Nine-year-old Dakota Fanning, star of 2001’s I Am Sam is on the cover of the May issue of Nylon. The child star, still nine after all these years, bakes a cake with writer Lia Mischianti in the magazine’s cover story.

Gripping a fistful of rainbow-flecked cake, Dakota Fanning pauses. “This feels very...not OK,” she says with a laugh, glancing down at what was once a pristine, Funfetti-like surface, now defiled with craters and handprints.

Typical nine-year-old, eating cake with her hands!

“I already have one of these in my refrigerator,” concedes Fanning, referring to Milk Bar’s trademark birthday cake, which we will be making shortly.

Typical nine-year-old, always eating Funfetti cake!

“At home I have all these giant balloons that my mom sent me—still floating,” she adds.

Typical nine-year-old, obsessed with balloons!

Fanning’s been on the East Coast for over three years now, since she began attending New York University part-time.

Typical nine-year-old, attending NYU part-time!

Sometimes, she’s “the adult child star,” or even “the child star who made it,” narrowly escaping the perils of early fame to become a functional, fully grown human being.

Typical nine-year-old, difficult to define as a child star!

“I’ve made my peace with the fact that there will be some people who, for the rest of my life, will believe I’m, like, nine years old,” says Fanning on the subject.

Typical nine-year-old, refusing to accept the fact that she’s nine.

Image via Harper Smith/NYLON


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