Before Hulu’s series The Great was released in May 2020, DuJour and Jason Binn spoke to actress Elle Fanning for our summer 2020 issue. The starlet was in a unique position given the pandemic being in full swing and so much uncertainty surrounding the future of film and television. Fanning had been planning on traveling to Budapest in March to start filming The Nightingale alongside her sister Dakota Fanning (another past DuJour cover star), but shooting was postponed due to COVID-19. “We’ve dreamed of this for a long time, and we talked for a while about what project could get us together,” Fanning says, adding that she hopes they will star in The Nightingale at some point in the future.
While The Nightingale was postponed, The Great (starring Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox) was released to great acclaim and renewed for a second season. Fanning’s portrayal of Catherine the Great is dark and cheeky while offering a powerful point of view. Fanning told Vanity Fair that she considers this role to be her “first woman role.” She added that because she has been acting since she was two, she was eager to transition to adult roles. “I’m excited that maybe now, others will observe me,” she says to VF.
Although audiences definitely tuned in to observe Fanning act in The Great, Fanning told DuJour that while filming the show, life ended up imitating art for the young actress. “As Catherine is gaining her voice on The Great, I was gaining mine,” she told DuJour. Fanning used her voice recently with a fearless Instagram post showcasing her natural complexion–sans makeup–and an eczema flare-up. Her flare-up could be disguised as pink eyeshadow, as Fanning suggested through her caption.
Responses to Fanning’s unfiltered post came flooding in. Actress Naomi Scott responded, “Can relate.” Rachel Brosnahan responded, “I feel seen.” Fanning’s voice unified nearly 800,000 Instagram accounts and showed off how to embrace your skin, with pink eyeshadow or not.