elle fanning's rise from charming tween to hollywood starlet

We all know that she's Dakota's little sister, that she's set to make waves in the upcoming 'About Ray' -- a story about the journey of a young transgender boy -- and that she's the cover star of The LGBTQi-D Issue. But here are some things you might...

by Felicity Kinsella
22 September 2015, 5:04pm

1. My Neighbor Totoro, 2005 
Together Elle and Dakota Fanning are butter-wouldn't-melt-cute. Dakota was eleven and Elle seven when they filmed the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's fantasy cartoon, My Neighbor Totoro. It was their first time acting together, other than Elle playing the young Dakota in a few previous roles. Elle's shining moment in this clip, however, is when she makes Dakota laugh at 3:19…

2. Elle on Ellen, 2009
Nothing says HAPPINESS like 10-year-old Elle Fanning running on to Ellen, dancing to Lady Gaga's Just Dance, showing us a picture of her dog in a sweater and screaming with joy when Ellen gives her a pink T-shirt that reads "laugh. dance. eleven." for her birthday. 

3. Somewhere, 2010
As well as the underwater tea scene, there's nothing more whimsical and dreamy in Sofia Coppola's Somewhere than Elle ice-skating in a baby blue leotard to Gwen Stefani's Cool.

4. The Curve of Forgotten Things, 2011
It's hard to believe Elle's only 13 here. That means she's in 8th grade, got four more years before her SATs and she's only just switched from child to teenager. What were you doing when you were 13? Probably not starring in a Rodarte fashion film.

5. Sigur Rós, Leaning Towards Solace ft. Dauoalogn, Varuo, 2012
In case you couldn't tell already from her grace and poise during the ice-skating scene in Somewhere, Elle's a budding ballerina. Her teacher is from Paris and she's still taking lessons. You can watch her plié and pirouette en pointe in Sigur Rós' music video for Leaning Towards Solace.

6. Lolita Lempicka, 2012
If you go down to the woods today, you're sure to find a forest fairy called Elle who'll lead you through the gloom. She's 14 years old here in the campaign for Lolita Lempicka's new fragrance.

7. Likeness, 2013
Elle is 15-years-old in this hard-hitting short film about eating disorders. Directed by Rodrigo Prieto, with help from his 19-year-old daughter Xiemna (who previously suffered from anorexia) the work leads viewers through a grim party of emaciated models and into the bathroom where Elle's own self-perception becomes warped…

8. 100% Lost Cotton, 2014
Written by Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill (and directed by Spike himself) this one-act play for Opening Ceremony's spring/summer 15 show tells the story of two characters called Humberto and Carol, and the run up to their New York fashion show. It also stars Dree Hemmingway, Rashida Jones and Karlie Kloss, but anyone who was in the audience knows the highlight was Elle singing Drake's Hold On, We're Going Home. 

9. A Surprise "Music Video" for Karen O, 2014
Filmed off the back of the Opening Ceremony play while the cast had they had the New York Metropolitan Opera House at their fingertips, Spike filmed a music video to congratulate his friend Karen O on her new album.

10. Elle on Jimmy Fallon, 2015
The little Elle we heard in My Neighbor Totoro is nearly all grown up. Now 17, she's in her senior year at school, is planning the senior prank day and has just had her yearbook photo taken. Watch as she shows Jimmy Fallon a thing or two on how to pose for your beauty shot…

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Photography Collier Schorr
Fashion Director Alastair McKimm

Elle Fanning
cover star
the fall issue
the lgbtqi-d issue