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'I DO Have A Dark Bone In My Body!' Why Elle Fanning Needs To Smash The Disney Box

To be a woman in Hollywood is to be boxed in by societal expectations. For a long time, that was simply the name of the game. Even actors from established industry families have had their struggles. Be it from not enough Instagram followers, or consistently being typecast, Elle Fanning found a significant amount of pushback in her career. In The Hollywood Reporter's actor roundtable, the young actor described being pigeonholed into strictly Disney princess-type roles.

"That's the problem, though. That's it. That's the box, that I don't have a dark bone in my body. I do!" she exclaimed. Being confined to just one type of role was restricting, and Fanning wanted to break out. After appearing in "Maleficent" as Aurora, she was discouraged about how she was being infantilized.

"Obviously, I was Sleeping Beauty in 'Maleficent,' and you can't get sweeter or pinker or blonder, and I'm cool with that, but for a while, I was most known for being either a child actor or a Disney princess. That's a box that I feel like, a couple of years ago, I really was trying to shatter," Fanning clarified. With projects like "The Neon Demon," the actor set out to prove the industry wrong. A trippy look at the modeling industry, the film veers into murder and cannibalism. Not one to do things by half measures, that wasn't the last time Fanning blew expectations out of the water.

The Great was a game changer

Predominately a film actor, Elle Fanning had a chance to spread her wings in Hulu's "The Great." From the mind of "The Favourite" writer Tony McNamara, the satirical series revolving around Catherine the Great (Fanning) allows the actor to play a new kind of protagonist. Though based on the real ruler of Russia, the series is filled with anachronisms and historical inaccuracies to humorous effect. And for Fanning's part, she plays a hysterical and equally vicious ruler, which is different from her past roles.

"'The Great,' again, it's like a blond royal, but it's so turned on its head because it's raunchy and violent and we're saying the C-word every other word," Fanning laughed. Being in the series also allowed her to explore more complicated emotions through long-form storytelling. Starting as an optimistic young woman about to get married, Catherine becomes disillusioned by her chaotic husband, Peter (Nicholas Hoult). This is the beginning of an impressive character arc where she develops as a cunning strategist, going as far as to overthrow her husband to gain control of Russia. Playing a variety of complex emotions, Fanning has proven she is more than a Disney princess.

"I love when Tony pushes a character back because Catherine's trajectory is not always up," Fanning told Collider. "She's on a downward slope this season, for sure. We have the luxury and time to crash somewhat, like just totally hit rock bottom, and then you have time to see them build up again."