Judd Nelson: Dakota Fanning May Be The Best Actor Ever

Judd Nelson: Dakota Fanning May Be The Best Actor Ever

You might not know who Judd Nelson is — but as a former teen actor who starred in John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club, he knows a thing or two about being one.

The star stopped by to chat with MTV about today’s Young Hollywood and could not say enough praise for starlet Dakota Fanning.

Judd shared, “I certainly think that Dakota Fanning may be the best actor ever, on the planet, throughout history. I don’t know, either she’s a pituitary mutant, or maybe she’s an alien.”

“I think there are a number of really gifted actors and actresses working today, and you just hope that they get the opportunity to grow as they get older and to not be pigeon-holed as this kind of actor or actress,” he added a bit of advice.

DO YOU THINK Dakota is an alien?

Like Just Jared Jr. on FB
Credit: Jason Merritt; Photos: Getty
Posted to: Dakota Fanning
  • yeah sure

    That’s pushing it a bit too far. The best EVER?
    She’s definitely very talented, and can evolve into an amazing actress, but i mean, come on!

  • ryan

    she is the BEST actor ever in history, i agree. and shes beautiful:)

  • john

    dakotas boobs look good in that pic

  • yeahyeahyeah

    Getting a compliment from Judd Nelson is honorary. He’s badass.

  • xxx

    I think she’s pretty basic actress.

  • XYZ

    He was just flattering her. There is no thing like “The best actor/actress”, get over urselves and get real.

  • puffy

    Yes she is the best actress ever !!!! Love her ..!!

  • Mel_M

    Best ever? I like and admire Dakota’s work very much, so I’ll smile and not disagree. However, to make that judgement, we’d really need a standard of excellence in acting; I, for one, don’t have such a standard. (It would be really great if Judd would explain his opinion; we might actually learn something.) Although her sophistication seems manifest to me, Dakota’s performances have gotten me interested in the subject of movie making and film acting: “manifest” is too subjective and I’d like to understand what I’m seeing. Then, there is development in time. I think acting today is, generally, better than in the past (Michael Caine, in his book “Acting in Film,” mentions some changes), and, as we learn more about how people really feel and behave, I expect that acting will improve in the future. One thing worth remembering is that modern film, since the 1st “all-talking” movie in 1928 (“Lights of New York”), is only about 83 years old. Maybe we’ll have it figured out by 2028. Anyway, I doubt that anyone will really attempt to prove “best ever.” Really, all Dakota needs to do is enjoy her life: I think acting record-books are best ignored. A person can do nothing better than stay focused on doing actual work.

    Besides Dakota’s smoothness of presentation (reaching considerably maturity, I think, by the time of Pita), I admire her ability to contruct and present unique film personas. Most of her characters have been quite different from each other: Lucy, Ray, Pita, Emily, Rachel, Lewellen, Cassie, Lilly, Cherie. She’s not a character actor; she’s not typecast; she doesn’t just repeat a trademark film persona. For example, when I see a Bogart film for the 1st time, I know, pretty much, what persona I’ll see. With Dakota, I expect to see something from her that I’ve never seen before–a new persona entirely. With Cherie, for example, Dakota had to be really disgusting in at least one scene–something new for her; I, of course, admired her for it. Cherie, as well as the fantastic Lewellen performance, shows that Dakota can be a fine heavy-lift dramatic actress. IMO, however, I’m not sure that she’s ready yet to perform at the level of her much–and correctly–admired Jodie Foster–for example, as Sarah in “The Accused.” (This is hard to judge: Dakota likes acting challenges, and when she has them, she digs down and gets the job done.) Anyway, Dakota did Cherie at 15; Jodie did Sarah at around 25; I can wait. Boaz Yakin, Dakota’s director in “Uptown Girls,” mentions–on the DVD– that she (at 8!) approached her acting solely from the point of view of character. This makes complete sense to me and avoids, at the root, repeating the same persona over and over again. IMO, Yakin’s remark really helps understand Dakota’s acting: Pita and Emily weren’t so far apart in shooting date, yet the personas are totally different.

