The Beguiled: Colin Farrell has his eye on Elle Fanning in new photo
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Elle Fanning may look like the picture of Southern gentility in this summer’s lavish gothic thriller The Beguiled, but there’s some wickedness lurking under those blond curls and pink ruffles. And no one is more thrilled about Fanning’s dark turn than writer-director Sofia Coppola.
“She’s always wanted to make me the bad girl,” says Fanning, who starred in Coppola’s Somewhere at age 12. “She was so excited, like, ‘You get to be the naughty one!’”
Fanning’s bad girl is Alicia, one of five young students at the Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies. It’s 1864 in Virginia, and as the Civil War rages, the girls and their two teachers (Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman) have holed up in their stately but dilapidated school. Their isolation is interrupted by the arrival of a wounded Union soldier named John (Colin Farrell), sparking a twisty tale of jealousy, lust, and dread. “It feels like this eerie pressure cooker that could explode at any moment,” Dunst says.
The women welcome John with real country hospitality, throwing a dinner party as elegant as they can muster and trading faded floral day dresses for their best silk gowns. “There’s something very feminine about this world, and you have this man penetrating the enclosure,” says cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster). “So [the look of that scene] was trying to get that dramatic effect between something very dark and something very soft and very feminine.” After dinner, John and Alicia find themselves alone in the candlelit parlor.
“She plays the innocent, but she’s really not,” Fanning says. “She’s a little coy, but in the script that scene was described as ‘He looks at her like a wolf.’” Beware, John: She’s no sheep.
The Beguiled arrives in theaters June 23. Take a look at two more exclusive images from the film above.