"I have to defend my life," says Dakota Fanning about growing up as a child actress

Dakota Fanning has given her entire life to acting, but the star now feels that she should probably have paid more attention to having a more traditional upbringing


                            "I have to defend my life," says Dakota Fanning about growing up as a child actress
Dakota Fanning (Getty Images)

Dakota Fanning has given her entire life to acting, but the star now feels that she should probably have paid more attention to having a more traditional upbringing rather than completely miss out on being a normal kid, and these are just some of the things that now bother her as an adult.

During a recent conversation with Variety for their 'Actors on Actors' segment, Fanning said, “I feel like I have to defend my life, and then it’s like when you hear someone like overly defending you’re like, ‘Oh they must be overcompensating for something.’ So you’re walking this line of defending yourself, but not too much because I don’t have anything to defend.”

'The Alienist' star then added, “When I look back and I think of the experiences being an actor has brought me, I just don’t know a lot of other people our age who have been to the places we’ve been and met all different kinds of people and the friendships. It’s added so much to my life and it does kind of hurt me a little bit when people try and somehow turn it into a negative and I don’t like it.”

Dakota Fanning attends the Dior Croisiere 2016 at Palais Bulle on May 11, 2015 in Theoule sur Mer, France. (Photo by Didier Baverel/Getty Images for Dior)

Fanning started her acting career when she was merely five years old, and she scored her first SAG nomination when she was just 8. The actress, who is now 24, remembers her first acting role against Sean Penn when she was just 7, for the movie 'I Am Sam' that came out in 2001.

During her conversation with Freddie Highmore, she also spoke about her dilemma while answering the question about her transition from a child star to an adult actress.

"I never know how to answer, “How do you plan to transition from child to an adult?” I don’t know. I think it will just happen one day. And of course, there was a certain amount of thought that would go into the roles that you choose during that time, ’cause I never wanted to seem like I was trying to grow up too fast," she said.

Fanning went on to add, "I think that would drive you crazy if you’re constantly being strategic about those choices and like, Well, people will finally see me as a 17-year-old if I do this part.”

That’s not the reason you should be making choices. You should do a character just because you love it. The character that I played in 'The Alienist,' I have no idea how old she is."

Actor Dakota Fanning attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Speaking about her upcoming movie, the actress did not fail to mention that shooting for the movie was one of the most amazing experiences of her life, and she would do it all again in a heartbeat if she got the chance.

"It’s been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I really do feel that way, personally and professionally. The character that I get to play was kind of another step for me, I think. She’s a period character — it’s set in 1896 — but she’s one of the most feminist characters I’ve ever played, in a time that didn’t really support that. And I’m upset that Shaun Murphy’s not a real person that I can meet. I think when an actor can make that happen for the audience, it’s such a special thing."