The 20-year-old actress stars as wannabe popstar Violet in 'Teen Spirit', the directorial debut from Max Minghella, and she turned to her idols for inspiration.
She said: ''I watched videos of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift as a part of my homework. They have that 'it' factor. They're polished. It's a machine. So I studied their mannerisms. And I am a [pop] fan -- my first concert was Gwen Stefani in Budapest when I was nine.
''For the end performance, I was almost thinking Kanye West. Not that I'm saying I was like him! But I wanted to add a little hip-hop to Violet, because she's rougher. That's why she wins the competition, because she has edge. And pop stars all have that edge.
''I was also thinking about Rihanna. I saw her in concert for my 13th birthday, and that performance and the way she moved [inspired me]. The last performance isn't choreographed, but I was thinking 'How would Rihanna do this?'''
Elle also called her director Max a ''pop music w***e'' and praised his obsession with the genre.
She said: ''He's a pop-music w***e, basically. He loves pop music. I think he drew inspiration to write this from High School Musical. He's like, 'I know this is not highbrow exactly, but it's very enjoyable and the songs are good.' And it's true.
''He lived with the script for such a long time that he has every shot in his head and he is very particular. He's someone that he would be listening to his headphones, listening to the music of a take, timing the camera movements out to the music.
''The best directors create an environment that's conducive for the artists to work, and Max is just so collaborative. He knew that sometimes I was still possibly unsure, and that I needed that support with the singing, and just very sensitive to that and everyone's moods.''