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Who is Dafne Keen?

Dafne Keen Fernández (born 2005) is a British and Spanish actress who played the role of Ana “Ani” Cruz Oliver in the television series The Refugees, and the mutant Laura Kinney in the 2017 film LoganThanks to the Logan film,  the world is saying goodbye to Hugh Jackman … and hello to Dafne Keen.

In James Mangold’s superhero drama — which grossed a massive $88.3 million at the domestic box office in its opening weekend — the preteen impressed as Laura (X-23), the newfound mutant child with her own pair of lethal, Wolverine-like metallic claws. The Hollywood Reporter’s review said Keen, “in her first big-screen role, makes the mostly silent Laura both kinetic and inwardly coiled, a quick-study observer of a world long denied her.” At just 13 years old, she nabbed the 17th spot in THR’s list of the 50 Greatest Superhero Movie Performances of All Time.

But Keen isn’t just the brutal, bilingual breakout of the X-Men franchise; she’s a showbiz kid who loves classic musicals and drew comparisons to Natalie Portman in The Professional.

Dafne Keen personal life

She is the daughter of British actor Will Keen (He has worked in theatre and television in both Britain and Spain. He was formerly a trustee of the James Menzies Kitchen Award — an award set up for young theatre directors in memory of the director with whom Keen collaborated early in his career), and Spanish actress, theatre director and writer María Fernández Ache. Her paternal great-grandfather was also a famous person, peer Edward Curzon, 6th Earl Howe.

Keen made her acting debut in 2014 alongside her father Will Keen with the television series The Refugees (is a 2015 drama television series created by Ramón Campos, Gema R. Neira, Cristóbal Garrido and Adolfo Valor. The series is a joint production of BBC Worldwide and Atresmedia that premiered on laSexta on 7 May 2015. It shows a rural community faced with millions of refugees from the future seeking shelter in the present), where she played Ana “Ani” Cruz Oliver.

Keen starred in the 2017 film Logan as Laura, a lab-bred mutant child of Wolverine.

Whenever she started as a young beginner actress with British-Spanish roots. Since Dafné was born into an actor’s family, her future development was quite predestinated. Actor’s debut Dafné was alongside her father in the television series Refugees (directed by Spaniard Ramón Campos), starring Any Any Actor Cruz Oliver. Her second, and so far the latest act, is the character of Laura’s young mutant, who is the genetic daughter of Wolverine (made by Hugh Jackman). She has helped her, among other things, her fluent knowledge of two world languages (Spanish and English – mother and father).

It’s just the harvest of the last film, not just the audience, big ova and praise. According to James Mangold (the director of the last film), Dafne was so excited that the studio is considering spinoff, which will focus primarily on Laura’s next fate (young mutant). So let’s not be surprised by the further development of this young talented actress. It’s very exciting & obviously, she is very much talented.

In a snapshot of Dafne Keen:

  • 2005- Born in Spain
  • 2014- Acting debut with The Refugees for 7 episodes
  • 2017- Act as Laura in the super hit movie Logan
  • 2017- Won the best duo from MTV Movie & TV Awards for Logan
  • 2018- Won Empire Awards for Best Female Newcomer

She Came from a film-friendly family

  1. She comes from a film-friendly family. Keen is the daughter of British actor Will Keen (The Crown, Wolf Hall) and Spanish actress Maria Fernandez Ache, with multiple directors and writers in her extended family. “I remember spending entire school holidays in rehearsing spaces, watching my mum and dad working, and followed them around on tour or on film sets all the time,” she tells Heat Vision. “I went to see Hamlet, which they directed about 10 times, and I always loved it. I remember I used to listen to the actors rehearsing and try to remember all their lines while I played with the color filters they put in the lights.” From her parents, she says, she’s learned about “being truthful, and the most important thing being telling the story, and all working together for the same thing. I love that.”
  2. She’s been acting since she was little. Repped by Independent Talent Group in the U.K. and Let’s Work Together in Spain, Dafne Keen made her very first screen debut opposite with her father in the 2015 BBC Worldwide/Atresmedia series The Refugees. But, normally, she’s been acting since she was way too young. “When I was 4, I made a company with my friend Vera called Las Graciosas (The Funny Girls), and we used to do little shows for our parents.”

For Logan, Keen — who is already bilingual and trained in martial arts — sent in an audition tape in which she primitively explores objects around her living room, and she stood out over 500 other girls. “When I saw that tape, I told Hugh and [producer] Simon [Kinberg], ‘This is the one,'” recalls Mangold. “Then my worry was that we wouldn’t get her.”

  1. The bonding between her & Hugh Jackman. She says that before her screen test with Jackman and Mangold, “I was very nervous and excited and couldn’t stop jumping from one bed to another in the hotel room. When I got into the room, I was wearing a new watch and I didn’t know how it worked. We did a scene where Hugh had to grab my wrist, and every time he did, it would go ‘beep beep beep.’ I didn’t want to say it was mine and they didn’t know where the noise was coming from, which made me very shy and tense, until suddenly Hugh said, ‘Is that your watch?’ When I said yes, they both laughed a lot, and everything felt friendly. They both made me feel relaxed, and we had fun.”
  2. On set, she tries to make impressions. Keen was only 11 years old while shooting the Fox film and is described on set as “a freak of nature and a supernatural child” by Kinberg and “physically sharp as a tack” by Mangold. Never low on energy, she was often spotted running around between takes. Says Keen of the role, “All the wire stuff in the stunts was great, but most of all I liked being a wild animal.”

