Dakota Fanning
Dakota Fanning

Former child-actor prodigy Dakota Fanning has gone from starring in films to critiquing them. 

The current NYU student, who's a women's studies major with an emphasis on studying "the portrayal of women in film and culture," recently told The Daily Beast: 

"It's rare to see women in a film who are not somehow validated by a male, or discussing a male, or heartbroken by a male, or end up being happy because of a male. It's interesting to think about, and it's very true. Of course men are a part of women's lives, and that's fine, but it's important to see strong, independent women who are making their own choices and aren't completely at the mercy of men."

The ever-busy Fanning, who has mostly ditched the wide-eyed ingenue and nice-girlfriend roles the studios have to offer for indie fare, will play a slew of interesting female characters in upcoming films (some directed by women filmmakers). 

Next up for her is Dena, the rich girl-turned-radical environmentalist in Kelly Reichardt's eco-thriller Night Moves, out today. Fanning will also play a baby-kidnapper in Amy Berg's thriller Every Secret Thing and has been announced to play the lead in the adaptation of Susannah Cahalan's mental-illness memoir Brain on Fire.

[h/t The Daily Beast]