Dakota Fanning has been in the film industry since she was 6 years old, but the young actress will take on her first adult role in the upcoming period drama, "Effie."
The film, which is slated for release in June 2012, follows the disastrous marriage between 19th-century art critic John Ruskin and his young bride Effie Gray. The tumultuous union ended after Effie fell madly in love with young artist John Everett Millais.
"It's the ultimate bad marriage," Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, who wrote the screenplay, told the Associated Press. "It happens to be a costume drama, but you could be doing a story with this kind of complexity and oddness in any period."
Ruskin married Gray in 1848, when he was 29 and she was 19 and according to historians, on their wedding night, something about his bride horrified Ruskin and the union was not consummated. Ruskin claimed it was her personality, but Gray wrote that her husband "had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was."
"We're talking about a girl who is objectified, and then disappoints a man by being real," director Richard Laxton said. "If that isn't relevant, I don't know what is."
At the time, divorce was illegal and so Gray suffered through the marriage until she fell in love with Millais, who was part of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood - a group of painters whose boldness shocked the Victorian art world.
Gray was granted an annulment of the marriage, due to her husband's "incurable impotency" and went on to marry Millais and have eight children. But due to the controversy, Gray was barred from events attended by Queen Victoria and ostracized by many society members.
"It's about her journey back to becoming a whole self again," Fanning said of the role. "She's such a strong woman -- and such a modern woman for the time in which she lived."
17-year-old Fanning might be ready to take on more adult roles, but some aren't prepared to see the actress in a new light. Fanning's recent Marc Jacobs ad for his fragrance Oh Lola! was banned in the United Kingdom, over claims that it "could be seen to sexualize a child."
Fanning has also sparked controversy for appearing on the February cover of Cosmopolitan magazine, alongside headlines like "His Best Sex Ever" and "Too Naughty To Say Here."
Fanning, who turns 18 next month, appears in the cover story entitled "Welcome to Your Cosmo Years, Dakota," which tracks the young stars evolution to womanhood.
She is enrolled at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, a college spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com on Thursday, August 25.
The Georgia native rose to fame as a child actress when she appeared alongside Sean Penn in the 2001 movie "I Am Sam."
In 2002, she starred in the romantic comedy "Sweet Home Alabama," which featured Reese Witherspoon in the main role, and played Allie Keys in the mini-series "Taken" in 2002. Fanning starred in the 2005 reboot of "War of the Worlds" with Tom Cruise and in the 2006 film "Charlotte's Web." In 2009, Fanning starred in the movie "Push" and played the vampire Jane in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," the second film in the hit series starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.
In 2010, Fanning co-starred with Stewart in the music biopic "The Runaways" and reprised her role in the third "Twilight" movie, "Eclipse." Fanning plays the same part in the fourth and final installment, the two-part "Breaking Dawn." Part 2 is set for release on November 16, 2012.
Fanning recently filmed the independent film "Now Is Good" and has several more movies in the works - "Effie," "Mississippi Wild" with Mickey Rourke and "Very Good Girls" with Dustin Hoffman." All films are due out in 2012.