Elle Fanning Talks Acting Strategy And Her Ryan Gosling Crush

It’s a well-known law of the universe that, at any given time, there must be a young actress from the Fanning family available to knock our socks off in big Hollywood movies and look fantastic in teen fashion mags—and now that Dakota is coming up on legal adulthood, it’s time for sister Elle Fanning to take a place in the spotlight. And look, here she is! Looking lovely on the cover of February’s Teen Vogue!

Elle is currently starring in the holiday feel-good film “We Bought a Zoo,” and in her interview, she talks about her approach to acting, what it’s like to follow in her big sister’s footsteps and how she handles suddenly starring alongside Hollywood’s A-list in feature films.

The first thing to remember: At 13, Elle is still in the making-movies-after-school part of her career. And with her typical teenager’s lack of major life experience, she’s not afraid to point out that her acting is really, y’know, acting.

“I never really pull from experience. I just sort of make believe,” she explained. “That’s why I like acting. You can create or imagine anything.” (Although it doesn’t sound like she had to play pretend for her most recent role, which had just the teensiest element of romance in it; she pointed out, “It’s not like I’ve fallen in love, but I’ve had crushes and things.”)

Still, despite sharing the maturity and cool head that made big sister Dakota such a hit in Hollywood, that didn’t stop Elle from being briefly star struck at the outset of her forays into feature film making. “I always feel like they’re just a name,” she said of the major actors she’s worked with. “Like they’re not real at first. Then once you get to know them, you’re like, That’s Scarlett and Matt! It’s not, like, Matt Damon.”

But despite being a Fanning, she’s not superhuman. The proof? She’s got a crush…on Ryan Gosling.

She confessed, “Me and my friends saw ’Crazy, Stupid, Love,’ and we were freaking out. Everyone falls in love with him after that.”

Uh, technically, everyone falls in love with him after “The Notebook.” But girl, we feel you.

Are you looking forward to seeing more of Elle on the big screen?