Elle Fanning is opening up about how her lack of social media presence may have cost her a major movie role.
I didn’t get a part once for something big, Fanning, 25, told the Happy Sad Confused podcast Thursday. “It might not have just been this reason, but this was all the feedback that I heard — because I didn’t have enough Instagram followers at the time, Fanning added.
That was a little like, ‘OK,’ continued Fanning, who added that she “firmly” doesn’t “believe” in “ever not getting a part” because of a social media follower count. The star of The Great also talked about how doing a big franchise movie for the likes of Marvel, DC Studios, or Star Wars, can be a gamble.
It does something for people, you know. But you also don’t know if they’re gonna work sometimes, which is also scary.”
For Fanning, it’s all about finding the right balance between starring in blockbuster movies like Maleficent alongside Angelina Jolie and smaller-budget indie films.
If you want to do your indie work, especially in producing, now I realize, well, there are scripts that I want to take a chance on and produce and they’re small, but then you know you have to know, maybe it’s about the experience, Fanning said. But then … if you have the backing of knowing that you have that thing, it does make you breathe better, Fanning added.
While Fanning currently has 6.2M followers on Instagram, she once avoided social media completely.
My parents never let me have a Facebook account. I had a private Instagram, but I was always a little intimidated by it, Fanning told CMagazine of her then-social media presence in 2016. I have never had a Twitter account. People just argue on Twitter and I want to stay away,” she added. I guess I like Instagram because I am a visual person, she added.
After she made her Instagram public for her 18th birthday in April 2016, Fanning talked about how it’s important to “leave a little mystery.”
I recently turned my Instagram public on my 18th birthday, but I still don’t post everything I do, and I’m not on Twitter or Facebook, she told ELLE UK in 2017. You have to leave a little mystery. With old movie stars, all you saw were rare interviews where they only shared what they wanted to — that’s what made them so interesting. You could separate the characters from the women, so if you watch them on screen you’re not thinking about what they had for breakfast. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing, then definitely don’t do it, fanning added.
In April 2022, Fanning also got candid about the downside of social media. “I’ve felt myself going down a rabbit hole when you’re hate-scrolling and comparing yourself to people on vacation and you’re like, ‘I should be doing more!'” she told Porter magazine.