In an ideal world, people would land jobs based solely on their abilities.
Sadly, the makers of blockbuster movies also have to think about how much money they can make while casting—which means maximizing all marketing avenues, including actors' own Instagram accounts. (Just ask the Barbie movie.)
Anyway, I'm telling you all this because award-winning actress Elle Fanning has just revealed that she once missed out on a role in a big franchise at least in part because she didn't have enough Instagram followers. She thought it was really weird, and I would tend to agree.
Appearing on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Maleficent star told host Josh Horowitz that appearing on huge franchises (such as superhero movies or the Star Wars universe) isn't really for her—though she did once try to make it work.
"It does something for people, you know, but you also don’t know if they’re gonna work sometimes, which is also scary," she explained (via The Hollywood Reporter).
She added, "I didn’t get a part once for something big—and it might not have just been this reason, but this was all the feedback that I heard — because I didn’t have enough Instagram followers at the time.
"And so, that was a little like, OK, I mean that I firmly don’t believe in like ever not getting a part [because of that]."
Though Fanning didn't say which franchise she auditioned for, nor do we know how long ago this was, these days she certainly has what in my unprofessional opinion I would consider "enough Instagram followers," with 6 million at time of writing.
But even without the franchises, Fanning is doing pretty great for herself. She recently starred in the TV mini-series The Girl From Plainville, and has also had roles in The Great, All the Bright Places, and the Maleficent series.
Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.
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