Sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning began their film careers together, playing the same character (at different ages) in the critically acclaimed, I Am Sam. Dakota, the elder of the sisters, took the lead, and wasted no time creating a marquee name for herself. Before her tenth birthday, Dakota had worked dramatically alongside Oscar winners Denzel Washington, Reese Witherspoon and Sean Penn. Unlike some child actors who have trouble moving beyond younger roles, Dakota, now 17, is making the jump into adult roles look effortless. She brilliantly portrayed Cherrie Currie’s ark from rise to near-fame to self-destruction in the 2010 movie The Runaways, plays vampire Jane in the pop phenomenon Twilight Saga movies, and has several projects lined up for the next two years. Her sister Elle, now 12 years old, may have got her start by playing younger versions of her sister’s characters, but with supporting roles in the Oscar-nominated Babel and a lead role in Sofia Coppola’s 2010 film Somewhere, Elle is far from in her sister’s shadow.
The sisters share Irish and German heritage and trace their Irish roots on their father’s side. Each with a promising acting career ahead of them, Dakota will take some time off to enroll in New York University this coming academic year while Elle continues to build a dramatic résumé to match that of her older sister.