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THE PREMIER ONLINE RESOURCE FOR ACTRESS ELLE FANNING, ESTABLISHED IN 2003
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July 8th, 2020  No Comments Articles, Interviews, Press, The Great, TV

The writer behind ‘The Favourite’ penned a bawdy, satirical and not-so-accurate tale: “We actually pride ourselves on the lack of historical accuracy,” says Fanning with a laugh.

Lying atop the red velvety covers of an ornate four-poster bed in a gold-soaked set on a rainy day in London, a sickly looking Nicholas Hoult takes swigs from a bottle of water between takes.

“Men love me for my parties, women and … [gulp] … delicious food,” he splutters moments later after the camera begins rolling (bottle now hidden under the blanket), groaning and retching while Elle Fanning, in a corseted light-green gown and tightly curled blond wig, stands at his feet, feigning concern.

“And women love me for my massive cock.”

Welcome to the world of The Great, Hulu’s bawdy, satirical and not exactly (in many cases, not remotely) historically accurate retelling of the early years of Russia’s famed 18th century monarch Catherine the Great.

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July 2nd, 2020  No Comments Press, The Great, TV

A grown-up child star finding her creative power in playing one of history’s most cunning female rulers — the metaphor would be a bit on the nose if it weren’t crafted as thoughtfully as Elle Fanning’s portrayal of Catherine II, the longest-reigning Empress of Russia, on The Great.

The actress steps strikingly into the Golden Era of the empire’s 18th century Enlightenment on the lauded Hulu series, though it takes her character a moment to see past the glitz and glamour. “She starts out as this romantic and very optimistic young girl,” Fanning tells ET of her Catherine, scripted to cunning perfection by The Favourite screenwriter Tony McNamara, who created the series, “and basically is slapped in the face with reality and realizes, ‘OK, this is not the life that I wanted, so I’m going to make the life that I want.'”

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July 2nd, 2020  No Comments Press, The Great, TV

Catherine The Great is to continue her reign on Hulu after the streamer ordered a second season of The Great.

The Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult comedy drama is coming back for another 10-episode run after its first season debuted on May 15. The streamer said that The Great was “one of the top performing original comedies” on the service, without giving ratings information.

The satirical show tells the story of the rise of Catherine the Great from outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history with only a few occasional facts.

Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Sebastian de Souza, Bayo Gbadamosi and Belinda Bromilow also star.

The series comes from The Favourite’s Tony McNamara, who created, wrote and exec produced. Other exec producers include Marian Macgowan, Thruline’s Josh Kesselman and Ron West, Echo Lake’s Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding, Elle Fanning, Mark Winemaker and Matt Shakman. It is produced by Civic Center Media in association with MRC Television.

At Deadline’s recent Contenders event, McNamara revealed that the idea for The Great came to him by chance. “I didn’t know much about her except that maybe she banged a horse,” he said of the famous rumor circulated about Catherine. “And then I heard something about her keeping the Age of Enlightenment alive. So, I read up on her and she seemed to be an amazing character—really complicated and really modern in a lot of ways. That made me want to write about her, and I thought, well, how do I write about her in a way that would make me want to watch it?”

Fanning similarly said that she knew little about the real-life Catherine. “Like Tony, I knew her for the horse incident,” she said, “and I knew she was Empress of Russia, but through this I learned so much more about what she did and how she truly is a feminist icon. She took down The Man. She did it, and that was just so fascinating and exciting to me—to show how she became the person who was able to do that. Because, of course, she was born with those qualities inside her, but she had to learn how to use those qualities.”

Via

June 30th, 2020  No Comments Articles, Interviews, Press

The star and executive producer of the bawdy historical comedy on boundaries, blood, and bare bottoms.

The Character: Catherine the Great, The Great
In The Great’s first episode, a pink-cheeked Catherine (Elle Fanning) pilots a flower-entwined swing and burbles to a friend about how romantic her wedding to Russian Emperor Peter III (Nicholas Hoult) will be. But after Catherine is delivered from her sleepy German village to the Russian palace, her girlish dreams are dashed when she meets the tyrannical and narcissistic Peter. As she solemnly presents him with an evergreen as a symbol of their love, he turns to one of his minions and barks, “She gave me a twig. She’s not another inbred, is she?”

It’s the abrupt end of her innocent imaginings, as well as the start of a young woman’s campaign, aided by her wit and charm, to plot a putsch—after Catherine learns that if Peter just happens to be killed, she can claim the throne.

“It’s been phenomenal to watch Elle grow into this character as a performer, to balance a tightrope in bringing her to life as this woman who is naive but strong, and also powerless at times,” says Hoult. “[She’s] understanding this new world she’s been thrown into, and also her raison d’être.”

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June 26th, 2020  No Comments Interviews, Press, The Great, TV

The English actor Sebastian de Souza knows a thing or two about making an entrance. Take, for example, his first scene on Hulu’s The Great, in which Peter (Nicholas Hoult) asks—well, orders—Leo, De Souza’s character, to pull his pants down to assess his, er, talents. Leo’s role is to please and entertain Catherine the Great, played deliciously by Elle Fanning in the series that draws loosely from the life of the infamous Empress of Russia.

The 27-year-old British multi-hyphenate—on top of acting, he’s a singer, songwriter, and screenwriter—is no stranger to edgy roles that flirt with recklessness. De Souza worried mothers worldwide with his portrayal of Matty Levan on the grimy teen series Skins. Soon after, he dove deep into the world of period pieces, appearing on Showtime’s The Borgias and the medieval Italian drama Medici, alongside Richard Madden. Lately, the actor has been seen in Normal People, Hulu’s buzzy adaptation of the hit Sally Rooney novel. Though it’s a small role, his intervention in the central romance has turned his character into “enemy number one,” he says, for fans of the show. Luckily, his sensual portrayal of Leo in The Great has won over many hearts—and the praise of critics. De Souza got on the phone with Fanning to discuss his dream of becoming the next Elton John, spinach dip, and that peach scene. Huzzah!

