'Boxtrolls' Star Elle Fanning on Big Sister Dakota & Sibling Rivalry

elle fanning

She may still be Dakota Fanning's little sister, but 16-year-old (and newly brunette) Elle Fanning has grown up in front of our eyes and is emerging as a Hollywood starlet in her own right. She's already appeared in more than 30 titles, most recently We Bought a Zoo and Maleficent. Now the younger of the famous Fanning sisters stars in the Laika stop-animation family film, The Boxtrolls.

The Stir caught up with Elle at the movie's Los Angeles premiere and chatted about her character, Winnie, Dakota's influence, and the meaning of family. Here's what Elle had to say:


On her famous big sister:
She did Coraline [another of Laika's stop-animation features] for eight years, so I was very familiar with the process. So from her, I knew it would take a few years to get it right. She definitely prepared me for that.

More from The Stir: 'Boxtrolls' Is a Kids' Movie With a Message ... for Parents (VIDEO)

On the best part of being a little sister:
Getting the clothes and the gowns! Also, just having someone that you can learn from and a person you can really look up to. With an older sister, she's done everything before you have and she's going to do it first. It's cool to see someone do it first so you can learn from that. [And] I got to get away with stuff that she didn't!

winnie eggs boxtrolls

On how their sibling relationship has changed:
She's 20 years old now, so with our ages, we're becoming closer. Now, we're more friends than just being big sister/little sister and fighting all the time. The dynamic's changed, and I'm very happy about that!

On her part in The Boxtrolls:
The message is just incredible. I play Winnie [above, left], whose Dad doesn't notice her much, so she's always looking for attention from him. And so from that, it's all about how you can create your own family. It doesn't have to be a blood-related Mom or Dad. It's really about what family means to you.

The Boxtrolls opens in theaters Friday, September 26.

What does family mean to you? 


Image via Focus Features

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