Could you wear them to school?
Not really. They were too adult, and my school, Campbell Hall, had uniforms. But on Fridays we could wear anything we wanted. There would always be at least one Friday where you’d forget and show up in uniform. It would be so embarrassing. I did that once and actually made my dad drive me back home to change.
You must have been famous in your high school. Has there ever been a
time in your memory when you haven’t been known by the world?
It’s all I’ve ever experienced, and it’s what I’m used to. When you’re 6 years old, which is when I started, I think you start forming how you think about things. I’ve dealt with being known for so long that it’s just kind of normal to me. And that attention comes with what I love to do, which is act.
Have you ever received any advice on how to balance your career and your
I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten any formal advice, but I’ve always felt that you should never forget that you’re just a person. Even though you’re not like everyone else, you are just like everyone else. For instance, I met someone the other day, and they said, “Hi, I’m so-and-so.” I said, “Hi, I’m Dakota.” And they’re like, “Yeah, I know.” But I can’t lose the fact that I still need to introduce myself to people even though they might already know my name or who I am. Oh, yeah, I guess you already know my name, but I’m going to say it anyway.
Have you ever thought of not acting?
I never have. It’s the only thing I feel like I know how to do well. I don’t really play any sports. [Laughs.] Maybe in college I’ll find something else to do if this doesn’t work out. But I’ve never wanted to do anything else.
If one of your movies comes on TV, do you watch it? Very few people can
see themselves at so many ages.
Watching I Am Sam does feel weird, because it seems like it was yesterday, and yet it feels like a completely different person. If I see a movie on TV that I’m in, I usually will watch it for that reason: It’s like I’m watching another person.