, played minor league baseball. She is of German, Irish, English, French, and Channel Islander descent.
Elle's ascent into stardom began when she was almost three years old, when she played the younger version of her sister, Dakota Fanning's, character Lucy in the drama film I Am Sam (2001). She then played younger Dakota again in Taken (2002) as Allie, age 3. But her first big independent movie without her sister was in 2003's Daddy Day Care (2003) as Jamie. She then had two guest appearances on Judging Amy (1999) and CSI: Miami (2002).
Elle was becoming more successful and she got another role, in 2004's The Door in the Floor (2004) with Kim Basinger. Her career kept improving, as she had two movies in 2005, Because of Winn-Dixie (2005) and I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (2006).
She has since starred in a number of prominent films, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Super 8 (2011), We Bought a Zoo (2011), and Maleficent (2014).
Younger sister of Dakota Fanning.
Enjoys playing soccer
Parents are Joy Fanning (aka Joy Arrington Fanning) and Steven Fanning.
Her mom named her Mary and her dad named her Elle, so her name is Mary Elle Fanning. Like her older sister, Dakota Fanning, she uses her middle name instead of her first name.
Learned the piano.
Is one of 14 grandchildren
Casting notes for the role of young Ruth Cole in The Door in the Floor (2004) originally called for identical twins, because producers believed the workload of the character to be too much for one little girl to take.
As a child, Elle played the role of newborn in her some of her big sister Dakota's projects.
To celebrate her seventh birthday, she went with her family to see Cirque du Soleil perform "Quidam" during its run in Melbourne, Australia.
When she attended her first Hollywood premiere, she was only three and a half years old.
Dressed up as Marilyn Monroe for Halloween.
Her grandmother spent $US600 at an auction buying her an old cream container that used to belong to Marilyn Monroe.
Niece of ESPN reporter Jill Arrington, and Jill's husband, Dean Panaro. Granddaughter of Mary Jane Arrington and NFL quarterback Rick Arrington.
She was submitted for consideration for a Primetime Emmy nomination for her guest-starring role in the episode House M.D.: Need to Know (2006). She was also submitted for consideration for a BAFTA nomination for her supporting role in Super 8 (2011).
She donated a signed picture to Rocky Stone to be given away as a prize in a Dakota Fanning contest to benefit less-fortunate kids as part of the Toy Mountain Campaign 2006.
Was home-schooled by her grandmother, Mary Jane Arrington, until 2007.
Was ranked #19 alongside her sister, Dakota Fanning, on Entertainment Weekly's "30 Under 30" the actress list (2008).
Middle name is pronounced "El", as in the letter L, not "Ellie".
Her paternal grandmother, Katharina Kramb, was German. Her other ancestry is Irish, English, French, and Channel Islander (Jersey and Guernsey).
Is near-sighted and uses contact lenses most of the time. But she loves collecting "nerdy" looking glasses.
She and her family are members of the Southern Baptist Convention.
She was only three and a half years old when she attended her first Hollywood premiere.
She has pictures of Marilyn Monroe in her room, and she also has a picture of Regis Philbin.
She loves to draw.
She and her sister Dakota Fanning love to watch Fear Factor (2001).
When her sister, Dakota Fanning, appeared on Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003), the whole family was gifted with a matching set of pajamas. Elle's pajama suit was blue and her name was written across the back.
During the filming of Phoebe in Wonderland (2008), Patricia Clarkson bought her a bracelet that said 'Laugh' at one of the teen stores in the Hamptons, New York.
Having previously been home-schooled, Elle began attending Campbell Hall School in Los Angeles in the 4th grade, in Fall 2007. She will graduate in June 2016.
She was spoofed by Avril Lavigne in a 2007 episode of Saturday Night Live (1975).
She takes voice lessons, which has helped her through her roles in Phoebe in Wonderland (2008) and The Nutcracker in 3D (2010) (aka Nutcracker: The Untold Story). She also takes dancing lessons.
Although she started elementary school in 2007, she has never taken part in a school play. But she hopes she can try it out when she is in middle school.
She says that she likes roles which are challenging and different. She decides on her next roles with her mother, but in the end, it always comes down to Elle's opinion.
One of her favorite hobbies is horse riding, and she has her own horse. Her sister, Dakota Fanning, has a horse named Goldie.
She also takes after-school ballet classes, as well as hip-hop dancing and jazz. She met her dance instructor while working on Phoebe in Wonderland.
Her favorite actresses are Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Marion Cotillard, and her older sister Dakota Fanning.
She always wanted to act, but fancies singing, dancing and designing clothes.
She loves vintage clothes, especially clothes from the 1950's.
