Dakota Fanning Sheds ‘Child Actress’ Label, Turns Into Fashion Icon

Dakota Fanning would have once been described as a “child actress.”

She captivated audiences in I Am Sam when she was just 7 years old, and followed it up with a number of strong performances that showed an acting range well beyond her years.

But over the past couple of years something else has happened. Dakota has been more careful in the roles she picks, appearing in a string of independent movies in more adult roles.

Dakota has had a few missteps as she tried to craft a more adult image. When she was 17, Dakota was featured in a Marc Jacobs perfume ad that showed an oversized perfume bottle between her legs. The ad would be banned in the UK for being “sexually provocative.”

“If you want to read something into a perfume bottle, then I guess you can. But it’s also like, ‘Why are you making it about that, you creep?'” she told Glamour. “I love Marc and trust him, and we just laughed about it.”

But that incident aside, Hollywood is clearly seeing Dakota Fanning as an adult actress now.

Her latest film, Night Moves, has made quite an impression at the Venice Film Festival. In it she plays Dena, a girl from a wealthy background who joins a group of radicals planning to blow up a hydroelectric dam.

Though she may play second fiddle to the film’s star, Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning was still able to stand out.

“It’s really Eisenberg’s film, but his co-stars make impressive impressions too,” wrote Oliver Lyttleton, a reviewer for The Playlist. “Fanning has seemed to be on her way to a truly attention-grabbing adult turn for a while, and manages it here, entirely convincing as the rich-girl-turned-revolutionary. Sarsgaard is perhaps less surprising, but he’s as solid as ever as the devil on Josh’s shoulder.”

And it’s not just on-screen that Dakota Fanning is getting noticed. Her grown-up red carpet look also earned her some major style points.

“Fanning’s classic blond-hair-blue-eyes beauty was simply eye-candy in the midnight blue ensemble,” the Vancouver Sun noted.

With her new adult image in tow, Dakota Fanning could be poised for a breakout year. She has a number of movies in the works, including The Last of Robin Hood, a biopic about Hollywood actor Errol Flynn.