Pop Culture

Actress Dakota Fanning: Having children is ‘more important to me than anything’

In a new interview with Porter, actress Dakota Fanning shared that having children is more important to her than keeping her career, which she began at just age seven.

“Being an actor is a huge part of my identity,” she explained. “I don’t really know who I would be without it. But I also have a desire to set up my life and career so that I always have a choice. Having kids is probably more important to me than anything, even being an actor. If somebody said I had to choose, I would choose having kids. I’m one of those people who has always felt that pull.”

Now age 30, Fanning didn’t share her plans for marriage or when she would want to begin to build her family, but she did say she’s not there quite yet.

“I don’t know how I’l[l] feel when that time in my life comes — and how much I’ll want to work. But, because I don’t have that at the moment, I’m trying to take advantage of the adventures now. I’m trying to push myse[l]f to keep saying yes to things that make me uncomfortable, to keep going to places for long periods of time that maybe I’m scared to do because — God willing — one day, it won’t be as easy.”

Other celebrity moms and athletes have been speaking out about how much they value motherhood and family, including Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson East, who has three children with her husband Andrew. When she gave birth to her third in December 2023, Johnson East said, “Being a mom is truly my favorite thing.”

Emmy-winning actress Sarah Snook recently made headlines for crediting her young daughter for her own success. “The biggest thank you is to someone who won’t understand anything I say at the moment but I carried her with me in this last season and really it was her who carried me,” Snook said in her acceptance speech at the Emmy Awards ceremony. “It’s very easy to act when you’re pregnant because you’ve got hormones raging. It was the proximity of her life growing inside me [that] gave me the strength to do this. I love you so much and it’s all for you from here on out.”

As for Fanning, she is clear about how much she, too, values the idea of motherhood. She appears to be aware that having children will cause a shift in her life — and she welcomes that shift. She’s also aware she won’t have to give up her career unless she wants to. She remains close to her family, buying a house just around the corner from them in 2019. And with friends around her getting married and having children, she’s got her future family on her mind.

“I have lots of friends who are getting married and having babies — and I have a God-daughter who is three — and I have to carve out what is important to me,” she said. “I don’t want to be a person who is so consumed with my professional life that I miss a[ll] the other stuff.”

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