SEBASTIAN DE SOUZA: Hi, Elle. How are you?

ELLE FANNING: I’m good. Did you make any pies today? I watched you making that pie the other day. It looked so good.

DE SOUZA: No, you didn’t.

FANNING: Yes, I did. I’m cooking-obsessed.

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June 21st, 2020  No Comments Articles, Interviews, Press, The Great, TV

While promoting his Oscar-nominated work on 2018’s The Favourite, writer Tony McNamara expressed a dissatisfaction with period drama. Industry insiders were surprised, then, when his follow-up project turned out to be Hulu’s The Great, a darkly comic satire charting the rise of Catherine the Great from outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russian history.

Starring Elle Fanning as Catherine and Nicholas Hoult as her husband Peter, the show is a surprisingly factual deep dive into the life of a woman more widely known for scandalous, and likely untrue, stories about her unseemly love of horses.

Asked about his apparent change of heart during Deadline’s Contenders Television virtual event, the Australian writer laughed. “I think I just don’t like the politeness of period shows,” McNamara clarified. “It’s not like I don’t like period pieces at all—I like Dangerous Liaisons and Barry Lyndon and things like that—I just think I’ve always just been a bit bored by BBC-style period shows. I love the life-and-death nature and the high stakes of period shows, but I just never liked the polite execution. It didn’t seem interesting character-wise, and it didn’t feel visceral and present, and it didn’t feel very funny.”

McNamara revealed that the idea for The Great came to him by chance. “I didn’t know much about her except that maybe she banged a horse,” he said of the famous rumor circulated about Catherine. “And then I heard something about her keeping the Age of Enlightenment alive. So, I read up on her and she seemed to be an amazing character—really complicated and really modern in a lot of ways. That made me want to write about her, and I thought, well, how do I write about her in a way that would make me want to watch it?”

Similarly, Fanning knew little about the real-life Catherine. “Like Tony, I knew her for the horse incident,” she noted, “and I knew she was Empress of Russia, but through this I learned so much more about what she did and how she truly is a feminist icon. She took down The Man. She did it, and that was just so fascinating and exciting to me—to show how she became the person who was able to do that. Because, of course, she was born with those qualities inside her, but she had to learn how to use those qualities. And so that’s what enticed me the most—that and her gorgeous optimism and romanticism. She’s a true romantic, and throughout the series she learns that Russia is actually her great love. It’s not a man, it’s a country.”

For Hoult, who also appeared in The Favourite, a big part of the show’s appeal was the chance to work with McNamara again. “It’s my second time working with Tony,” he said, “and everything I’ve read that he’s written, I’ve just fallen in love with instantly. It’s kind of the perfect framework, as an actor, because you get given this brilliant, witty dialogue to deliver and also the scenes just always work fundamentally. So, then you can go off and play.”

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June 18th, 2020  No Comments Articles, Interviews, Press, The Great, TV

With hundreds of scripted shows on television each year, producers are increasingly leaning on existing IP and new takes on established figures to lure viewers in.

This allows deeper, more unique takes on characters that may not have been explored extensively in the past. But for the performers portraying them, it brings a different challenge, as they have to carve out a space for themselves amidst the previous perception of the figure.

Olivia Colman, who stepped into Queen Elizabeth II’s shoes for “The Crown’s” third season, is the perfect example of this: The royal has been portrayed dozens of times in film, television and theater since the 1970s. Colman took on the character after Claire Foy portrayed her earlier years on the Netflix drama for two seasons, and won an Emmy for her efforts in 2018, as well.

Similarly, Hailee Steinfeld became the titular poet in Apple TV Plus’ “Dickinson” just months after other actors brought her to life in big-screen biopics.

“Playing someone that actually existed, those are huge shoes to fill,” says Steinfeld. “There are people who are just completely and utterly moved by [Emily’s] work and what she left behind — you feel the pressure of their expectations. This is someone who has been in people’s lives, who has made people feel like they are not weird because all they want to do is create.”

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June 18th, 2020  No Comments Interviews, Media, Press, The Great, TV, Videos

Elle is featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s Comedy Actress Roundtable with Tiffany Haddish, Jane Levy, Jameela Jamil, Robin Thede and Amy Sedaris. The actresses were asked to share a personal picture for the article, and Elle choose a photo taken by Max Minghella.


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June 17th, 2020  No Comments Candids, Gallery Updates

Elle was seen running errands in LA yesterday (16) with her mom Joy and Dakota. You can find the pictures in the gallery:

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Current Projects
The Nightingale (2021)
Elle Fanning as Isabelle

The lives of two sisters living in France are torn apart at the onset of World War II. Based on Kristin Hannah’s novel ‘The Nightingale’.

The Great (2020)
Elle Fanning as Catherine

A royal woman living in rural Austria during the seventeenth century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor.

All the Bright Places (2020)
Elle Fanning as Violet Markey

The story of Violet and Theodore, who meet and change each other’s lives forever. As they struggle with the emotional and physical scars of their past, they discover that even the smallest places and moments can mean something.

Maleficent 2 (2019)
Elle Fanning as Aurora

The complex relationship of Maleficent and Aurora continues to be explored as they face new threats to the magical land of the Moors.

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