    Another thing about Dakota’s acting that’s awesome to me is her ability to “disappear” in the character (I’ve seen M. Caine also mention this aspect of acting). I’ve seen dozens of Dakota’s interviews and little video spots, and, in none of them, is she like any of her film personas. I noticed this 1st and most clearly with Lewellen in “Hounddog.” Lewellen isn’t a child as in Dakota’s prior roles, and the real Dakota never “leaks” onto the screen. Even with her child role as Emily, the real Dakota personality is never–so far as I can tell–seen on the screen. From Lucy onward, Dakota has been a real actress; the other actors in her films must have been astonished to see the little pint doing professional level work! (From what I gather, Dakota’s directors and the actors she’s worked with are her biggest fans.)

    Hopefully, what she learns in college will help her put unique depth into her adult performances. Of course, being an adult is, I believe, an unavoidable prerequisite for playing one in the movies. I can’t say when she’ll have her breakout role as an adult actress, but I have confidence that it’ll come long before she’s 25. Any fans with heads stuck in 2005 will miss out. Dakota will be 17 in about 3 weeks: so young and with so much yet ahead of her.

  • peacemaker

    Since she was young,I like this kid acting ability. She will be the next superstar in Hollywood. Hope she pick, good stories that will not expose and just use her beauty. Finish college and be wise..Acting can wait.

  • iamarock

    The best EVER? Whether or not he was exaggerating, what he’s quoted above as saying is idiotic nonetheless.

    Having Judd Nelson of all people call you the greatest actor in the world doesn’t mean a whole lot, though.

  • Mel_M

    @peacemaker:

    “Finish college and be wise..Acting can wait.”

    Maybe not the only way to go.

    Dakota has said that she plans to make movies while in college. Of course, plans can change. She’s a pro with 10 years of experience and she loves her work. She’s also said that she’s most comfortable (or something like that) while making a movie; four years with no movies would be very frustrating for her–I would think. Four years of movie making and acting experience would be good too.

    College, however, is not high school. For me, it was a teriffic load of work (science) and I can’t imagine shooting a movie except during summer breaks. If a really really great role came along, I guess she could take time away from school, but that would likely delay graduation–not a disaster though. One film a year (with her in a lead role) wouldn’t be a huge change from what she’s been doing anyway: “Push,” filmed fall ’07, “The Secret Life of Bees,” filmed winter ’08, and “The Runaways,” filmed summer ’09. With flexibility at school, maybe she can do more, but, whatever, she’ll work out something that’s best in the long run. (Anyway, with the right timing, making a movie sounds like a fun summer job and a happier Dakota–good things.)

    Yes, wisdom is needed, but I don’t think it necessarily means not doing movies while she’s in college.

  • Mel_M

    @peacemaker,

    “Finish college and be wise..Acting can wait.”

    Nice thought, but maybe not the only way to go.

    Dakota has said that she plans to make movies while in college. Of course, plans can change. She’s a pro with 10 years of experience and she loves her work. She’s also said that she’s most comfortable (or something like that) while making a movie; four years with no movies would be very frustrating for her–I would think. Four years of movie making and acting experience would be good too.

    College, however, is not high school. For me, it was a teriffic load of work (science) and I can’t imagine shooting a movie except during summer breaks. If a really really great role came along, I guess she could take time away from school, but that would likely delay graduation–not a disaster though. One film a year (with her in a lead role) wouldn’t be a huge change from what she’s been doing anyway: “Push,” filmed fall ’07, “The Secret Life of Bees,” filmed winter ’08, and “The Runaways,” filmed summer ’09. With flexibility at school, maybe she can do more, but, whatever, she’ll work out something that’s best in the long run. (Anyway, with the right timing, making a movie sounds like a fun summer job and a happier Dakota–good things.)

    Yes, wisdom is needed, but I don’t think it necessarily means not doing movies while she’s in college.

  • http://tintitopelu tintito

    For me she is the best of the best. GOD bless you Dakota.

  • Soodeo

    Best Ever! No, that title belongs to SR.