Man, it must be terrible to be a 12-year-old child superstar and realize you can't rest on your laurels, but instead, must think about the future when your looks start to go and you just aren't the cutest thing around anymore. What's a pre-teen actor to do when this kind of problem inevitably arises? Thus is the current issue apparently confronting the precocious Dakota Fanning who was asked, according to a recent AP story, what she might want to do when she grows up. Her answer? Are you sitting down? Good. She wants to direct.

According to the article, Fanning was asked about her future career plans during an interview for Time Magazine promoting her upcoming films Charlotte's Web and the indie-drama Hound Dog. "I would love to direct someday," Fanning told the magazine. "I've learned a lot from watching directors I've worked with, like Steven Spielberg and Gary Winick, whom I worked with on Charlotte's Web. I would love to have that relationship with another actor." Well, I guess if you've spent that much time with talented directors like those, something is bound to rub off, right? What a great way to learn.

Besides, there are many directors working today who started out as actors -- the most successful probably being Ron Howard. But there's also, of course, Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Danny De Vito and one of my personal heroes Orson Welles. I'm sure I missed a bunch more. To be honest, Dakota Fanning is one of the few child actors who doesn't bug me when I watch her films -- I especially liked her in Man on Fire. Maybe its her or more the directors or actors she works with. Whatever the reason, if I had to bet on someone making a successful transition from actor to director I would have to bet on her. Plus, she's just so darn cute -- and that never hurts either.