The Secret Life of Bees
She was 6 when she co-starred with Sean Penn in I Am Sam. Since then, her leading men have included Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise. So Fanning, now 14, is an up-close appreciator of star quality. "They have a presence about them on the set," she says. "You can see the experience in their eyes. I'm so lucky to have learned from them." But what Fanning has, nobody can teach: a gravity and poise that guide the moviegoer's eye to where she is, seemingly doing nothing. (There are few film pleasures as rewarding as watching Fanning listen.) In Bees, she is Lily Owens, a white kid in the '60s South who finds, in three nurturing black women, the motherhood she's desperately searched for. "In life, I've always had that," Fanning says of her mom Joy, whom she calls her best friend. "So I was able to see why Lily wants it so much." In her next project, the X-Men-ish action film Push, she plays a teen with clairvoyant abilities no stretch for an actress who sees deeply into her roles. "When I'm the character, I'm not myself anymore. It's always seemed like play to me. What I've dreamed of came to life." However Fanning does it, it's a miraculous transference.
Reported by Lina Lofaro