OK! USA – She’s best known for her roles in early 2000s flicks like I Am Sam and Uptown Girls, but Dakota Fanning has accomplished something few else have — she’s seamlessly transitioned from child star to serious actress without going off the rails along the way.
Now, she’s marking two decades in the industry. “I started acting when I was 6,” says Fanning, who portrays Sara Howard, a headstrong detective struggling to be taken seriously as a woman during the 1890s, in The Alienist: Angel of Darkness, which recently wrapped season 2 on TNT.
“I was always a very imaginative child and enjoyed playing pretend. My mom saw that and, well, one thing led to another and here I am!”
Fanning recently took a quick break to talk about revisiting the past and looking towards the future.

What’s it like going back in time to play Sara?

Dakota Fanning: “It’s exciting. The costumes are a big thing. They affect everything — the way you sit, the way you get up. That restriction is a metaphor for the restrictions on women during that era.”

The tone of the show is pretty dark. What’s the vibe like on set?

“The wonderful part of this is we all get along so well. We keep things light — none of us are Method actors.”

Any notable fun moments?

“There are many. Luke [Evans] split his trousers both seasons!”

Aside from wardrobe issues, what are some of the challenges of being part of a period piece?

“There are little things, like making sure you don’t throw in anything modern. I remember in one of the scripts, Sara gives someone a thumbs-up. I was like, “Did they have the thumbs-up in 1897? When did the thumbs-up begin?”

How has Sara grown between season 1 and the second installment?

“She’s opened her own detective agency, and she’s learning more about what it means to be a woman in 1897, like the choices they were forced to make and the pressures of having a career and a family.”

So the subject matter is still pretty relevant.

“That’s something I really love about the show. It’s like an entertaining history lesson.”

What have you learned from being a part of the series?

“It’s not always easy to speak up for those who can’t use their voice, but I think Sara uses her privilege to do that. I’m proud to play a character like that and I hope to continue to implement that in my real life.”

Any word on a third season?

“There are no plans as of this moment, but I never say never to anything. I obviously care about this character and world very much.”

Pop Sugar – In our Q&A series Last Call, we get down to the bottom of every last thing with some of our favorite celebs — from the last thing they texted to the last thing they do before bed. This week, actress Dakota Fanning takes our call.
Dakota Fanning has not only starred in some of our all-time favorite films throughout the years — from Uptown Girls to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — but she’s also a children’s advocate, most recently partnering with Panda Cares to support underserved youth in health and education. Read on to learn more about Dakota as she chats about the last book she read, the last thing she took home from set, and more!
POPSUGAR: What’s the last thing you did for wellness or self-care?
Dakota: “I take a bath every night without fail. I look forward to it all day long.”

PS: What’s the last thing you texted?
Dakota: “Chatting with my best friend about her new baby, who happens to be my goddaughter!”

PS: What’s the last thing you ordered online?
Dakota: “Some new plain white tees. Can never have too many.”

PS: What’s the last thing you do before going to bed?
Dakota: “I like to fall asleep to the TV, not the best habit according to some, but I find the noise comforting. I hate being the last person to fall asleep, so I think the noise makes me feel like I have company. I pick a good show to watch and settle in.”

PS: What’s the last photo on your camera roll?
Dakota: “A picture of my aforementioned goddaughter, Poppy.”

PS: What’s the last book you read?
“I just did a surprise virtual reading of a great children’s book “All Are Welcome” for kids at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and The Boys and Girls Club of America. The surprise virtual reading was part of Panda Cares Day, where Panda Express is donating 88,000 children’s books and celebrating the opening of the eighth Panda Cares Center of Hope at C.M.N Hospitals. These centers are where kids can heal through specially curated programs, like art therapy.”

PS: What’s the last thing you took home from a set?
Dakota: “My character Sara Howard on both The Alienist and The Alienist: Angel of Darkness wears a signet ring, and I got to keep that when we finished filming last October.”

PS: What was the last song you sang in the shower?
Dakota: “I’m not a shower singer, but I am an “in the car” singer. I like to blast LCD Sound system when I’m driving.”

PS: What’s the last spontaneous thing you’ve done?
Dakota: “Quarantine has made it difficult to be spontaneous! Still contemplating a road trip of some sort. Stay tuned…”
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