To bond before filming Somewhere (2010), Elle's onscreen father, Stephen Dorff, cheered her on at a volleyball game at her school and took her to Color Me Mine.
When Elle had to prepare for her ice skating scenes in Somewhere (2010), she trained from 7:00 to 8:00 AM for six weeks.
In mid 2006 she had to wear glasses all the time, except at events and during filming.
She celebrated her seventh birthday in Australia.
She and her sister have a fear of thunderstorms and lightning.
She attended her first Couture Runway show at the age of 13 in Paris, where she saw the Chanel Couture extravaganza.
Age 13, Elle has been the face of Marc Jacobs and Rodarte.
She likes to learn lines for her movies at night in the bathtub.
She is taking honors classes in Biology, Geometry and French II in her 9th grade.
Her favorite singer is BeyoncÃ© Knowles.
At age 12 she grew taller than her older sister by 4 years, Dakota Fanning.
At ages 11-12 she had an intense growth spurt, where she grew seven inches in a year and a half.
Is related to British royalty as she is the 22nd great-granddaughter of King Edward III, also making her Catherine Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton)'s distant cousin.
Her favorite sport to play is volleyball.
Johnny Depp is one of her favorite actors.
She was initially cast to play Sophie Gray in Effie Gray (2014), which had her real life sister Dakota Fanning in the title role. But Elle had to be recast later, because she grew a few inches taller than her older sister.
Like her older sister, Dakota Fanning, Elle was a cheerleader for Campbell Hall School.
As of 2015, Elle has been in two films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture of the Year: Babel (2006) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). Both films feature Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in the leading roles.
For her role as Ginger in Ginger & Rosa (2012), Elle dyed her hair red. For her role as the real-life Nikola Trumbo in Trumbo (2015), she dyed her hair brown.
She had to miss her senior prom to attend the premiere of The Neon Demon (2016) at the Cannes Film Festival. Her date flew out to Cannes to recreate their prom at the red carpet.
Graduated from Campbell Hall School, a private K-12 Episcopal day school in Los Angeles, on June 13, 2016. One of her classmates was Ariel Winter.
On her 19th birthday she reached 1 Million followers on Instagram. Exactly 1 year later after creating the account.
Often plays more thoughtful characters, but with a great emotional range
Frequently played older characters in her pre-teen and early teenage years, because of her tall stature
Dakota [Fanning, her sister] is my favorite actress.
[on acting] "I love it. I just love how you get to be different people and have different names."
On being cast in The Door in the Floor (2004): "I'm glad they picked me to be Ruth."
On what her favorite scene in Daddy Day Care (2003) is: "Oh I guess jumping in the flowers, and the water scenes, 'cause we got to be in bathing suits and swim in the water, and in the water fountain."
On acting: "What's the best part of a movie? I love to know what my name is. It's just so fun. That's the first thing I ask. It's just fun because you have a different name in every movie."
I would love to work with Marion Cotillard... and my sister! I've never worked with Dakota before in a movie. It'd be so cool to be on screen interacting with each other one day. It will happen, I'm just not sure when.
I would like to be a teenager in the '60s or '70s. It just seemed so free, so cool, just roaming around. We can't really roam around now.
To me, acting is just kind of making believe and dressing up. You put on your costume and walk a certain way and feel your character. Then cut, and you're Elle again.
I used to keep a diary when I was little, but I don't do it anymore because of my perfectionist nature. I was using so much Wite-Out.
I was 4 when I did The Door in the Floor (2004). I don't remember every single thing about it, but I liked the costumes, and they always put my hair in pigtails. In one scene I got to eat grilled cheese and I was so excited.
Watching movies is on my list of things to do when I feel like I have the time to do it. Right now there's so much homework.
[on how avoids being sucked into the industry and stays herself] I'm graduating this year  from a normal high school. I mean I still live with my parents. I don't know, I have such a good family. I think that they would whip me into shape if I did anything! Also, you have to kinda separate... I used to, when I was younger ...I kinda looked at doing films as like someone going to soccer practice or going to play a match in a way because I'm like, alright that's just my extracurricular activity! You know, alright, I just go off and do a movie for a little bit. But once I'm home, I mean, there's that, and you're always thinking of characters and I daydream a lot so I'm like, always in my head in that way. But once you're home, you're home, and you have to separate it. I think that people who just live in that movie world, like non-stop, 24/7, 100 percent, it's like, it's too intense, you can't do that. You kind of step out of it, and like, take out the trash, and like, be normal!
People's obsession with beauty and like, perfection, it can really destroy you. And wanting perfection, it's like, what is perfection, you know? It doesn't exist. Perfect doesn't exist, so you drive yourself crazy wanting it.