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How Elle Fanning Became a Pop Star for ‘Teen Spirit’

Elle Fanning transforms into a pop star for “Teen Spirit.” The actress has been acting and singing since she was two years old, but until now, audiences had yet to see her combine the two talents.

Fanning plays Violet, an aspiring pop singer who enters a singing competition, in the film. The actress recorded several songs for the movie, including a cover of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own.”

Fanning told Variety that she trained with Grammy-winning music producer Marius de Vries for three months.

“I would go to his apartment and sing through all the songs every day. He video-ed me and recorded me singing everything and made me watch it back,” Fanning said. “As an actor, it was different, because normally you don’t want to analyze your scenes too much and with this, we would analyze every little sound I made. So it was kind of a new process for me.”

According to Fanning, the prep work not only made her a better singer, but also physically stronger, with the ability to hold her breath longer. “It was a really rewarding feeling of putting in the work and seeing a product,” she said.

The actress drew a parallel between her own trials and tribulations of becoming a successful entertainer to those of her character. “There’s a lot of rejection in this industry,” she said. “[Violet] just has this hunger and this fire that I can relate to. There’s a movie that comes along and you don’t get it. How do I find this fire again and continue?”

Teen Spirit” marks the feature directorial debut of “The Handmaid’s Tale” actor Max Minghella, who told Variety that directing his first film was “ambitious” and that there were “challenges every step of the way.” However, he had inspiration from an early age, watching his late father, “The English Patient” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley” director Anthony Minghella, work in the editing room. 

Teen Spirit executive producer Jamie Bell and Fannings sister Dakota Fanning also attended the premiere.

“Teen Spirit” hits theaters on April 12.

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