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Old 07-21-2006, 08:16 AM   #1
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Dakota Fanning To Play Rape Scene

I understand of course that so many 12 year old girls are raped and THAT is the biggest tragedy and the important thing to get upset about. But is is appropriate for a 12 year old to be in an explicit scene like that? Obviously we haven't seen it but the description sounds like it is explicit. Also the nudity. The Oscar thing bothers me too- I'm sure her mother would never want to do anything that could be potentially harmful to her, but still it makes me wonder. She is a very mature 12 year old but she is still just a 12 year old. My instinct is that she be protected until she is older, just like it is to protect all young girls from rape and other harmful things. They were talking about this on CNN last night and wondering if such a scene is potentially psychologically harmful to a child actor.

It is an indie film, I can't imagine mainstream Hollywood ever making a film with that content.

NY Daily News

"Cute-as-a-button child star Dakota Fanning, who turned 12 in February, is venturing into sexually disturbing territory in a movie being filmed in North Carolina.

The screenplay for "Hounddog" - a dark story of abuse, violence and Elvis Presley adulation in the rural South, written and directed by Deborah Kampmeier - calls for Fanning's character to be raped in one explicit scene and to appear naked or clad only in "underpants" in several other horrifying moments.

Fanning's mother, Joy, and her Hollywood agent, Cindy Osbrink, see the movie as a possible Oscar vehicle for the pint-size star. But despite Fanning's status as a bankable actress - whose movies, including last year's "War of the Worlds," have earned more than half a billion dollars since 2001 - the alarming material seems to have scared off potential investors from the under-$5 million indie project.

"The two taboos in Hollywood are child abuse and the killing of animals," a source close to the situation told me. "In this movie, both things happen."

Fanning's carefully choreographed rape scene has already been filmed. But then the production - which also stars Robin Wright Penn, David Morse and Piper Laurie - was shut down for lack of funds. Penn, who's also an executive producer, gave a pep talk to the dispirited cast in the days leading up to the shutdown. The desperate producer, Jen Gatien, daughter of former club czar Peter Gatien, sent out an SOS to New York entertainment entrepreneur Lawrence Robins. Robins located emergency investors, filming resumed, and the movie is scheduled to wrap tomorrow.

"The subject matter is very tough," Robins told me, "but I was attracted to it because in the end it's a story about human understanding, about a little girl who's dealt a very bad deck of cards, but finds solace in the music of Elvis and survives."

The script requires the preteen actress to confront tougher challenges than Brooke Shields and Jodie Foster did when, at Fanning's age, they played child prostitutes.

"It's not just the rape scene - the whole story is challenging Dakota as an actress," Fanning's longtime agent, Osbrink, told me. "And I've never been so proud of her in my life. I've seen the dailies, and in every scene she gets better and better."
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:20 AM   #2
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I'm sure that she and her parents are involved to ensure that it remains within her comfort zone.

Secondly, I will tell you that most of the power of a scene is in the editing, not the filming. Behind-the-scenes, I would not doubt that it would seem as "ordinary" as any other preposterous scene that we'd see in any film or TV show.

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Old 07-21-2006, 09:46 AM   #3
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the transcript from the CNN discussion

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIP...20/sbt.01.html

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Thank you.

ANNE HENRY, CO-FOUNDER, BIZPARENTZ.COM: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Of course, Marc, I want to begin with you.

When you first heard about Dakota Fanning`s role in this movie, what was your reaction? What did you think?

KLAAS: Well, when I first heard about it I was absolutely horrified, but on reflection, one has to understand that what`s depicted on the screen is not what occurs in the movie studio. And she`s being surrounded by very responsible, well-respected people in the industry. So I have to believe that those collective judgments are enough to protect this child and ensure that this isn`t about exploitation.

ANDERSON: Now, Anne, you`ve been on Internet message boards, forums for parents with child actors, discussing this very role Dakota Fanning has in "Hounddog."

What are people in the message boards saying about this?

HENRY: Well, I think the reaction was mixed. First of all, they understood that Dakota can pull off roles that many child actors can`t. She has quite a power in Hollywood, and because of her body of work previously, she can get away with that edgy stuff, a role that the rest of us might be a little too attached to for the rest of our lives. She can get away with trying something edgy, and if it works great, and if it doesn`t, great.

The concern was for the roles around her, the younger girl and the boy in the film, that most parents were actually auditioning for and going through the prospect. And most everyone I know turned down the audition, and several people turned down the role, even though it was offered to them, because they just didn`t want to be involved with something quite this far gone.

"And Anne, you`re a mother. You actually have kids who are actors. You say that more than ever, you turn down roles because of the subject matter. Now, Dakota`s mom says this role isn`t bad for Dakota, it simply challenges her as an actress.

What do you say to that?

HENRY: Well, I think that is the only person who gets to make that judgment, is Dakota`s mom. It is very individual. And that`s some of the things you will see on Internet message boards for parents, discussing whether their child can handle this, whether their child is ready, whether this would have lasting effects on their child, and where they are in their career.

