Dakota says she first read The Secret Life of Bees when she 10 or 11 years old. At the time, she knew she wasn't old enough to play Lily. "I knew the movie wasn't able to be made quite yet, so I was hoping when they were ready to make the movie, they would still want me to be in it, because I absolutely loved the story," she says. "I loved the relationships that I would get to have with all these wonderful, wonderful ladies."
In the film, Dakota has many emotional scenes, which she says she looked forward to filming. One such scene features Dakota's character Lily tearfully confessing her true feelings. "It was such a pivotal moment for my character. It's kind of when she tells the truth to Latifah's character, August, and so it was a really challenging scene," she says. "I really knew Lily very well, so I was able to put myself in her situation."