"There’s no one I want to succeed more in this business than my sister," Dakota Fanning says of sister Elle Fanning

By Dave Quinn
June 11, 2019 11:49 AM

Dakota Fanning has nothing but love for her sister Elle Fanning.

In the cover story for the July/August issue of Shape, the 25-year-old star opens up about the tight bond she has with her younger sister Elle, 21.

My sister, Elle, and I are really close,” Dakota gushes. “We always have been. We’re very different, but we’re very connected. We don’t talk every day, but we don’t have to. We just have that special bond.”

“There’s no one I want to succeed more in this business than my sister, and I know she wants the same for me,” Dakota adds.

Both Dakota and Elle have strong careers in Hollywood. Dakota has a sea of credits to her name dating back to her days as a child actress, including War of the Worlds, Uptown GirlsCharlotte’s Web, The Secret Life of Bees, The Runaways, and three films in The Twilight Saga. Elle has also been acting since a young age, even playing younger versions of her sister’s character in I Am Sam and the Taken miniseries. Since she’s gone on to have a steady career as a model and actress, with memorable roles in Super 8We Bought a ZooMaleficent20th Century Women and The Beguiled.

The two siblings have remained supportive of one another throughout.

In April, Dakota was at her Elle’s side at the premiere of the movie Teen Spirit, which starred Elle as a shy teenager who sets out to win a local singing competition as a way out of her small town. Elle has also always publicly praised Dakota, even if she boycotted watching her sister’s guest spot on Friends after previously losing out on the role of one of Phoebe’s triplets.

“I refused to watch the episode,” she told Net-A-Porter’s weekly digital magazine PorterEdit in March. “I was like, ‘I am not watching this!’”

Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning
Swan Gallet/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

RELATED: Bottoms Up! Elle Fanning Celebrates Her 21st Birthday with Sister Dakota and a Glass of Champagne

Jokes aside, the Fanning sisters grew close early on when they discovered their mutual love for acting.

“[We] would play these elaborate scenes around the house,” Elle told PorterEdit. “Like birthing scenes… I would be the baby coming out. Crazy stuff like that. We were doing it for ourselves; we weren’t, like, ‘Oh, Mom and Dad, sit down and we’re gonna perform for you.’ That was how we played.”

RELATED: Dakota Fanning Remembers Brittany Murphy 8 Years After Costar’s Sudden Death

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Shape, Dakota — who stars in the upcoming Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood — discusses how she learned to redefine her idea of success.

“As goal oriented as I am, I recognize that reaching your goals doesn’t always happen the way you think it will,” she says. “I never say to myself, ‘Oh, I’ll be happy when this happens’ or, ‘This one thing will make me feel good,’ because I don’t think that’s realistic.”

“It’s important to have goals and vision and drive, but you’ve also got to recognize that those goals might not come to you in the way you believe they will,” she said “It’s really important to remember that no one thing is ever going to make you happy.”

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