Sasha Lane was discovered by “American Honey” filmmaker Andrea Arnold while vacationing in Panama City, Florida. Two years after that serendipitous moment, the film and its leading lady are now up for six Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, including Best Feature and Best Actress.
In the vein of a Harmony Korine art film, but more entertaining, “American Honey” follows a group of teenagers living on the outskirts of society, who sell magazine subscriptions to get by. Lane plays the fittingly-named Star, a new addition to the pack, led by Riley Keough and Shia LeBeouf. (Following its theatrical release last year, the film is now available on Amazon and iTunes.)
The 21-year-old, who recently wrapped “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” opposite Chloe Moretz, has since become a familiar face on the fashion circuit, sitting front row at events for Louis Vuitton, Coach, and Kenzo.
WWD caught up with Lane, who is up against veterans like Natalie Portman, Annette Bening, Isabelle Huppert, and Ruth Negga at Saturday’s awards show, which will be broadcast live on IFC.
WWD: You were discovered by the film’s writer/director Andrea Arnold while you were on the beach in Florida. How did that moment change your life?
Sasha Lane: Life has a path for you, you know? If you’re just open to it, then it’ll set itself up. There was something telling me, “Hold on, hold on. There will be something for you.” And then here comes Andrea, literally, saving my life.
WWD: In what way did she save your life?
S.L.: I went on spring break because I felt like something was missing in my life. I was feeling down. And then I met he on the final day. It like, “Yes. This is what I’ve been waiting for.” I had that moment between feeling very empty and feeling very complete.
WWD: What was it like acting professionally for the first time?
S.L.: Everyone who worked on that set was so down for the type of project we were making. They made me feel so comfortable and confident in everything, so it wasn’t necessarily this big, intimidating thing.
WWD: What do you hope people take away from “American Honey?”
S.L.: This idea to not be afraid of freedom. Freedom comes with not everything being perfect in your life. You’ve just got to take things for what they are.
WWD: After playing Jane Fonda in “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” what else do you have coming up?
S.L.: “Hunting Lila” [based on a book by Sarah Alderson] is in the works, but right now, I’m sticking to promoting [“American Honey”].
WWD: Do you work with a stylist?
S.L.: Yes. Her name is Jamie [Schneider Mizrahi]. She’s Riley’s stylist too.