Anya Taylor-Joy, who broke onto the scene with her lauded performance in A24’s The Witch, has been tapped as the title character in Weetzie Bat, the film adaptation of Francesca Lia Block’s cult favorite 1980s novel that Justin Kelly is directing. Love, Simon star Nick Robinson, American Honey standout Sasha Lane, Theodore Pellerin (Boy Erased) and Keiynan Lonsdale (Love, Simon, The Flash) also will star in the pic, which is described as a neon-lit fairy tale.
Weetzie (Taylor-Joy) is an ethereal pixie living in 1980s Los Angeles, where she grew up the child of an alcoholic starlet mother and a junkie screenwriter father. She teams up with her Mohawked best friend Dirk (Pellerin) to find love, leading her to mysterious trenchcoat-wearing filmmaker Max (Robinson) and platinum-haired surfer Duck (Lonsdale). But when their bliss is threatened by deaths, breakups and Max’s witchy and bitter ex-girlfriend Vixanne (Lane), Weetzie must take off her pink harlequin sunglasses in order to confront life’s darkness and find happiness in a city known as much for the glamour of fame and fortune as the darkness of cults and crime.
Thor Bradwell, Justin Kelly, and Joshua Thurston are the producers on Weetzie Bat.
Block, who also penned the screenplay for the film, has authored more than 25 books spanning fiction, nonfiction, short stories and poetry. Repped by Intellectual Property Group, she has written scripts for Fox Searchlight and MTV and is currently developing other screenplays based on her work.
Taylor-Joy, recently seen in M. Night Shyalaman’s Split and Cory Finley’s Thoroughbreds, next stars in Fox’s X-Men: The New Mutants and the next film in Shyalaman’s Unbreakable series, Glass. She’s repped by CAA and Troika.
Robinson, who just wrapped on A24’s Native Son, is repped by UTA, Savage Agency, Management 360 and Felker Toczek. Lane, soon to be seen in Desiree Akhavan’s coming-of-age Sundance film The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Neil Marshall’s upcoming Hellboy reboot, is repped by WME, the Long Run and attorney André Des Rochers.
Kelly, repped by Thirty Three Management and CAA, recently wrapped on the biopic JT Leroy starring Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern and Diane Kruger.
Sasha is featured in the new issue of Elle (UK). It was a really great read so I highly recommend you check it out. I’ve added scans from her feature as well as some photo sessions and some photos from The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Enjoy!
Sasha Lane is opening up in Elle UK‘s August 2018 issue, out Wednesday (July 4).
Here’s what the 22-year-old American Honey actress had to say…
On struggling with mental illness: “I have bipolar disorder, and the more intense my life gets, the more intense my head gets. It’s hard to act like you’re not hearing voices all day when you’re trying to say your lines… But someone else is struggling with this. I want people to know that just because I have designer bags and I’ve traveled the world, I’m still having a breakdown every other f–king day.”
On staying true to herself: “I’m pretty good at sticking to my guns. I don’t care how much money they’re offering, or how big the role, or how cool the party is. I just don’t take s–t from people. I’ve been asked, ‘Will you switch your hair?’ F–k, no. What for?”
On racial diversity and avoiding token roles: “There are a handful I get [offered] that I know are specifically for a white person; the whole family dynamic is geared towards a white person. I don’t have those experiences. My mother is Maori, from New Zealand, and my father is black. I grew up with a lot of black people. You thought [offering me this role] was diverse, so you could say you have someone of colour in your film, but I’m light-skinned enough that it doesn’t throw white people off. As much as I’m glad to represent people, don’t use me as your token.”
2018: Photo Session #018
2017: Garage – additions
The Miseducation of Cameron Post: Posters & Art – additions
The Miseducation of Cameron Post: Promotional Images – additions
Chloë Grace Moretz is offering a few lessons on morality and acceptance in the new trailer for her stunning Sundance drama The Miseducation of Cameron Post.
