Meet Teen Vogue’s Young Hollywood Class of 2018
Sasha Lane knows she packs a mean punch.
The 22-year-old is set to appear in the reboot of the comic superhero film Hellboy as Alice Monaghan, an Irish woman who develops magical powers after being kidnapped by fairies as a baby. With its gaggle of characters with super-abilities, filming required extensive stunt work, which was a steep learning curve for Sasha. But she came out of it more of a badass than ever, especially after some “tough love” from the stunt coordinators.
“If I got something wrong or if I didn’t do it correctly, they were like, ‘What are you doing? Come on, you know you can do this,’” Sasha tells Teen Vogue on the set of the Young Hollywood shoot with a sly grin. “They’re like, ‘Hit me harder,’ and I’m like, ‘All right.’”
“I’d get scared that I was gonna, like, knock them out — because, you know, I have a mean punch,” Sasha added. “But it worked out. Everyone’s safe.”
Sasha reveals that while she has long been a passive fan of the movie — which is based on the beloved comic by artist Mike Mignola — she has been humbled by Hellboy’s cult-like following.
“I’ve always dug Hellboy, but I’ve never really gotten into the comics,” she says. “People have come up to me saying, ‘I’ve been reading it since I was 10 years old,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh, whoa, that’s sick.’”
Fans may see a brawl or two featuring Sasha in the action flick, but another one of her buzzed-about projects tackles an evil rooted in reality. In The Miseducation of Cameron Post, she plays “Jane Fonda,” a teen whose “born again” father sends her away to gay conversion camp. Winner of the top prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the LGBTQ film has been lauded for its sensitive, understated portrayal of adolescent self-doubt and discovery.
“The story meant a lot to me,” says Sasha, who came out as bisexual in 2015. “To get really good feedback from it was nice because you want to do a story like that justice.”
For the film, the award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker Desirée Akhavan did her research: She spoke at length with survivors of conversion therapy — which seeks to change a patient’s sexual orientation and has been denounced by major medical groups, like the American Psychiatric Association — in advance of shooting, and had survivors on set to ensure authentic and sensitive portrayals of the experience. In preparation for the role, Sasha also read an autobiographical account from someone who survived conversion therapy.
The film has garnered attention for the wealth of female talent behind the scenes and the diversity of its cast. Besides having Akhavan at the helm, Miseducation features Sasha, who is black and Māori, and Native American actor Forrest Goodluck alongside Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays the titular character, Cameron Post.
“I was very happy to be working with a bunch of women — we had women directors, a female cinematographer, writers,” says Sasha, who made her film debut in American Honey (2016). “It offers a different insight and a different type of feel. The more of it we can get out there, the better.”
Having plenty of women behind the camera was crucial for Sasha, proving that there are spots for them in all aspects of film and beyond. She explains, “I think it’s good for women to know that they can do whatever they want. That they can do any profession.”
The film comes on the heels of movements like Time’s Up, which brought to light long-standing inequalities women face in Hollywood and pretty much all industries, and the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite campaign, which calls for diversity in casting and recognition of the contributions of people of color to the world of entertainment.
And Sasha gets why these initiatives are so pivotal.
“People want to be represented; people want to be seen,” Sasha says. “You want to see yourself on screen so you have something to relate to. You can feel comfortable.”
Fearless when it comes to her own stunts and calling for action, it only makes sense that she brings that same bravery to getting inked up. She got a tattoo of a bee on her foot from a 13-year-old: “His mom actually owned the shop and just was like, ‘My son will do a tattoo for you, 20 bucks, anything you want,’” Sasha says. “I looked over and he was doing some chick’s back piece and I said, ‘F*ck it, OK.’ I told him to tattoo a bumblebee on my foot, and he did.”
To those scared of getting stung, a bee is a peculiar choice. But not for Sasha.
“I always have this thing with bees,” Sasha said. “Anytime I feel like I need to know that things are going to be all right, a bee always lands on my face or on my hand or just really close to me and chills there for a couple seconds and leaves. It’s like my little sign that things will be all right.”