Dakota Fanning strikes fear in 'Night Moves'

Dakota Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg in Night Moves. (Courtesy)

Dakota Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg in Night Moves. (Courtesy)

Jim Slotek, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:16 PM ET

It isn’t just parents who continue to see adults as children. If you’re an actor, that list can include audiences and casting directors.

“I think I’m going to be married and pregnant, and some people are still going to think I’m nine years old,” says Dakota Fanning, who turned 20 last February.

“I just have to kind of live with it. One day it’s going to go away, because that’s what happens when people get older. Actually, I’m excited for that to happen,” she says with a laugh.

In the meantime, the girl who still lives in our memories as a child actress in films like I Am Sam and War Of The Worlds, is testing adult waters in films like Night Moves – about a trio of eco-terrorists whose plans of blowing up a dam are fraught with miscalculations.

The movie from director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy) opened in Toronto recently, and rolls out in select cities across Canada over the next few weeks.

Reichardt admits she had misgivings over casting Fanning opposite Jesse Eisenberg and Peter Sarsgaard.

“I had a moment of thinking she was too young for the part,” Reichardt told us when Night Moves debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.

“She told me flatly she was not,” the director says with a laugh. “Believe me, she was very convincing. She would not have it!”

In Night Moves, Fanning plays protestor Dena Brauer, the coolest of a trio that includes her abrasive best friend Josh (Eisenberg) and a tightly-wound former marine (Sarsgaard). Though she’s the least nervous, she ultimately seems the most affected by the unintended results of their political action.

“She gets ahead of herself because she is young, and has that feeling of invincibility that a lot of young people have,” Fanning says.

She says the fanaticism, particularly as expressed by Eisenberg’s character, “is hard to understand – how you can feel so strongly about something and not understand why other people don’t feel the same way. It can make you feel frustrated and alone and drive you to the point where you’re insane. And it drives him to aggression and violence.”

If she was going to be in a movie with an explosion, Fanning said she was glad it was for someone like Reichardt. “As an actor that was really cool to not have to complete with an exploding dam. She never would have had it.

“Kelly doesn’t spell things out for you. She left room for us as actors to be with our own thoughts and capture that. And she gives the audience space to take everything in.

“I loved everybody in this movie so much they could barely get rid of me. For me, the pleasure I get out of what I do is the making of the movie and the experience.”

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