    She also impressed in the film with her dramatic moments. “When we started working on the script, we talked a lot about Natalie Portman in The Professional: somebody who looked like a child but had the kind of maturity and sophistication behind her eyes of a grown-up. That’s what she has,” says Kinberg. He advises Keen’s future directors, “Trust her instincts, because she has great ones. And watch her — she does small, nuanced things that most child actors don’t do. Most child actors are very big in terms of their performances, but she’s very subtle.”
  3. Little Miss Sunshine-one of her best liking. When it was asked to name some of her favorite actors, she says, “If I say I love my parents and Hugh and Patrick [Stewart], I’ll sound like I’m sucking up! Apart from them, I like Peter Sellers, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, John Cleese and Greg Kinnear. And that actress who says, ‘I caaaaan’t stand him’ in Singin’ in the Rain. She’s brilliant.”
  4. Singing is her love. Dafne Keen has already proven her dramatic chops and martial arts abilities in the film Logan, but she’s also got an affinity for comedy and says she gravitates toward “any interesting characters.” Also, she sings! “I really love old musicals,” she reveals. “I would love to do one of them.”
  5. She is the future Laura. Mangold, the director of Loga, has previously said he’s entertained by the idea of an X-23 spinoff, and Keen says she isn’t ready to give up her claws just yet. Of Laura, Keen says, “She is an emotional bomb. She’s complicated — she tries to be so strong but she feels so kind of vulnerable at the same time. I really love her. I’d love to keep playing her.”

Dafne Keen Career

She is the daughter of British actor Will Keen, and Spanish actress, theatre director and writer María Fernández Ache. Her paternal great-grandfather was peer Edward Curzon, 6th Earl Howe.

Keen made her acting debut in 2014 alongside her father Will Keen with the television series The Refugees, where she played Ana “Ani” Cruz Oliver.

Keen starred in the 2017 film Logan (is a 2017 American superhero film, produced by Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment and The Donners’ Company, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the tenth installment in the X-Men film series, as well as the third and final Wolverine solo film following X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013). The film, which takes inspiration from “Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, based in an alternate bleak future, follows an aged Wolverine and an extremely ill Professor X defending a young mutant named Laura from the villainous Reavers and Alkali-Transigen led by Donald Pierce and Zander Rice, respectively) as Laura, a lab-bred mutant child of Wolverine (is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, mostly in association with the X-Men. He is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, powerful regenerative ability known as a healing factor, and three retractable claws in each hand. Wolverine has been depicted variously as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and the Avengers).

Her Film & Television Appearances:

  • 2014-15- The Refuges as Ana as main role for 7 episodes
  • 2017- Logan movie as Laura
  • 2018- Ana movie as main role Ana

Awards and achievements of Dafne Keen

  • 2017- Won MTV Movie & Tv Awards for Logan as Best Duo
  • 2017- Nominated for Chicago Film Critics for Logan as Most Promising Performer
  • 2017- Nominated for Dublin FIlm Critics Circle for Logan as Breakthrough Artist of the Year
  • 2017- Nominated for Washington D.C Area Film Critics Association for Logan as Best Youth Performance
  • 2017- Nominated for Seattle Film Critics Society for Logan as Best Youth Performance
  • 2018- Nominated for Houston Film Critics Society for Logan as Best Supporting Actress
  • 2018- Nominated for Critics Choice Movie Awards for Logan as Best Young Performer
  • 2018- Nominated for London Film Critics Circle for Logan Young British Performer of the year
  • 2018- Won Empire Awards for Logan as Best Female Newcomer
  • 2018- Nominated for Saturn Awards for Logan as Best Performance by a Younger Actor

Trivia of Dafne Keen

  • She is the daughter of British actor Will Keen and Spanish actress, theatre director, and writer María Fernández Ache.
  • A second cousin, once removed, of Jake Weber (her great-grandmother Priscilla was also Jake’s grandmother).

Some of good points of Dafne Keen

  • She is an Action Girl: Her background includes gymnastics, and due to the difficulties of finding a stunt double to match her size for Logan (she was only 4’11” and 90 lbs at the time), she ended up doing a lot of her own stunts and wire work. Although, her first audition tape consisted of her climbing around on and leaping off her living room furniture.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Keen is Caucasian of mixed English/Spanish ancestry; however, the latter gives her a slightly dark complexion, which allowed her to pass as Latina for playing the half-Latina Laura in Logan.
  • Her intro: She is credited this way in Logan, both in the opening credits and in marketing material, since it’s her first major role in a film.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Keen was raised fully bilingual by her English father and Spanish mother. This was utilized in Logan, in which Laura has dialogue in both languages in a so common way. It also applies to accents: while she was born and lived in Spain until she was 5, her family moved to England afterwards. She has lost any Spanish accent she had, and now naturally speaks with a London English accent. In Logan, she gives Laura a strong Mexican Spanish accent.
  • She is Not Too White: She’s ethnically half-Spanish, and as such has a slightly dark complexion. This worked in her favor for Logan, as James Mangold wanted Laura to be Hispanic. So the entire dialogues were perfectly fitted with her.

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References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dafne_Keen
  2. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6748436/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm
  3. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/logan-actress-dafne-keen-laura-her-x-23-movie-future-983396
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