Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category
(PHOTOS) Elle for Vanity Fair
(September 22, 2020)

Elle is on the cover of Vanity Fair October’s issue featuring a wonderful new photoshoot by Tierney Gearon.

Elle Fanning has been acting since she was two. She’s 22 now, and there are estimates that she’s logged some 60 roles in her career, which would mean she’s already headed for Streep territory. During a Zoom call, I ask if this is true, or even logistically possible.

She tilts her head. “Could that be?” she wonders. “You know what? I did write it down one time, and I think I still have it on my phone.” She whips out a pink phone emblazoned with a sticker of the cartoon juggernaut Strawberry Shortcake. Her fingers fly.

“Thirty-six,” she announces finally.

The former child star recently triumphed with what she refers to as her “first woman role” as Catherine the Great in The Great—Hulu’s raunchy, rollicking, and, at times, gleefully ahistorical account of the monarch’s bold rise to power—but, at home, her life is reeling decidedly backward through time. Like many of us, Fanning has retreated to a safe space during the coronavirus pandemic. She’s cocooning in place at her mom’s house in the San Fernando Valley with her 26-year-old sister and fellow actor, Dakota; their mother; their grandmother; and the family’s elderly pet schnoodle (mini schnauzer-poodle), Lewellen.

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Elisa   —   Interviews Press The Great TV

Few TV shows of 2020 have been as thrilling, funny, and heartbreaking as The Great. The Hulu series is a tonal tight-rope walk as it chronicles (and fictionalizes) the early days of Catherine the Great’s marriage to Peter III of Russia, with Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult playing off of one another like they’re having a fierce tennis match. It’s jubilant and harrowing and romantic and hilarious at equal turns, and the fact that it works so well is a testament to the performances and, of course, the writing.

Before showrunner Tony McNamara earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the 2018 film The Favourite, he wrote a play based on the life of Catherine the Great. He previously attempted to adapt the play into a feature film, before eventually deciding on a TV series format. Enter Hulu, Fanning, and Hoult, and you have one of the best TV shows of 2020.

The Great is Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for McNamara’s work on the pilot (and Matt Shakman for Best Director on the same episode), and while I’m still mad as heck that Hoult and Fanning weren’t recognized for their brilliant performances (and that the show itself wasn’t nominated for Best Comedy), I was more than happy to speak with McNamara by phone recently about his work on the series.

During our interview, he talked about the key casting of Fanning and Hoult, the purposeful pace of the show, and why he didn’t want to write all the episodes before they started filming. McNamara also shed some light on some specific plot points from the show’s first season, including why Marial betrayed Catherine and whether Leo’s death was always part of the plan. And with the show renewed for a second season by Hulu, he offered a tease of where The Great Season 2 might be going.

Check out the full interview below.

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Helena   —   Interviews Press

“I really find satisfaction with looking at my calendar and figuring out what time I have certain things. But I also don’t force myself to do anything. I’m a daydreamer.”

Just before quarantine started, Elle Fanning was set to fly to Budapest with her older sister, Dakota, to start shooting the World War II film The Nightingale, based on the 2015 novel by Kristin Hannah, which will mark the sisters’ first on-screen appearance together. “We talk about what it’s going to be like a lot,” says Elle, 22. “We’re playing sisters, so there’s not much research to be done. We’ve got that covered.”

Right now, the sisters are in Los Angeles, in isolation together, along with their mom and grandmother. Elle has experienced a few milestones during quarantine: her birthday, in April, and the release, in May, of The Great, a satirical Hulu series about Catherine the Great in which she stars. On July 2, the show’s second season was announced. Catherine is one of Fanning’s first comedic roles, and The Great also marks her first turn as an executive producer.

Fanning has been using the past few months to relax a bit: forgoing alarms, baking ooey gooey butter cakes, going on walks with her mom, doing experimental makeup inspired by the comedian Chelsea Peretti. Here, she talks to WSJ. about her favorite exercise class, the best advice she’s gotten and why this spring was an ideal time for The Great to come out. Read More

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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