Dakota Fanning has hit back at commentators that have criticised her family for allowing her to film a scene for new movie Hounddog.

Several religious groups have claimed the film “celebrates paedophilia” because it features 12 year old Dakota’s character being raped. The scene lasts less than a minute and doesn’t show any long shots of the sex act, just close ups of Dakota’s face and hands.

Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, Dakota said: “It’s not a rape movie, that’s not even the point of the film.”

“It’s not really happening. It’s a movie, and it’s called acting. I’m not going through anything. [The other child actors] Cody and Isabelle aren’t going through anything, their characters are. And for me, when it’s done it’s done. I don’t even think about it anymore.”

Dakota can handle constructive criticism of the film but: “when it gets to the point of attacking my mother, my agent … my teacher, who were all on the set that day, that started to make me mad.”

“Pretty much everybody who talked about it attacked my mother, which I did not appreciate. That was extremely uncalled for and hurtful.”

Dakota added that she would want to see the film even if she had not been in it: “I know my mom would take me to see it.”

“You have to prepare your children for things that happen in the world. Everything isn’t rosy.”

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday.