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Melbourne hosts Charlotte’s Web premiere

December 9th, 2006 by Paul Martin

With a real-life baby pig under one arm, American child actor Dakota Fanning walked the red carpet at the world premiere of her latest film, Charlotte’s Web, in Melbourne.

The 12-year-old spent more than three months filming the Hollywood movie in Greendale, about an hour’s drive north-west of Melbourne.

“I loved it and I’m glad to be back,” said Fanning, who plays young farm girl Fern in the classic children’s story.

“It wouldn’t have been the same movie if we hadn’t have filmed it here.”

The $80 million Paramount Pictures film opens in Australia on December 7 ahead of its American release on December 20.

The Hollywood picture recreates the world of Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider from the 1952 children’s book by EB White.

Directed by Gary Winick, the film also includes the vocal talents of Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, John Cleese, Robert Redford, Kathy Bates and Jennifer Garner as some of the farm’s animals.

However, Fanning spent most of her time shooting the film with pigs.

“It’s pretty natural now,” she said, of handling pigs.

“I’m so used to it because I spent three-and-a-half months holding them and doing everything with them.”

Fanning, who wore a pink and grey ballerina-style dress with glittery silver slippers to the premiere at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, arrived in Australia and will be in the country for only two days before heading to Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles to promote the film.

The child actor has a pet dog and horse at home in LA and laughed when asked if she was considering adopting a pig.

“I don’t think I’m going to be getting a pig … I don’t think my mum would be really happy with a pig,” she said.

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