Dakota Fanning has quite the weekend coming up. Two of her films Coraline and Push will both opening this weekend. Both are fantasy films, but aside from that, they’ve got about nothing in common.

Fanning has been attached to Director Henry Selick‘s film, Coraline for 5 years now. She was the first voice to be brought on to the movie and it’s almost as if her and Coraline grew up together.

Both are feisty young girls always looking for an adventure. Check out the interview below with Fanning talks about working on Coraline, her (likely) role in New Moon, and much more…

Did you love doing this?

I did. It was very fun to get to be a part of this. I’ve been working on it for like five years. Between like every movie, I’d do a session so I was doing like two or three sessions a year.

Didn’t your voice change a lot?

Yeah, I think it did. I had to change it a little bit. Henry would say, “Oh, I think your voice is a little deeper.” And I went okay, I would fix it.

Do you get to work with any other actors while recording your voice?

[Shakes head] No.

What do you work off of?

I was by myself with Henry every time except one time they did bring in an actress to read the other lines, like one time so we could see how it sounded, and then we’d do it back to individually again by myself.

Was that hard?

I mean, the only thing I didn’t like about it was I would love to work with the other actors. They’re so talented but I think I’m just, the other voice-over movies I’d done, I’ve been by myself so I just kind of expected that.


Do you enjoy live-action better?

Well, I’ve certainly done more live action more than I have voice-over but I think it’s good to every once in a while get to work on a voice-over film because it’s very different and it’s a different kind of challenge than live-action.

What does this process do for your craft?

Well, I mean, you only have your voice to work with. You have to convey everything through your voice which is really difficult if you think about it. Of course, that’s what you kind of sign on to do when you decide to do a voice-over movie so that’s a challenge that I was willing to take on. It was great. I think you get used to it after a while and it’s really fun.

How did you feel when you saw the finished product?

I really liked it a lot. Of course it’s something I’ve never seen before, a kind of animation that I’ve never seen. I don’t think anybody has ever really seen it before and it’s just so cool because you really feel like you’re a part of it. You really feel like you’re in it and I love that about this film.

Did you know the book?

Yeah, well, I guess it would have to be over five years ago but I think I just read it because I wanted to read it, not because of a script or a movie or anything. And then I originally met with Henry about the live-action version that would be of the film and I was going to do that and then they decided to make it animated a little while later, and here I am as the voice.

Coraline is a very brave character. Do you think of yourself as brave?

I do. I mean, I think that when you’re doing a movie and when you’re putting yourself out there, you have to have a certain amount of bravery because even when you’re on the set filming it, you’re in front of everybody and you’re doing scenes and you’re kind of showing yourself to lots of different people and especially when they’re watching you, I think that that can be intimidating sometimes so I feel like I am brave. Maybe not in the way that Coraline is because she’s fighting for her family and everything but I think I would do the same thing as she did.

Do you think that kids instinctively want to find another place no matter how their parents treat them?

I think that we all kind of want what we can’t have or want what we don’t have . I think that’s just kind of the way the world is, always kind of wanting a perfect world or perfect life. Everybody makes mistakes and everybody has differences and things that may not be as perfect as something else, so I think this movie kind of helps people, or children, or anyone understand that message which I really like. But yeah, I know, when you first meet her and her parents are kind of harsh towards her, I think you have to kind of get that point across to see why she would be tempted to stay in the other world.


How do you see your career developing?

Well, I mean, I hope that it continues forever. It’s what I want to do. I can’t imagine doing anything else and it’s just really what I want to keep doing and keep having in my life for forever so I hope that it continues.

How is growing up affecting what you choose?

I mean, I think it affects it a lot. I can’t really play the roles that I played when I was younger and I can’t play the roles that hopefully I will play in the future. So you have to find that good balance in what’s right for the time and I think that’s really important but I don’t try to think about it too much because I think that what you’re drawn to will kind of reflect the age that you are.

Is there anything you’re looking to try in films?

I don’t know if there’s anything in particular. I really love working on dramas. I really think that they are really great. Like I love character pieces where I get to have relationships with a lot of different people. I’ve been lucky to do those in the past and I’m really drawn to those a lot.

Are you ever drawn to comedy?

Yeah, sometimes. I mean, I think that, I’ve done a few comedies in the past. I think that it just depends on what’s right for the time, what I’ve done. So maybe one day, one day soon I’ll do a comedy.

Has there been any movement on your role in New Moon?

Well, it’s not 100% for sure yet that I will be doing it but it’s definitely not like a rumor or anything. It’s definitely a possibility and something that I’m excited about.

Have you read all the books?

I haven’t read all four yet. I’m working on it. Getting there.

Is there anything from the book you would really look forward to playing?

I don’t know. I just think the character is what I would be excited about. It’s kind of evil, something I’ve never done before, and it’s a vampire. You know, it’s really cool so I really hope that it works out.

There was backlash against Vanessa Hudgens in Twilight, but everyone supports you.

That’s really nice.

Does that make you feel good?

It does. I mean, I know that Twilight is so sacred to some people and I know that when people cast certain people, people have their opinions and that’s their right. That’s very flattering that they think I’d be right for the part and I hope it works out.

You have two films coming out in one weekend, Coraline and Push, what’s that like? Do you think there’s room at the box office for both?

I’m sure there is. I’m sure there will be. It’s so crazy that I have two coming out on the same day because I’ve been working on this one for so long as opposed to Push which I just filmed a year ago. That they would fall on the exact same day is so ironic but yeah, I hope people enjoy both of them.

It would be quite a double feature.

Yeah, I mean, they’re both kind of fantasy but obviously very different.

Is it difficult to stay out of the paparazzi nonsense?

I mean, I don’t. I guess they’re just not interested in me, the paparazzi but yeah, I mean, I’ve had some experiences with that but it hasn’t been too bad. I just live my life, I do what I do and if they catch me at the store, great. If they don’t, great. I can’t really do anything about it, I guess, and I don’t think that anyone really can. People don’t ask for that.

Are you concerned about expectations for Coraline?

I don’t know. Because I’ve been working on it for so long, it’s like I feel like I’ve been bringing it to life for five years so I don’t know what people thought when I first was signed on to do it but I hope that they like it. I hope that I brought it to life the way they pictured and I know people are such big fans of the book and are very excited for the movie to come out, so I’m excited for them to see it. I can’t wait. I waited so long to see it and it was like oh, when is it ever going to come out. I thought when Coraline comes out I’m going to be so old and now that it’s here…

Coraline is in theaters February 6th 2009.

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