The first full-length trailer for the festival hit debuted Tuesday, previewing the Desiree Akhavan-directed film’s emotionally wrought story revolving around a young lesbian’s (Moretz in the titular role) road to self-acceptance amid her journey through the evils of religiously-backed gay conversion therapy in 1993 America.
After her boyfriend catches her having sex with her high school’s prom queen, Cameron’s mother exiles her to a rural treatment center. Though she struggles to cope with her new environment at first, Cameron doesn’t face the conflict alone: American Honey breakout Sasha Lane plays another gay teen who quickly bonds with Moretz’s character at the facility, which is run by the domineering Dr. Marsh (Jennifer Ehle) and her docile brother, Reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr.). But things don’t go according to plan, and Cameron’s bout with conversion therapy instead affirms her identity as opposed to erasing it.
“Cameron, your sin is with the struggle of same-sex attraction. You’re facing the consequences of your actions, and it’s ugly… The first step is for you to stop thinking of yourself as a homosexual,” Dr. Marsh tells Cameron, who responds: “I don’t think of myself as a homosexual. I don’t really think of myself as anything… F— this place.”
Following the success of Appropriate Behavior — Akhavan’s debut feature as a writer-director — Cameron Post marked the filmmaker’s second consecutive feature to premiere at Sundance, where the film ultimately won the annual event’s 2018 Grand Jury Prize in January. It has since traveled to festivals around the world (including the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival), where it has been met with positive reviews from movie critics.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post enters limited release on Aug. 3. Watch the film’s first full-length trailer above.
Sasha Lane is the 22-years-old actress who starred in the Hollywood movie; American Honey. She speaks honestly about being herself in the recent issue of Elle Magazine.
Hollywood is a highly competitive industry and most often than not people change who they are and how they look just to fit in. But not Lane (her father is black and mum is from New Zeland); “I’ve been asked; will you switch your hair? Fuck no! What for,” she states as she points to her dreadlocks.
Staying true has paid off! Since starring alongside actor Shia LaBeouf in the 2016 movie American Honey, work has become steady. Next year, she has some major movies lined up for release including Hell Boy and Hearts Beat Loud.
The fashion industry has also welcomed her fearless attitude with open arms. She has been the face of Louis Vuitton, part of Coach’s Class of 2018, been cover girl for Wonderland, Dazed and Teen Vogue.
“It’s kind of cool for me that the girl with the locs and tattoos can wear this (clothing) and still feel comfortable. People can think; ‘Oh she looks like me, which means so I can wear that stuff too. That I can be beautiful.’”
She also talks openly about her struggle with mental health issues. “I have bipolar disorder, and the more intense my life gets, the more intense my head gets,” she tells Elle.
“It’s hard to act like you’re not hearing voices all day when you’re trying to say your lines…But someone else is struggling with this. I want people to know that just because I have designer handbags and I’ve traveled the world, I’m still having to break down every other fucking day.”
Sasha Lane, who starred in Andrea Arnold’s 2016 Cannes-winning pic American Honey in her first feature role, has signed with WME. The part earned her a Best Actress British Independent Film Award.
Lane currently appears in a pair of Sundance 2018 films: Hearts Beat Loud opposite Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons in theaters now, and grand prize winner The Miseducation of Cameron Post starring Chloë Grace Moretz. The latter pic bows August 3 via FilmRise.
Most recently, Lane starred in the SXSW film Shotgun, and she’s next up in Lionsgate’s Hellboy reboot opposite David Harbour and Milla Jovovich which hits screens January 11.
Lane, who had been based at Gersh, remains repped by The Long Run’s Amy BonFleur and attorney André Des Rochers.
I’ve added a handful of film images, photo sessions, and scan additions to the gallery. They are all lovely. More soon. Enjoy!
