Dakota Fanning can’t believe the amount of time it has taken to get The Bell Jar into production.
The actress is currently producing and starring as Esther Greenwood in a movie adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s famous novel, which was first published in 1963.
The Bell Jar documents the descent into mental illness experienced by Esther, which may parallel Sylvia’s own experiences, as she died by suicide a month after its first U.K. release.
Dakota, 22, hopes taking on such a serious project, to be directed by Kirsten Dunst, will help dispel the difference in genders in the industry, such as pay, as it’s something she feels still hasn’t been cracked.
“It has taken such a long time to get it made, and having to explain why it would be interesting... it’s like, I don’t even know how to answer that question. It’s The Bell Jar - what are you talking about? Why would it not be?” she bemoaned to Elle Canada.
“I hate having to explain why it’s important to make films about women. I’ve experienced a little of that, and I’m sure things that I don’t even know about have happened to me. I remember realizing that being a girl meant a different thing than being a boy, and I wasn’t raised like that.”
Dakota has a string of movies coming out within the next 12 months, including American Pastoral. Directed by Ewan McGregor and based on a novel by Philip Roth, she plays a young woman who blows up a post office in the 1960s with political motives. Dakota insists her alter ego isn’t a terrorist though, dubbing her character Merry to be a “radical” who is “flawed”.
“It’s set when the Vietnam War was the biggest topic, and everyone, young people especially, felt like they had to do something to make their voice heard. I’d like to call her more than that word,” she explained.