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Step aside, Eleven! Why X-23 actress Dafne Keen is the child star to watch #Logan

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If Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown was 2016's breakout with her performance as Eleven, her crown is set to be stolen this year by young Dafne Keen, who slices onto the big screen with her role as Laura/X-23 in Logan

Her performance as the deadly mutant clone has been universally acclaimed with the character potentially opening up a whole new vista of X-Men movie storylines. But who is Dafne and why is she poised to go big? Let's find out.

She's truly one of a kind

The search for X-23 required something truly special: a young girl capable of mixing vulnerability with outbursts of explosive savagery, shouldered by an actress with the potential to take the X-Men franchise in bold new directions.

No small task, then. Fortunately, director James Mangold found what he was looking for in the form of Dafne after a formidable worldwide search. 

Explaining that "It was a huge risk for the studio to allow us to make a movie where the third point of the triangle was someone so young", Mangold adds of his young star: "She carries, all the time, a slight strangeness."


Dafne also has the skills to back it up

Half-English, half-Spanish, (her father is actor Will Keen with whom she made her acting debut in Spanish TV series The Refugees), Dafne has the authentic bilingual and cultural background to lend authenticity to the character. After all the action takes place on the Mexican border, so you want someone who speaks the lingo, right?


She's also a beast in real life

The feral X-23 poses a significant threat as she leaps at and eviscerates at her attackers with her claws, evoking memories of the younger, more savage Logan (Hugh Jackman). And according to Mangold, "A great deal of it is her", young gymnast Dafne performing most the acrobatics herself. Need we explain more about why she's perfect for the role?


Hugh Jackman was stunned by her performance

Winning over the man who has defined Wolverine is no mean feat. Don't believe us? Skip to 2:00 into the following interview where the actor describes her as "phenomenal", as well as reiterating Dafne's penchant for performing her own stunts.


Her X-Men journey is just beginning

Mangold has admitted he would be "very surprised" if X-23 didn't appear in future X-Men movies, and has even desired to make a spin-off film based around the character.

"I think Dafne is incredible in the film and I would love to see another film about that character and that’s certainly something I’d be involved in," he tells Collider. "For me that was one of the big additions I brought to the table, this decision to try to make the film about family and to try to insert Laura and the pressures that would put and the idea about Charles ailing."

Need we say it? Watch this space...

Remember: the movie starts showing at X:23 tonight so click here to book your Logan tickets, and send us your immediate responses @Cineworld.