Dakota Fanning: Rape Is Relative

Child actress Dakota Fanning has long been admired for her almost supernatural ability to play a character distressed beyond her years.

How in God’s name did such a young and seemingly frail performer master the levels of hysteria and anxiety displayed by Dakota in War of the Worlds and Man on Fire?

The girl was hailed as nothing short of a phenomenon.

Still, when word leaked in 2006 that Fanning had taken the part of a girl raped on-camera in the movie Hounddog, the public blanched. After all, the actress was 12-years-old during filming.

According to an interview with the film’s director, Deborah Kampmeier, in the New York Times, petitions were circulated demanding that Dakota’s mother Joy be jailed for child pornography, although the film was still sight unseen.

The movie has had a rocky road to the big screen. A rough cut was booed at press screenings at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival; a final edit of the picture will open on 22 screens nationwide September 19.

Whatever the results, Hounddog has already scored two thumbs up for controversy.