Elle Fanning boasts an enviable Hollywood career these days, but she says she was once rejected by a major film franchise for a surprising reason.
Appearing on Thursday’s episode of the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Fanning recalled being turned down for a movie role because her social media numbers weren’t large enough.
“I didn’t get a part once for something big because ― it might not have just been this reason, but this was the feedback that I heard ― was because I didn’t have enough Instagram followers at the time,” the actor, whose credits include “Maleficent” and “The Girl from Plainville,” explained. “That I firmly don’t believe in, for not getting a part.”
Fanning was careful not to specify the film’s title in her interview, describing it only as “a bigger, franchise-y thing.” However, she told host Josh Horowitz that she’d definitely consider joining a franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe or “Star Wars” in the future, despite a healthy amount of skepticism.
“You also don’t know if they’re gonna work sometimes,” she said, “which is also scary.”
At present, Fanning has about 6.2 million Instagram followers.
Watch Elle Fanning’s interview on “Happy Sad Confused” below.
Though Fanning didn’t identify the film, some outlets have speculated that she was talking about 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.” Shortly after the film’s release, actor Sophie Turner said in an interview that she won the role of Jean Grey partly because of her social media presence.
“I auditioned for a project, and it was between me and another girl who is a far better actress than I am, far better, but I had the followers, so I got the job,” she told Porter via Vanity Fair. “It’s not right, but it is part of the movie industry now.”
Turner, an Emmy winner for “Game of Thrones” who is married to pop singer Joe Jonas, currently has 14.6 million followers on Instagram.
Though social media doesn’t appear to be slowing Fanning’s professional trajectory at present, she has been outspoken about her checkered relationship with Instagram and other platforms in prior interviews.
“I recently turned my Instagram public on my 18th birthday, but I still don’t post everything I do, and I’m not on Twitter or Facebook,” she told Elle U.K. in 2017. “You have to leave a little mystery. With old movie stars, all you saw were rare interviews where they only shared what they wanted to ― that’s what made them so interesting. You could separate the characters from the women, so if you watch them on screen, you’re not thinking about what they had for breakfast.”
Last year, she shared similar sentiments in a chat with Porter magazine.
“I’ve felt myself going down a rabbit hole,” she explained, “when you’re hate-scrolling and comparing yourself to people on vacation, and you’re like, ‘I should be doing more!’”