Dakota Fanning Raps About Rape

Dakota Fanning has made a career out of playing wise-beyond-their years characters. It’s not surprising that she’s taking the controversy over her recent film Hounddog in stride.

The film raised eyebrows when it was reported that Fanning, 12 at the time, filmed a rape scene for the Deborah Kampmeier-directed flick, without the use of a body double. Activists even launched a petition to have Fanning’s mother, Joy, brought up on child-pornography charges.

But Fanning, now 14, tells British newspaper the Telegraph that the wailing and gnashing of teeth were unwarranted.

“It’s a movie and it’s called acting,” Fanning counters. “What drew me to it was that my character shows people that you can overcome adversity in life and it doesn’t define you…just because something terrible happened to [Fanning’s character] doesn’t mean that she can’t have a great life. I wanted to do the film because I thought it might help one person that has happened to and help them overcome adversity in their lives.”

In the film, Fanning plays Lewellen, a 14-year-old girl who is raped but finds solace and strength in the music of Elvis Presley.

The brouhaha was hyped out of proportion upon the film’s September release. Back then, a certain blogger reported that the movie had been yanked from more than 5,000 AMC theaters—a claim that proved to be an extreme mathematical improbability.