Sasha Lane: The Fashion Muse We Need Right Now
It’s a Saturday morning, early enough that it only takes me 20 minutes to get from the Westside of Los Angeles to Echo Park, the neighborhood Sasha Lane calls home. I’m meeting the actress—Hollywood’s beloved indie darling—at one of her favorite local spots, Stories Books & Cafe, a small business serving up exactly what you’d expect: books, brews, and bites. She arrives shortly after I do with her dog, Homey, in tow, and we grab a seat on the back patio. It’s been a dismal week, to say the least, with the sudden passing of designer Kate Spade and chef/journalist Anthony Bourdain, but Lane is the embodiment of positivity in a tie-dye pink T-shirt with denim cutoffs and glitter-covered Vans, her nails painted a sparkly light blue.
She is the energy we all need right now.
One can only imagine that same energy was the impetus for her discovery. Before Lane landed on the It list of nearly every industry producer and director—a result of her raw performance in 2016’s American Honey—she was a Texas State University student taking classes in psychology and social work, and her story went something like this: Hanging out with friends on a Florida beach during spring break, she caught the eye of director Andrea Arnold, who convinced her to audition for the lead role in her film. While Lane’s right-place, right-time discovery is a storied industry tale, that’s where the similarities between her and other young starlets end.
Lane caters to a new generation, bucking all the Hollywood ingénue clichés, from her sexuality and appearance—she’s a biracial gay woman with dreadlocks and tattoos—to her project selection philosophy. But even better, she’s not afraid to call bullshit on industry elite who say they want “real” and “raw” but then throw that all out the window for the safe choice. That’s the exciting thing about Lane; she’s not afraid to take risks, bring authentic stories to the big screen, or, most importantly, ensure inclusivity and diversity in Hollywood aren’t just trends.
You can see this reflected in her résumé. Four out of the six projects listed on Lane’s IMDb page are directed by women, and two of her character credits identify as LGBTQ+. She may not be exclusively seeking out these types of projects, but the impact they’ve had on her
(and audiences) is not lost on Lane.
“Andrea really solidified how I felt about being vulnerable and how women see characters,” she says. “I keep being in these situations where I’m making vulnerable films with these women who are actually allowing me to be a full character, not just a pretty girl, not just three fucking descriptions we see in every script,” she says. At once sweet and tough, fearful and confident, graceful and crude, Lane can’t be whittled down to just three descriptions any more than the rest of the human race.
This month, we see Lane in the feel-good indie story Hearts Beat Loud, about a widowed father (Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman) trying to make the most of his final weeks with his college-bound daughter (Kiersey Clemons) by forming an unlikely music duo. Lane is fantastic as Rose, Clemons’s character’s love interest. The part afforded Lane the opportunity to collaborate and bring her personal truth to their story, a dynamic not commonly portrayed on the big screen. “[Director] Brett Haley was like, I’m a straight white man. I know nothing about a biracial lesbian relationship. What should we do?” laughs Lane. “And then we just started going through the entire script and working on it, and it gave me confidence to speak my mind and steer the direction of how something should go, that I shouldn’t just say, Whatever you want! Because no, I have an opinion, I have a mind, and Brett offered that to us.”
While Lane has her own experiences to draw from for Hearts Beat Loud, nothing could prepare her for the gut punch that was The Miseducation of Cameron Post. The film follows the journey of teenager Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz) as she is forced to enter a gay conversion therapy center after her romance with a close female friend is exposed.
“My initial thoughts were like, whoa!” Lane tells us. “It is set in 1993, and that is not that long ago. And then I started reading books about it and talking to Chloë and the director, Desiree [Akhavan], more about it. Chloë is so smart and intellectual and is always doing research. She was telling me how this is now. The fact that we were filming during the inauguration, it made that film hit us much harder and made us want to work that much harder for it.” That passion to do right by the story clearly paid off; the film would go on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Not only is Lane winning over critics and audiences with her performances, but she’s a bona fide fashion muse, too, with first-rate designers clamoring to dress her. Just last month, she accompanied Tory Burch to the Met Gala in a custom ivory gown featuring gathered tulle and Chantilly lace, her dreadlocks decorated with crystal strands. When I ask about the collaboration, she admits it was a shock even to her at first. “I was intrigued, because I was like, Tory wants me?” says says. “She wants me at her table? Has she seen me—has she seen what I look like?”
