The Maleficent star and fashion darling on beauty and style

At 21 years old, actress Elle Fanning has an impressive list of credits under her belt. Appearing on the silver screen at just three years old, she most recently stole our hearts as Princess Aurora in Disney sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, a character she first portrayed at 16.

Outside of the cinema, the Hollywood princess have also had an affinity for fashion and beauty—specifically with Italian fashion house Miu Miu, for which Elle made her runway debut at Paris Fashion Week last year. Now, the long-time friend of Miu Miu is also the face of the house’s latest fragrance, the Miu Miu Twist. The campaign, released earlier this year, saw Elle hopping from one set to another, being her quirky self as she amuses herself with puns related to Miu Miu.

We catch up with the starlet to talk about being a muse, her relationship with sister Dakota Fanning, and the best advice that Angelina Jolie has given her.

Tatler Asia

How does it feel to be the face of Miu Miu Twist and what do you enjoy most about it?

Elle Fanning (EF) I did my first fashion campaign with Miu Miu when I was 14 years old. Now I'm 21, and I am so happy that I get to be a part of it still. Growing up with the brand and knowing everyone, I feel like Miu Miu is a big family to me. It was also the first fashion house that I could relate to from an early age. It is girly and feminine, but also has this offbeat quirkiness to it.

Mrs Prada is someone who loves movies a lot, so as an actress I always feel like we’re creating a character with each campaign we did, especially with the perfume campaigns.

Who is the Miu Miu girl and what qualities do you share?

EF I think she's very feminine and elegant but also has an edge to her, so it’s not just all sweet—there is a little twist you could say. [laughs] I think I share that quality because I’m someone who is super girly. There is also a real strength to the Miu Miu girl that is very modern and effortless.

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What is your beauty philosophy?

EF I think it is staying true to myself always. This is something I learned from my grandmother and my mother from a young age. When I look at beauty and fashion it's like, you can experiment and be creative with it, but you have to be comfortable in what you're wearing. It is an extension of who you are, and it's a creative outlet.

Which is your favourite type of fragrance?

EF I like a mix of floral and fresh—the perfect twist.

You and your sister Dakota are very close. How do you think she influenced your style growing up?

EF I would go into her closet and steal a lot of her clothes growing up, and I would get in trouble for that. Obviously, she’s my big sister so I learned everything from her. I wanted to emulate everything she did, but funny enough, I think our styles are pretty different.

Your pre-red carpet beauty routine?

EF I try to do masks and get my nails done—you know, kind of get pampered a little bit. But I think rest is the most important because the events sometimes last a long time. Try to get sleep the night before and drink a lot of water.

A beauty or style faux pas you would never commit again?

EF I don't think I really have any regrets with my style choices, because when I look back I'm like, “Oh, that's what I wanted to wear at that moment”, and I was really going for it. I respect them all, I think. No regrets.

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The best advice your Maleficent co-star Angelina Jolie has given you is…

EF Don't be afraid to say you don't know the answer. There's this pressure at a younger age to know all the answers to everything, but because you're still learning and you might not know your opinion yet, so it's ok to say that you don't know, especially in interviews. That was one of the advice that she gave me and it was really great to hear that.

What has been keeping you busy after promoting Maleficent: Mistress of Evil?

EF Well, this! [laughs] I'm in London now for six months filming a drama called The Great, where I play Catherine the Great who was the Empress of Russia, so there are lots of corsets and big dresses for the filming of the show. It is written by the writer of The Favourite, so it's kind of a dark comedy set in Russia a long time ago.

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