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Dafne Keen captured our hearts with her outstanding portrayal of Laura, a.k.a. X-23, Wolverine's female clone/sorta daughter, in Logan. Recently, though, she charmed the pants off us again, this time as herself at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. Who could blame her for being excited? How many 12-year-olds get to take to the stage and accept an MTV Award?
That's what happened over the weekend, as MTV recognized Dafne Keen and Hugh Jackman as the "Best Duo" of the year. Superhero fans across the world joined the applause - and then beamed, as Keen interrupted Jackman and insisted on giving the thanks herself.
Her performance on the stage simply makes the role of Laura all the more remarkable. After all, in Logan, her character is silent and deadly, filled with brooding menace and flashes of savage fury. In reality, of course, Dafne Keen is clearly something of a young extrovert, and she adorably riffed on her uncharacteristic silent nature in the film:
"Okay, you do 17 years, I don't speak for half the movie, and you get to say the thank yous? Okay, no."
I love the bemused expression on Jackman's face. An old bit of Hollywood wisdom is to never work with children or animals; is it because the children might upstage you?
Director James Mangold gave himself a real challenge when he decided to stick to Craig Kyle's original design for X-23 - and have her played by an actual 10-to-12-year-old. He wound up scouring the globe for a young, Spanish-speaking, physically capable girl - and finally came across a tape of Dafne Keen from Madrid. As he reflected in an interview from earlier this year with Coming Soon:
"Madrid. Her dad and her made a tape of her kind of climbing around their apartment or their house, and I remember she was like, scaling bookshelves and then jumping down and tumbling, and then doing these scenes. And looking like she was having a great time, it looked like you didn’t want to stop."
The rest, as they say, was history. Impressed by Keen's performance, Mangold introduced Keen to the rest of the cast - first Patrick Stewart, and then Hugh Jackman (whom she bruised during her audition). She won everybody over, just as she's winning us all over now.
After all, how many stars stop to think and wish a Happy Mother's Day when they're in the middle of an award night? The comedy only built when she called Hugh Jackman out for not thanking his parents, a moment that brought a perfect end to Hugh's career as Wolverine.
If Logan wins an Oscar—superhero films don't tend to, but this one's may just be an exception—can Dafne Keen be the one to accept the award, please?
[Interview source: Coming Soon]