So it`s a very individual decision. And yes, the roles are getting edgier. Hollywood is pushing the envelope more and more every day, and I probably turned down more auditions for my kids in the last six months than I have in the last 10 years combined.

ANDERSON: Would you let your kids take a role like this?

HENRY: No. Actually, I didn`t. But I can`t -- my kids aren`t Dakota. I don`t have that power that she has.

She has some advantages. She has, as we said earlier, a good surrounding family that can protect her from some things, but she also has a place in the industry. If she felt something was unsafe on set or was not being shot in the way she liked, maybe she can walk away."



cnn.com poll

http://www.cnn.com/POLLSERVER/result...9.exclude.html
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:58 AM   #4
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I think it's a horrible idea. I wouldn't let my daughter play that role.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
I think it's a horrible idea. I wouldn't let my daughter play that role.
I absolutely agree.

This story is disturbing beyond measure. Who would film such a thing? Or want to?

I didn't think 12 year old could legally make such a movie.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
I didn't think 12 year old could legally make such a movie.



there are all sorts of laws regarding minors working in films, but subject matter is not one of them, that would remain the judgement of the parents who should be onset for the entire druation of filming, particularly such an emotionally charged scene like that.

as Melon said, it's the editing that will make it disturbing, not the actual filming (indeed, many great film performances are due to the editors and not the actors), so i wouldn't worry too much about Ms. Fanning being too traumatized by the subject matter. if handled appropriately, there's no reason an 11 year old can't intellectually understand that she is *acting* out a scene, and i'm sure most 11 or 12 year olds are well aware that rape exists in the world, and that sometimes children are the victims of this, and that by playing the role of a rape victim she might help other victims.

finally, i'm quite hesitatant to think that there are some subjects that should be taboo for filmmakers to tackle. this sounds like a true indie movie with loads of integrity, not a mega-budget money-making vehicle. i would trust a smaller, script-based film to handle such a disturbing subject with tact and sensitivity while neither exploiting the subject or minimizing it's impact on the audience.

for all the crap we toss at Hollywood, and some of it is deserved, let's not forget that this industry has often tackled issues well before mainstream American was ready, films like "guess who's coming to dinner" to "philadelphia" to "roger and me" to "do the right thing" to "silkwood" to "one flew over the cuckoo's nest" all deserve a rightful place as having advanced public dialogue about their respective social issues.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:54 AM   #7
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Babe, it must be art"
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:07 AM   #8
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I agree with Irvine and melon. Editing is everything. I'm thinking of the incredible film "Mysterious Skin" which dealt with a similar subject.

I think Robin Wright Penn is fantastic, btw.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:11 AM   #9
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The whole idea of showing this type of scene in a movie is disturbing. Next thing you know, the ages will get younger and the crimes depicted more disturbing....all in the name of art. I will never understand the argument that since these type of things happen we need to show them on the screen.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
I didn't think 12 year old could legally make such a movie.
Irvine identifies many of the reasons this is legally possible.

The reputation enhancement and $$$ don't hurt either.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:19 AM   #11
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..and this is to be released as "entertainment"?


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Old 07-21-2006, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by SunBloc
..and this is to be released as "entertainment"?


can't we distinguish between something that's meant to be a pure entertainment -- like this "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie i keep hearing about but have NO interest in seeing -- and something that's meant to be a provocative work of art with a disturbing scene, like, say, the rape scene in "Boys Don't Cry"?

sometimes, movies can be more than popcorn fodder, and not everyone goes to the movies simply to have their brains numbed.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The reputation enhancement and $$$ don't hurt either.


this is the one thing that does bother me, though if the film is being made for less than $5m, i'm sure Ms. Fanning is working for less than her usual asking price (this isn't "war of the worlds").

i hope the thinking isn't, "they'll toss an Oscar at any kid who gets raped on screen" similar to lines about how they toss Oscars at any documentary that has to do with the Holocaust or to any actor who loses or gains a tremendous amount of weight or bravely "de-glams" themselves with prosthetic noses or whatever.

of course, all are huge simplifications, and ultimately, what the Oscars do is help Hollywood present itself to the world. sometimes, deserving films and people win, and sometimes not.

but that thinking is in the minds of agents and, sadly, parents, and the film and the filmmakers hold no responsibility for such an attitude.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




can't we distinguish between something that's meant to be a pure entertainment -- like this "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie i keep hearing about but have NO interest in seeing -- and something that's meant to be a provocative work of art with a disturbing scene, like, say, the rape scene in "Boys Don't Cry"?

sometimes, movies can be more than popcorn fodder, and not everyone goes to the movies simply to have their brains numbed.
Not to mention that there are many people who have had these kinds of experiences in life who have never really dealt with the pain of it and could be helped.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by SunBloc
..and this is to be released as "entertainment"?


Well, I feel like every fifth movie or TV show I see these days has some depiction of rape, or other sexual assault or violence.

Sounds to me like this movie is actually telling a story, making a point, making people thinkg, rather than throwing in gratuitous voilence and degrading sexual content for shock value.

That said, I'd be uncomfortable if she were my child, but like melon said, we're not her parents and we don't know what the scene looked like as it was filmed.
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