On set, Fanning made a point of cherishing her time with Jolie. "That does not happen to everyone," she said of working with the Oscar-winning actress. When Fanning met Jolie for the first time, she was "crazy nervous," but Angie's words of encouragement instantly put Fanning at ease. "We gave each other a hug right away, and then the first thing she said to me was, 'We’re going to have so much fun working together.' And, we really did." Being able to watch Jolie in her element on set also calmed her nerves, but she admits she still gets the occasional case of butterflies.
Elle has met her share of A-listers, so she can detect that extra-something special when she sees it — and with Jolie, she's completely in awe. "I think that she’s the perfect role model," she said. "I feel like whatever she’s wanted to do, she’s done. Now she’s directing and being a mom — she’s done everything. It’s so incredible."
Fanning also talked being privy to a part of Jolie that most people don't see. "I got to know the side of her that was more sensitive and really playful," she said. "They would yell cut, and all her kids — they were on set all the time — would run to her. She’d be holding Vivienne and Knox on each hip."
Having Angelina Jolie play the part of your personal role model is a dream scenario even for Elle — let's not forget her older sister is Dakota Fanning, after all. But, it seems that her life is rich with inspirational women. Fanning might look to Dakota for career advice, but her mother is the embodiment of a happy home.
"People will ask if I believe in love at first sight, and I honestly do," she said in awe. "Because my parents have known each other since second grade and they're still together. So, I believe in it because it's a part of me."
Elle's family life certainly skews traditional, yet she holds an affinity for modern tales when it comes to her movies. Maleficent, for its part, takes the boy-rescues-girl trope from earlier Disney tales and flips it on its head. Filmmakers decided to spruce up the story with a more modern twist, which was something that Elle totally got on board with. "At the end, it's not a guy that saves the day," she raved. "It's more of a friendship and a maternal love that wins out. I was so excited to tell that side [of the story]."