Dakota Fanning is often talked about as the epitome of the grounded child actor. Unlike many of her peers who found fame young, the 23-year-old has managed to avoid the drama that goes with growing up as a celebrity. Perhaps this is the reason that she keeps her private life quite guarded, so we might not know much about her, or at least not as much as we’d like to.
Let’s tackle this with 15 lesser known facts about the Georgia-born actress.
1. Dakota’s first name is actually Hannah, but she goes by her middle name
Her younger sister, Elle, does the same: her first name is actually Mary
2. She starred in I Am Sam when she was seven years old. She became the youngest person to ever be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award
3. Her performance in the movie won her the Best Young Actor/Actress award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association. She was too short to reach the mic for her acceptance speech, so Orlando Bloom helped her up
4. Her first kiss was while filming Sweet Home Alabama when she was seven years old
5. Uptown Girls was the first movie that Dakota headlined. The ballet scenes came easy for her, as she had been taking ballet for years
6. She often wore what’s called a ‘flipper’ – a dental device covering the voids where her baby teeth had fallen out
7. She knitted a scarf for Tom Cruise after they worked on War of the Worlds together
It has become somewhat of her trademark, and she also knitted scarves for Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington and Oprah.
8. She always carries around a baby name book wherever she goes
9. She loves horseback riding, playing the piano and the violin
10. After they starred in The Runaways and The Twilight Saga together, she and Kristen Stewart became very close
11. Although they have appeared in several films together, she and her little sister Elle have never done a scene together
12. She thinks she has learned a lot from watching directors do their thing and would love to direct a movie of her own one day
13. She last appeared on a TV show back in 2004, when she was on Friends
14. She was voted homecoming queen at her high school where she used to be a cheerleader
15. She has been attending New York University since 2011
“I’m not going to school for a career. I’m going for my own interest, for myself. I already know what I want to do forever,” she said.