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Elle Fanning on being an outsider

Published 09/05/2016

Elle Fanning
Elle Fanning

Elle Fanning feels she would've remained an outsider forever if she'd of "stayed in the shadow" at school.

Actress Elle Fanning found joining a regular school more "lonesome" than being educated at home.

The 18-year-old star is one of the most in-demand performers of her generation, with five films out in 2016 alone and another four confirmed for next year (17).

One of these is The Neon Demon, in which she plays a breakthrough model who struggles to fit into the world of fashion after moving to Los Angeles. Many of the emotions her alter ego Jess goes through Elle was able to relate to, having lived through a similar experience herself.

"Honestly, everyone has those moments," she told Little White Lies magazine when quizzed on if she's ever felt frightened in life. "You're with yourself and you just wonder, 'Do I really have anybody?' I was home schooled by my grandma. When I was nine I moved to regular school. When that happened, I technically wasn't alone any more - I was surrounded by people my own age.

"But getting accustomed to that is a very lonesome experience. It was the middle of the school year, too, so I was this new student and I also did movies, so I was an outsider in that sense."

Elle, whose older sister is actress Dakota Fanning, realised she had to put herself out there in order to find her way and thanks to her outgoing nature, quickly settled in. Getting noticed was the most important thing for the actress and she thinks things could have gone a lot differently had she not been.

"If I would've just stayed in the shadows and been the girl in the corner, things wouldn't have changed for me," she said, recalling how the second day at school was Halloween, requiring her to dress up and walk in a parade. "So I had to ask these two girls if I could walk with them and be the third person in their clique. And they said yes. At least I asked, though. If I hadn't asked, who knows what would've happened?"

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