Elle Fanning paid a visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night (April 4). The actress talked about the making of her upcoming musical drama, Teen Spirit, and showed off her speed lip syncing chops.
Fanning stars in the music-driven film (out April 12), which follows the story of a girl who auditions for a singing competition in the hopes of escaping her dreary hometown. Fanning covers some of pop’s biggest hits, such as Annie Lennox’s “Little Bird,” Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” and Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” throughout the movie.
Wearing a long silky dress with a Marilyn Monroe portrait print, the actress talked about shooting a music video for the first time for the film’s original song, “Wild Flowers,” which was written by Jack Antonoff and Carly Rae Jepsen. She then explained how she had to learn a trade-secret: speed lip syncing.
“Apparently all the pop artists and I guess every musician, speed [the song] up because if they wanna shoot in slow motion, they have to speed up the lyrics that you mouth to and you have to mouth the lyrics super super super fast, like Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks-style,” she said.
This led host Jimmy Fallon to introduce a “Speed Singing” segment, in which they both gave quick and silly performances of current hits to later play back in slow motion. Fanning began with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” and Fallon followed up with the Jonas Brother’s “Sucker.”
The best rendition, though, was when the duo stood up and did their best Ariana Grande impression for “7 Rings.”
Fanning also mentioned that she was once in a singing group called “The Madrigals” in the fourth grade. She gave an anecdote about an “All I Want for Christmas” solo she was scared to perform because of a “school crush.” “I was really working on it and really belting it out, and then his feedback — apparently he told his friends, that I was too loud and it was too powerful,” she laughed.
Fanning also talked about her upcoming 21st birthday, and how she’s looking forward to celebrating in Las Vegas with sister and actress, Dakota Fanning, and her mom.
Check out the clips of Fanning on The Tonight Show below.