Disney has provided me with an expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the #MaleficentEvent and #FireAndRescueEvent in exchange for my review of the events of the trip. No other compensation is given. The opinions and experiences in my posts are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
MALEFICENT will be out in theaters this Friday May 30 and I can’t wait for all of you to see it! As part of the #MaleficentEvent press junket I participated in in Los Angeles last week I had the exciting opportunity to meet the real-life Aurora! Elle Fanning is just as bubbly and sweet in person as she appears to be in her on-screen role as the iconic Disney princess. Take a look at what she had to say about her living her dream to be a Disney princess, what she and Aurora have in common (and what they don’t), and what her favorite scene was to film.
On her dream to be a Disney princess…
Elle has seemingly been preparing for this role her entire life. She told us that taking on the role of a Disney princess has always been her dream and as a little girl Aurora was her favorite because she identified most with her appearance. She really is perfect for the role both in physical appearance and kind personality.
“It was my dream. When anyone asks what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was little, I would say, “A Disney princess,” because that’s the ultimate goal in life, I think, for any young girl. And especially Sleeping Beauty. She was always my favorite one .” – Elle Fanning
On becoming Sleeping Beauty…
I always think it’s interesting to learn how actors and actresses get into their roles and really ‘become’ their characters. As a child Elle watched Sleeping Beauty (and shopped for her clothes and shoes in the Disney Store – this could be my child!) so she has had years of observation to work from. But more recently, before starting this role she watched the movie again and in an effort to do justice to the role she paid close attention to Aurora’s physicality, how light she is on her feet and how she moves her hands, for example, and tried to bring that charm to the role. But this princess is not a two-dimensional character.
“Also there is, in ours a little more to her because she’s not just a delicate princess, you know. She has some strength and she actually shows real emotion. She gets sad and feels betrayal because a lot of secrets are hidden from her. So, it was nice in ours that we could make her more human than the cartoon.” – Elle Fanning
On living in a bubble…
If you’ve seen Sleeping Beauty (and you have unless *you* are the one living in a bubble!) you know that Aurora lived a very sheltered life in a cottage in the woods, raised by fairies. Elle seems so much like her character, we had to wonder how different she really is. According to Elle there are some similarities but they part ways where the naïveté comes in. Clearly this smart girl was not raised in isolation by mythical creatures.
“I’m still as happy and as curious as she is, I like to soak up a lot of information, so we’re very similar in that way. But I guess, it is exaggerated as a fairy tale. I don’t think any child can be that sheltered like she was in our time. So I guess I’m different in that way from her.
It could get boring if it’s oh, that girl is just the one who’s happy and doesn’t know anything, you know? But she’s always kind of desperate to learn and she’s trying to figure things out. She hasn’t been taught to be scared yet. She doesn’t know to be scared of things that look different.” – Elle Fanning
Without revealing anything more, the plot hangs on that little personality trait of Aurora’s – her curiosity and fearlessness when it comes to the unknown. That leads her places that allow both her character and Maleficent to develop in ways that make the movie amazing!
On filming her favorite scene…
We asked Elle if she had a favorite scene and she said it was the finger prick scene! Oh the pressure! Don’t we all remember that iconic scene in the original animated movie? I can tell you, she definitely did it justice. Check out the clip below for a little peek:
Maleficent – Clip “Finger Prick”
“When I think about the original, that’s the scene I think of. It was the very last day of filming that we did. So I was like, oh gosh, and everything was building its way up to that monumental moment and I felt I wanted to do it right, everything has to be a certain way. Because that scene impacted me a lot when I was little. So I think it turned out good, right?” – Elle Fanning
Yes, Elle, it turned out awesome! She hasn’t actually seen the finished product yet so amazingly our group of bloggers had seen more than her. It was fun to have her ask us questions about what we thought!
On landing the role…
Did Elle have to go through a lengthy audition process to land the role of Aurora? No, not at all! Even the writer and director knew she was perfect to play Sleeping Beauty.
“It all happened really fast. A lot faster than those things normally do. I heard there was going to be a Maleficent movie which you know it’s from the villains point of view, there has to be an Aurora in there. So I was like, oh my gosh, I hope I get to be that. They asked me to come in, the director Rob, for a meeting. So I met with Rob and Linda, and Linda was the writer. She wrote Beauty and the Beast, so I was excited to meet who wrote Beauty and the Beast too.
So I went and had a meeting with them and we just talked and I think they just wanted to get a sense of me, kind of what I was like. They didn’t describe much of the story because they kind of already decided that they were going to give me the part. So they told me in there that I got it. And then they handed over the script. Handing over the script was like the coronation of everything. I read the script in the car and kind of got motion sickness reading it while driving home. But I did not stop. I just kept going. I was so excited.” – Elle Fanning
On working with the special effects…
This was one of the parts of the interview I found most interesting. Elle is clearly a lovely young girl but she’s also very smart about her craft and I loved hearing her talk about it. There are tons of special effects in the film and they’re awesome! But they can be challenging to actors and actresses who have to imagine things that aren’t really there while they’re acting that get added in after the fact. So we asked Elle what it was like to make a film with so many special effects, more than she’s ever worked with before.
“All the little fairies, those are just tennis balls or little lights. And there’s green and blue screens that you’re basically standing in, so you really have to imagine everything. It also can get a little technical too, but then you don’t want your performance to be prohibited by the technicality of it. You want to make sure that you’re still playing your character but you still have to be aware of the little hand that you’re holding, but you’re not holding a hand, it’s air. ” – Elle Fanning
See that picture above where Aurora is kind of floating in the air? It’s so neat how they do this. Elle told us they take a scan of her body and made that happen with a computer. So cool!
“You stand on this turntable and stand completely still and they turn you inch by inch and scan your body. So then that makes a virtual you into a computer and then they can take that virtual you and put you onscreen. So when I did all the floating and stuff, a lot of that was manipulated.” – Elle Fanning
Elle Fanning is the perfect Aurora and brings so much of her light and warmth to the screen. It was such a pleasure to chat with her and get to know real princess behind the film. I can’t wait for you to see her in this role. Be sure to mark your calendars for May 30! You might also like to read my interview with Angelina Jolie!
MALEFICENT starring Elle Fanning hits theaters May 30!
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— Lindsay (@PandorasDeals) May 27, 2014