Elle Fanning is no stranger to dismissing inappropriate comments about her appearance. As a seasoned actor — she’s been in the entertainment business since she was 2 years old — Fanning has unfortunately had firsthand experience with the thinly veiled misogyny in Hollywood. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter during its annual Comedy Actress Emmy Roundtable, Fanning recalled losing out on an acting role in a “father-daughter road trip comedy” film when she was 16 after Hollywood execs deemed her “unf*ckable.”
“I can laugh at it now, like, ‘What a disgusting pig!'”
“I’ve never told this story, but I was trying out for a movie,” she began. “I didn’t get it. I don’t even think they ever made it, but it was a father-daughter road trip comedy. I didn’t hear from my agents because they wouldn’t tell me things like this — that filtration system is really important because there’s probably a lot more damaging comments that they filtered — but this one got to me. I was 16 years old, and a person said, ‘Oh, she didn’t get the father-daughter road trip comedy because she’s unf*ckable.'”
Fanning isn’t the only celebrity to open up about being oversexualized in Hollywood. Stars like Millie Bobby Brown, Scarlett Johansson, and Sydney Sweeney are all too familiar with the disappointing reality that comes with being a woman in show business: they’ve had to dodge inappropriate comments, field insults, and endure being sexualized from the moment they walk into the room.
Though this culture is pervasive, Fanning says she hasn’t allowed comments like this change the way she values herself as an actor. “It’s so disgusting. And I can laugh at it now, like, ‘What a disgusting pig!'” she said of the person who made the hurtful comment.
Fanning went on to praise her team for helping her navigate these insults at such a young age. “I was very protected, I have an amazing manager and agent who’ve been with me since I was 8 or 9 — same people, which is [rare],” she said. Though Fanning’s team have been by her side for decades, being hypersexualized as a young woman in Hollywood has had an impact on the way she perceives herself. “I was always immensely confident, but of course you’re growing up in the public eye, and it’s weird,” she said. “I’ll look at paparazzi photos from when I was 12 and think, ‘Is that a good thing to see such a mirror of yourself at that age?’ I don’t feel like it damaged me, but it definitely made me very aware of myself.”