South by Southwest, which wrapped up on Sunday, is a breeding ground for about-to-pop musicians and actors alike. Here, a look at three breakouts from the fest.
Growing up with actor-dad Josh Brolin, and model-actress mom Alice Adair, “going into acting seemed like the obvious choice,” says Eden Brolin. After studying at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York and spending “six years auditioning and trying to make an impact,” the 21-year-old snagged the lead in “I Dream Too Much,” which premiered at the festival last week. “I left that audition thinking, ‘Okay, there goes another awful audition,’” recalls Brolin. Two days after her well-received feature-film debut — in which she plays an aspiring poet taking care of her injured great-aunt — she signed with Paradigm Talent Agency.
PROVENANCE: “I grew up in a small town with a lot of Sarahs and Katies, and I was like, ‘I want to be a Sarah or a Katie,’” says Brolin, who was raised on her family’s ranch in Templeton, Calif., 200 miles outside of Los Angeles. “Eden was this very eccentric name in that small town.”
BIG BREAK: In 2008, the actress came to South by Southwest to promote “X,” a short film written and directed by her father. “It was a really lovely experience being able to see him for the first time in a directorial position and making his own vision come true. Being a part of that was a really big deal for me,” she says.
BEDTIME STORIES: “My dad would always put me to sleep reading Sam Shepard’s short stories and poems, and I’m a songwriter as well, and I think there’s obviously a lot of poetry in songwriting,” she says of sharing a love of poetry with her character.
A-LIST SET VISIT: “It was a really nice visit to have on set for sure,” says Brolin of watching Richard Linklater, executive producer of “I Dream Too Much,” in action. “The times I have gotten to talk to him are really, really incredible. He has such a kind heart, and he’s got a really calming energy about him, which is nice to see in entertainment these days. You see a lot of people who are flighty or on their phones or have a lot of ego.”
UP NEXT: A role in another indie film, Creighton Vero’s “Unfiltered.”