On Set Interview: Elle Fanning Lays Really, Really Still And Talks About Maleficent

elle fanning maleficent

Way back in 2012, before all of those months of CG work and post production, we stopped by and visited the set of Maleficent. You can read the full report in the new issue of Bleeding Cool magazine, complete with insight from Angelina Jolie, but here’s some commentary from Elle Fanning.

Fanning plays Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty who was the centre of Disney’s original animated film. Here’s what she had to tell us about… well, about lying around on a set all day, really.

This is definitely the most visual effects I’ve ever had to work with before. It’s definitely a challenge. Normally, I’ve been on location not sets and that’s very different. 

Robert [Stromberg, the director] is allowing us to run wild with our imaginations. In rehearsal he showed us this one particular room full of props and pictures of what the fairies and some of the creatures would look like, what the world will be in our heads.

When I saw Sleeping Beauty when I was little I was never frightened of Maleficent. I always thought she was so pretty, so elegant, an angular beauty.

In the cartoon, Aurora doesn’t really talk much, she’s just a pretty girl. You don’t really get to know her, you see one emotion from her. In this film, our Aurora has a thousand different emotions, up and down, and you get to know a lot more about who she is.

I’m doing an English accent again. It’s good to be in London filming so I can listen to everybody talking and listen to their rhythm. I’m becoming a Londoner. We were here during the Olympics, which was really exciting.

auroraThere’s a lot of sleeping involved. I had to practice. You can’t move your eyes or anything and have to lay still and was wondering “How am I going to do this for a long time?’ as the scene goes on around me and other people are there. It turns out that you have to think about your right foot and your left foot, and then all of the life will go out of your face and down your body.

And I was scanned for the dolls. You have to stand perfectly still and there’s this laser light.

Sounds like this role tested Fanning’s patience a good deal. The film is out in the UK today and I’ll be off to see it shortly. I’ll be paying close attention to see if she wrinkles her nose.

Thanks to Hannah Shaw-Williams (remember her?) for conducting this interview.