News Column

What Dakota Fanning is to Acting, Her Parents and Elder Relatives are to Sports

March 19, 2010

Rob Kuznia --

By portraying a gritty rocker in the movie "The Runaways" about the all-girl band of the same name, Dakota Fanning is defying the "sweet little kid" mold that made her famous in movies such as "I Am Sam."

Then again, the childhood star has been defying a preordained path all her life.

After all, given her family background, it's a wonder she's an actor, and not an athlete. Her mother played professional tennis, her father played minor league baseball for the Cardinals, her grandfather was a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and aunt is a former ESPN reporter.

But the 16-year-old does have some ties to athletics. Fanning, who vows not to let fame derail her from leading a normal life, still participates on the varsity cheerleading squad of her high school in North Hollywood.

As for her latest role, Fanning, who portrays rocker Cherie Currie, said she's trying to branch out.

"I'm ready to have people see me in a different way than like the kid in 'I Am Sam' or 'War of the Worlds'," she said, according to the Arizona Republic. "You have to kind of grow up. Everyone has to do it. I am doing it through films, which may be more difficult but it's what I love to do."

As for the real band, it jump-started the careers of solo artists Joan Jett and Lita Ford.

Source: (c) 2010. All rights reserved

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