Elle Fanning is addressing the rumors she’s dating her Teen Spirit director, Max Minghella.
ET’s Katie Krause spoke with the 21-year-old actress at the film’s recent Los Angeles press day, where she opened up about speculation that she and Minghella had sparked a romance after they were spotted cuddling up in London last August.
“I mean, we just really love working together,” Fanning coyly said of fans’ interest in whether she and Minghella are dating. “That was, like, very special, and he’s such a good friend.”
Fanning stars in Teen Spirit as a Polish teenager with dreams of pop stardom, who enters an international singing competition. The actress trained with several vocal coaches and choreographers for three months for the movie, which marks Minghella’s directorial debut. He also wrote the movie.
Max is such an incredible director and you can see it’s in his blood,” Fanning said of the 33-year-old director, whose father was Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella.
“He worked on this film for, like, 12 years of his life. He was writing this and [working with producer] Jamie Bell… it was just so amazing seeing him,” she continued. “He doesn’t feel like a first-time director. He was so planned out in his mind and you can see this and he also, he’s very, he’s like a pop whore.”
The actress went on, explaining that Minghella just “loves pop music.” “All those pop singers — like, he’s really obsessed with that world, so it’s a perfect film that he made,” she raved.
“I love pop music,” Minghella confirmed to ET, detailing how his respect for the music — and specifically Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” — turned into a movie.
“I wrote those ideas down and I was just trying to figure out how to put those ideas into a bigger context and it started from there. It really started with one piece of music,” he said. “And I can see that now when I see the film, it all feels like it has a very specific tone that comes out of that particular song.”
Minghella, meanwhile, couldn’t help but praise Fanning, calling her “the only actress who could have carried” his film. “It’s an incredible list of requirements. You have to be able to sing, you have to be able to dance, you’ve got to, you know, be able to speak Polish convincingly, do the British accent, play the age range and carry the movie with an incredibly nuanced performance,” he described. “It’s a lot for one person, and she just handled everything with such discipline and professionalism and she never complained.”
“Everything was brilliant and usable. She did all of her singing live. It’s amazing, it’s an amazing piece of work,” he marveled.
Working on Teen Spirit put Fanning to the test, but as she told ET, she was grateful for the opportunity to showcase her other talents. “You know, I actually would [consider a singing career],” she revealed. “I would still act… that’s my thing, but it’s cool. It opened the door to that, and I would never say no to [singing]. Who knows?”
The actress is also ready to spend more time with Minghella — whether or not they’re an item. “I’ll do any movie that he wants me to do,” she insisted.
Teen Spirit opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, and nationwide on April 19.