Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Dakota Fanning, The Runaways and Tatum O'Neal

There has been a lot of hype surrounding the not-so-little star as of late. Dakota’s new film The Runaways is out on the 10th of September and we hear it might be a bit of shock to those who still picture her as the small blonde child who seems to keep running into aliens (War of the Worlds) and is BFFs with a spider (Charlotte’s Web). Not that we at Handpicked, are quite up there with those who saw it months ago at Sundance, but from what we gather Ms Fanning is phenomenal as the 15-year-old Cherie Currie, a member of the The Runaways (breakthrough all girl band of 70’s fame, all underage and controversially human-cannonballed into an American tour unsupervised at very tender ages) alongside her fellow Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart who plays Joan Jett. When my copy of Dazed got to me earlier this month, I didn’t recognise Dakota on the cover. It’s a beautiful shot by Mark Segal (and a horrible Blackberry photo of it by me):

I watched Paper Moon a couple of weeks ago and its not often that a reasonably slow paced, black and white talkie obviously made on a budget draws me in but it really is a gem of a film. I mention it now because Tatum O’Neal who was 10 years old when cast as Addie Pray in the 1973 film now portrays Cherie Currie’s mother in The Runaways. Tatum O’Neal remains the youngest person to win an Academy Award. In Paper Moon she starred alongside her father Ryan O’Neal; she was heavily affected later in life by fame. Sadly there were lots of controversies regarding her father abusing her when she was young which he firmly denies. She also dated Michael Jackson in the late 70’s. Now having slightly disgraced herself (for want of a kinder term) it’s interesting that she was cast in this film with very current young actresses and a $10 million budget.

Thinking of the similar fame that Tatum O’Neal and Dakota Fanning have been subjected to in youth, is it likely that Fanning will go through a rough patch as O’Neal did? Is The Runaways the beginning Fanning’s rebellion? I hope not and I very much doubt it. Dakota, born Hannah Dakota Fanning, comes from a family with strongly grounded Christian morals and also from a very planned childhood. Her parents supported her talent, sending her to auditions and relocating the family to Hollywood, showing not only that she went down the path of formal auditions but stage school and proper training too.

With some speculation and very little proof, I doubt that Tatum O’Neal would have had such a structured background. The daughter of thespian parents, she would not have had her roots as firmly planted and it was probably easier to go off the rails in the 70’s and 80’s without too much hassle than it is today.

At sixteen, Dakota is ready to launch her adult career and step out of her child star roles and from where I’m standing, she’ll do it with style.

Here is Tatum O’Neal looking lovely with her father Ryan O’Neal at the premier of The Runaways in LA earlier this year and then below is the same pair from Paper Moon in 1973.

Images courtesy of and Diaro de Bizzarices

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