Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio may have walked away with all the praise for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but the feature is filled to the brim with talented actors bringing their A-game to a Quentin Tarantino movie. One such actress was Dakota Fanning, who appeared as Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme in the film. The actress spoke to Collider about her long-cherished dream of working with Tarantino that was finally realized on the sets of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
"A huge dream of mine was to work with Quentin Tarantino. I wanted that since I saw Kill Bill for the first time. And so having that sort of come true was a moment of this weird relief, you know what I mean? It was just one of those moments that was so exciting, and then being on that set, I was there for almost three weeks to do my part because he has that luxury of time to really put into each vignette that makes up his films."
"It just reminded me of why I love being an actor and why this is what I want to do, and that there's no better adrenalin rush than being on a set with a director that you admire and a cinematographer that you admire and an actor that you admire, and just every piece of the puzzle is so extraordinary and so larger than life."
"And also very intimate and very much about, 'We're making a movie,' and, 'It's a beautiful day to make a movie!' Quentin, his sort of childlike love, just genuine love of film and television just comes through in any conversation that I think anyone could ever have with him and it just rubs off on everybody on the set, and so it really was a moment of just remembering why this is what I've chosen to do with my life and that I do love it!"
As it turned, the beginning of the shooting experience was quite easy to get through, as Dakota Fanning had no lines and had to let the camera do most of the work.
"It was very luxurious to be able to film that sequence in order. So the first thing that I filmed was literally the shot of me appearing behind the screen door and the sun rising over my face, and that was kind of my first thing. So that was good because I didn't have to say any lines yet. [Laughs] You know, it was kind of more of a physicality thing, the camera was kind of far away. I was like, 'Okay, we're easing our way into this close-up shot of my eyes. We're easing me into it a bit.'"
"It was interesting though because I did feel like the red hair and the brown contact lenses and the sort of freckled make-up and the dirt and everything was almost like a shield. I didn't feel like myself; I really did feel like another character. And she is such a wild-eyed could do or say anything character that I felt empowered by that."
Being aware that she was working with some of the most critically acclaimed professionals in the film industry was naturally an intimidating thought to have in mind while trying to act, but Fanning credits Tarantino with making the huge set seem like an intimate gathering of like-minded individuals.
"I was definitely nervous but again, even though it is a larger than life experience, Quentin really makes it very special and very intimate. He's right there behind the camera and he's worked with so many of the same people over and over again, which I also think is something that I've noticed that most of the greats do; they keep their crew very close and they're all very loyal to one another and I think that's really beautiful and seeing that camaraderie up close was really incredible and it made for a very safe environment."
These quotes originated at Collider.