Ross King chats to Elle Fanning about being cast in new Frankenstein film

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THINK Frankenstein and you immediately picture the big, green, square-headed monster.

You don’t tend to think of Elle Fanning.

The makers of Mary Shelley have wisely avoided putting Elle into a rubber mask — she’s instead playing the author.

Mary Shelley, of course, wrote the original Frankenstein book, and she was a fascinating character in her own right.

She was a brilliant thinker, and spent some of her life in Dundee, using the city as inspiration for her famous book.

The new film is about her affair with poet Percy Shelley, whom she later married.

It’s a glossy, romantic period drama and Elle is fantastic as the young writer.

Elle is one of the hottest young talents in Hollywood — you might have seen her in Maleficent and the remake of The Beguiled.

“I had done an English accent before but this one was different because it was from the 19th Century so I wanted to get it accurate,” said Elle.

“I’ve never tried any other accents! I’ve never tried a Scottish accent like yours. I can do English — I’ll maybe stick to that.”

Look out in the film too for my pal Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna Bates in Downton Abbey. She’s so good at being bad – which is so unlike her in real life!

Elle, now 20, feels she did a lot of growing up during filming.

“I filmed when I was 17, and Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was 18,” she told me.

“I felt more mature and wiser,” she said. “I think Mary Shelley taught me how to be a woman in a way. It was special.

“It’s definitely a challenge playing a real character. There’s a painting of her but there’s not a video of how she moved or how she talked.

“You can only go on what people wrote about her, so you do your research.

“But there’s only so many times you can type Mary Shelley into Google. “There’s a point where the facts only go so far.”

Sadly for Elle, she had a very ugly co-star – Douglas Booth. Ha! For the avoidance of doubt, Douglas is the very opposite of ugly.

“It’s a love story and a relationship that people can relate to,” said Elle.

“Percy Shelley is known for being very handsome, and a lady’s man. We got Douglas and I said, ‘Perfect! He’s the one!’

Next week I’ll be flying back to the UK ahead of my trip to Buckingham Palace.

I’m throwing a wee party with a few special guests — and I’ve invited Auchenshoogle’s most famous resident…

I’ll tell you all about it next week!