Much in the same way that I was shocked to learn that Jeremy Renner is 40, I can't believe that Dakota Fanning is 17. It feels like it was just yesterday that she was making movies in which she played the young screaming child that the adults had to protect. Now she's apparently ready to play a wife in a loveless marriage who has an affair with a painter.
Deadline has learned that Fanning has signed on for Effie, a biopic about Euphemia Gray written by Emma Thompson and directed by Richard Laxton. Fanning will play the title character, the young bride of critic John Ruskin. Though they were married for five years, Ruskin never consummated the relationship because he was disgusted by her body. Feeling trapped, Gray would eventually fall in love with John Everett Millais, a painter who happened to be Ruskin's protege. While many books, plays, operas and miniseries have been written about the relationship, Laxton's film will be the first feature to bring the story to the big screen.
One of the main reasons why child performers have such a hard time crafting an adult acting career is because Hollywood has a hard time seeing them as anything but kids. My personal inability aside, Fanning seems to have made it over that hump. A period drama about one of the most famous love triangles in history could be exactly what Fanning needs to prove to absolutely everyone that she is an established adult actress and no longer that little girl who had to be carried in every scene of War of the Worlds.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.