‘Maleficent’ star Elle Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting

Elle Fanning's appreciation for Aurora, the heroine of Disney's “Sleeping Beauty,” began in childhood and, at least initially, was based on the superficial similarity.

“Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite princess,” Fanning told me last week, explaining that the shared long, blonde hair created immediate kingship.

Now, the 16-year-old Fanning is getting closer-than-ever with Aurora, playing the impressionable young princess opposite Angelina Jolie's title character in Disney's “Maleficent.”

“Maleficent” gets to the root of the wicked (or just misunderstood?) sorceress' animus toward Aurora, while delivering many of the moments that “Sleeping Beauty” fans will expect.

“There would be some days where literally I'd get into my costume and I'd sleep all day,” Fanning laughs.

In our conversation, Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting, but also the key to expressing wonderment at magical worlds that are represented only by tennis balls or strings of light on-set. 

Check out the full interview above.

“Maleficent” opens on Friday, May 30.