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See "Lolita" Star Dominique Swain Now at 42

The actor played the title role in the controversial adaptation as a teenager.

Career-wise, 1997 was a big year for Dominique Swain. Twenty-five years ago, the actor starred in the feature film adaptation Lolita as a the titular teenager and in Face/Off as the daughter of John Travolta's character. Now, Swain is still acting, but she will always be associated with Lolita most of all—both because it was her first major starring role and because of how controversial the film was at the time.

Adapted from the 1955 novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita is about a man (Jeremy Irons), who becomes obsessed with a 14-year-old girl and begins an illicit relationship with her after her mother dies (Melanie Griffith). Swain has said that she knew before it came out that the movie was going to raise some eyebrows due to the nature of the story.

Read on to find out more about Swain's life today and for her memories of making Lolita.

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She came to fame in the late '90s.

Dominique Swain at the premiere of "Face/Off" in 1997
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Swain's first movie role was as Jamie Archer in the 1997 action movie Face/Off. Soon after, she starred in Lolita. At the time of its release, she was 17 years old.

In the late '90s and early 2000s, Swain starred in a number of movies, including Girl, Intern, The Smokers, Tart, Pumpkin, and New Best Friend.

She knew Lolita would cause conversation.

Dominique Swain at "Cure by the Shore" charity event in 1998
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

In a 2012 interview with We Got This Covered, Swain shared that she knew Lolita was going to be scandalous when she took on the title role.

"The whole story, the Nabokov book, is controversial. I knew it would be controversial," she said. "We were, as far as distribution goes, up against a lot of things." She noted that it was challenging to even make the film, because of what they could and couldn't show onscreen. "So [director] Adrian [Lyne] didn't get to use his cut and it didn't come out for years. Lolita didn't come out for three years," she said. "The normal turnaround is one year or less. I didn't expect for everybody to be up in arms about it, but the story itself is very volatile."

Swain, who used a body double for parts of the film, also said that her mom was on set with her "the entire time for any things that would have been questionable." She added, "There was nothing that I actually did that my mom objected to."

She's still acting today.

Dominique Swain at the premiere of "Rottentail" in 2019
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Today, Swain is still acting regularly. She was recently in the films 4 Horsemen: Apocalypse, Meteor Moon, and Eminence Hill, and in the Lifetime TV movies The Wrong Mr. RightObsessed with the Babysitter, and The Wrong Mommy.

She's an avid traveler. 

Aside from acting, Swain is passionate about travel. She documents her road trips with her partner on her personal Instagram account, as well as on their dedicated travel account at the handle @welovejourneys. Recently, the pair have shared photos of themselves making their way around Florida, Kansas, and Pennsylvania.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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