Evoking public amazement with her incredible acting skills, Hannah Dakota Fanning has truly established herself as the most popular child actress in the Hollywood film industry. Four awards and seven nominations she had received so far have proven that she is indeed worthy to deserve the title. It is likely because of her immense love to acting that she is always able to give brilliant performances in each movie she starred in. This infatuation has grown at her very young age, looking upon her interest to conduct some role-plays repeatedly at home. I've always played the mom and I play my sister as the daughter, she admitted. I wanted to be an actress on television and movies instead of just around the house.
Realizing Dakota's enthusiasm to act, her parents, Steve and Joy Fanning, brought her to a playhouse near their residence where she could perform every week with other children in front of the parents. The playhouse's instructors quickly spotted her talent, thus advised her parents to put her in an agency. The agent later suggested the family to look for an opportunity in L.A. to develop Dakota's potentiality. A promising chance approached in 1999 as this charming little girl surprisingly was selected out of thousands to be in Tide dishwashing liquid commercial. Born on February 23, 1994 in Conyers, Georgia, she was barely five years old at that time. By the following year, she had performed in an episode of the notable TV series, such as ER, Ally McBeal, and CSI.
In order to support Dakota's career, Steve and Joy decided to settle in Los Angeles while also signed her with a professional agency. In 2001, she made her big screen debut in a comedy flick entitled Tomcats (2001). However, it was through I am Sam (2001) that she successfully drew public attention with her magnificent acting. Portraying the daughter of a mentally retarded man played by Sean Penn, she received positive responses from both critics and the audience. Furthermore, this led her to gain a nomination of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role at Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2002. It created sensation for the eight-years-old actress became the youngest person to obtain such achievement.
This early attainment undoubtedly boosted Dakota's career as she was involved in more film projects in 2002. She appeared in Trapped, alongside Charlize Theron and Kevin Bacon, then starred in a romantic comedy movie, Sweet Home Alabama which was one of the box-office hits of the year. Her star shone more radiantly when she was included in the cast of Taken, a TV mini-series created by the prominent director of Hollywood, Steven Spielberg. She afterwards showed up in The Cat in the Hat and Uptown Girls in the following year. Brittany Murphy, her co-star in the latter one, genuinely gave a high praise toward her. Extremely wise, and so bright, sharp, and intelligent. She's just one of the greatest, most balanced, grounded humans I've ever met in my entire life.
Dakota once more received critical acclaim for her role in Tony Scott's Man on Fire (2004). She made an excellent performance as Pita Ramos, a rich girl who is abducted and later is saved by a retired assassin worked as her bodyguard played by Denzel Washington. She continued to exhibit her top-notch acting consistently in Hide and Seek (2005) as well as in the summer blockbuster movie of Spielberg entitled War of the Worlds (2005). Her other film projects in 2005 were "Nine Lives" and Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, together with Kurt Russell, Elisabeth Shue, and Kris Kristofferson. Still in the same year, she also contributed her sweet voice to direct-to-video feature Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch followed by My Neighbor Totoro, a 1988 Japanese animated feature released in U.S. on DVD in March 2006 by Disney.
Getting extremely busy with her activities in acting does not cause Dakota abandoned her study. Being home-schooled, she always has her tutor around in all the film sets she starred so that she could learn everything she needs to know. Acting is what I love to do, she commented. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I don't think of it as work. It's really fun for me. And home-schooling works out perfectly. Fixed on this decision, the girl cheerfully kept moving on to maintain her path in the show business, appearing in Charlotte's Web (2006) then Hounddog (2007), which ignited a spark of controversy due to a scene depicting her character gets raped. Nevertheless, she went unaffected to afterwards star in Winged Creatures (2008), Hurricane Mary (2008), and The Secret Life of Bees (2009) while once again lending her voice, this time to Focus Features' animated flick Coraline.