Elle Fanning Says Watching Taylor Swift & Kanye West Performances Helped Prepare Her For 'Teen Spirit' Role

Ahead of the April release of the new film Teen Spirit, star Elle Fanning sat down with Billboard to discuss her lifelong dream of being in a musical and how she prepared for taking on the role of aspiring pop star Violet Valenski.

“I've always wanted to do a musical,” Fanning tells Billboard. “I've always wanted to sing, because people don't know that I can, so I wanted to surprise people with that.”

The actress reveals that as soon as she landed the part, she began rehearsing immediately and that, despite the fact that it was very demanding, she ultimately had a great time doing so.

Fanning spend three months working with the film’s musical supervisor Marius de Vries (Romeo + Juliette, La La Land), who she calls “such a kook,” adding that they had the “best time together.”

“I owe him everything for getting me prepared for [the role],” Fanning confesses. She also divulges that she spent time watching and studying performances by the likes of “pop icons” Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Kanye West, as well as a lot of Robyn’s music videos.

“The way they perform is so polished and particular,” Fanning explains. “Also my character Violet looks up to all those pop idols so that's who she would be watching and trying emulate.”

In the interview, Fanning also admits that while she did not have any reservations about being in Teen Spirit, she knew that it would be a big challenge to sing songs that everyone knows. “They're covers of big pop songs, so I was really scared to get those wrong because people love them so much and also hear them on the radio all the time,” she says. “So I wanted to not butcher them, basically.”

You can check out the full video interview with Elle Fanning above to hear much more about her experience filming Teen Spirit and to hear how her ballet training helped her master the movements needed for the role.