'Good' pals Fanning, Olsen bare (almost) all at Sundance
05:00 AM, Jan 25, 2013
Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen make an instant splash in their new film Very Good Girls.
The two young stars play best friends whose characters open with an immediate dare in the film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week. They strip to their birthday suits and take a joyously nude splash in the waters off New York’s Coney Island in front of surprised beachgoers.
“It was hilarious, there were normal beach-goers there,” says Fanning, 18, speaking at the Fresh Faces of Sundance brunch on Wednesday. “As an actor you can’t have pride or vanity in movies. You’re kind of letting it all hang out.”
Well, not entirely. Olsen, 23, points out there were stand-ins for a key shot of the two running into the water.
“I didn’t run naked,” she says with a laugh. “We had nicer butts running for us. It was not me.”
The scene of them swimming is very much the two actresses not only portraying their own characters, but also their real-life friendship as well.
“Being in the water was really sort of Lizzie and Dakota being crazy together,” says Fanning. “Lizzie hates the oceans and the waves just as her character says. And I was having the best time.”
The scene also sets the tone for this gem of a film about true, young friendship from Oscar-nominated screenwriter and first-time director Naomi Foner (who also happens to be the mother of Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal).
The two play best friends who make a pact to lose their virginity in the summer before going off to college, but wind up falling for the same guy (Boyd Holbrook). They stumble in the way they handle the problem, but do their best to be loyal despite the conflict.
The lack of movies depicting female friendship in that manner drew both actresses to the film.
“It’s either really catty or The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants two opposites, and there is no reality in those,” says Olsen. “I’ve had the same friends and girlfriends since preschool and even some through high school. They are my family. I don’t know why young woman are not portrayed like that in films.”
“The girl code we see is never really explored,” adds Fanning. “It’s important to look at the way girls interact and show they are friends with each other in a real way.”
While Dakota’s character is a little quieter than the real-life version, Olsen says what you see onscreen with the friendship is what you actually get in real life.
“I’m kind of a fool. Dakota is kind of a fool, though in the movie she’s less so,” says Olsen. “We’re sort of idiots together.”