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If Maleficent has long been a symbol of the dark feminine, the character Aurora has always symbolized the light and innocent. In casting the role of the Princess who falls under Maleficent’s spell, the filmmakers of Walt Disney Pictures' “Maleficent” chose one of the most talented actresses of her generation, Elle Fanning.
“Elle is Aurora,” comments Angelina Jolie, who plays the title character. “From the moment I met her, she is just sunshine. She’s a wonderful, sweet, intelligent young woman.”
“Elle is fantastic and I have nothing but the highest respect for her,” adds her director, Robert Stromberg. “She’s not only beautiful but she’s a tremendous actress; she’s going to be doing wonderful things in the future and she’s a pleasure to work with on the set. She just brings a smile to everyone.”
“Maleficent” explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.
For Fanning, winning this role was a dream come true. “It’s been sort of everything that I dreamed of,” says the young actress. “I think from the moment of putting on her first outfit, getting the hair and everything, it’s been really special to get to play such an iconic character.”
Although most people know Aurora as Sleeping Beauty from Disney’s classic animated film of the same name, Fanning reveals that in “Maleficent” audiences will get to find out more about her. “In our film you get to see her have different emotions and really get the essence of her,” says Fanning. “I love how she’s very free spirited, and since she has been kept away from normal life, she’s very open to things and innocent. But that’s what makes her very likable and charming.”
Fanning approached playing the beloved fairytale character with the feeling that she wanted to do her justice and find her persona. “Before we started filming the movie, I watched the animated movie again, just to see if I could pick up on any little mannerisms that she did while she’s in the forest, and when she brought those little princess elements,” informs Fanning. “I wanted to make her have those elements but also make her a real person, not just an animated character.”
Having the opportunity to work with Angelina Jolie on the film was exciting for the teenager. “It’s really been amazing,” enthuses Fanning. “I remember meeting her for the first time in London. I had never met her before, and she gave me a big hug. She said we were just going to have so much fun together. And we did have a lot of fun. It’s been great.”
Opening across the Philippines on May 28, 2014, “Maleficient” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.