After a self-imposed exile that had many wondering if—shunted aside by the younger and even more precocious Abigail Breslin—she'd perhaps moved to Japan to begin the second phase of her career as a celebrity spokesperson for a popular chain of capsule hotels, Dakota Fanning has reemerged into the public eye. And what a spectacular transformation! Almost no traces of her larval stage as the child prodigy actress who screamed her way to greatness in War of the Worlds still exists. Now 14, the actress stars in The Secret Life of Bees—a sort of Waiting to Exhale meets the opening scenes of The Jerk, with Fanning playing a neglected girl taken in by three African-American sisters, played by Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo and Alicia Keys.(Fanning's character is white, though as we've insisted countless times before, the versatile actress she could have easily slipped into the sister parts.) We couldn't be more thrilled to present a small image gallery of the budding young lady, who's now primed to take on more mature roles. (No rape movies, however. She wants to keep stretching as an actress.) [Photo credit: Getty Images]
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