The two built a connection in that small amount of time, Lane tells us, bonding over their relationships with their brothers. And while the Met Gala red carpet can be intimidating to even the most veteran Hollywood talent, the rising star felt completely at ease her second time around.
“I had so much confidence and I felt so good in what I wore that even when I saw Rihanna—
who of course always looks banging, and it’s fucking Rihanna—I was like, I don’t even feel less than; I don’t feel intimidated or anything. We’re both just here looking beautiful as shit. It made me feel like I can stand among these people and still feel beautiful.”
At this rate, with the career Lane is carving for herself, she won’t just stand among industry giants. She’ll surpass them.
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In a world inundated with films about angsty artists rebelling against their more traditional parents, Hearts Beat Loud is the breath of fresh air that we didn’t even know we needed. Yes, it’s another entry into the, “‘You’re giving up on your dream.’ ‘No, Dad. I’m giving up on yours,’” film canon, but with a welcome twist: 18-year-old Sam (Kiersey Clemons) wants to attend UCLA for medical school and her father, record shop owner Frank, wants her to stay in New York and start a band with him. Frank (Nick Offerman) is the quintessential goofy dad, pulling his daughter away from studying so they can “jam sesh.” He plays an old guitar, and she plays a keyboard hooked up to a Macbook; he represents old school rock, and she represents contemporary pop. Together, they make an unlikely songwriting duo called “We Are Not A Band.”
But underneath this saccharine premise, father and daughter struggle to heal from a family death. Sam copes by burying herself in medical textbooks and planning to move to LA, while Frank smokes cigarettes and drinks at the bar, ignoring his failing record shop. By channelling their trauma into writing music, the pair finds that forming a band may have the potential to be a healthier coping mechanism.
The original music by Keegan DeWitt is infuriatingly catchy (I keep finding myself blasting the title song in my car as I drive around the city), with Clemons’ powerhouse vocals standing out amongst the bouncy synths. Along with her breakthrough performance as rapper/drummer Diggy in Dope (2015) Clemons has now officially claimed the niche title of musical indie darling.
Not only does Clemons possess the voice of an angel, she’s got the acting chops to boot. Her expressive eyes communicate through slow, thoughtful blinks and longing stares, telling us exactly what’s going through her head. The way she gazes at her girlfriend, Rose (Sasha Lane of American Honey), exudes a deep affection that’s louder than words could ever scream. And yet, her character Sam still manages to express these feelings through writing love songs for We Are Not A Band. It’s a difficult task to not shed a tear as Sam croons to Rose, “You told me to be brave and I will remember that.” It’s a task I failed spectacularly.
But I’ve gushed enough about Clemons. I must keep reminding myself that there are other characters in the film, too. Like current reigning scream queen Toni Collette, playing Frank’s landlady, who delivers a delicious karaoke rendition of “Bruises” by Chairlift. And Ted Danson, playing Frank’s chronically stoned bartender, who doesn’t really add anything to the plot, but is hilarious nonetheless. Though the film struggles to find satisfying arcs for these characters, and at times can feel like a not-so-subtle Spotify ad, these few missteps are masked by its feel-good, charm-filled atmosphere.
Okay, now back to Clemons. The revolutionary thing about her character is that she doesn’t experience any discrimination based on her race or her lesbianism throughout the entire film. As a mixed race bisexual woman, I saw myself in Sam when she joked around with her white dad and kissed her girlfriend underneath the city streetlights. While some may claim that erasing our issues is unrealistic, which it may be, it’s so refreshing to escape into a world where your marginalized identity isn’t a constant weight on your shoulders.
Films about LGBTQ+ characters have historically carried the burden of having to explain to the heterosexual audience the oppression that the community faces. We are finally beginning to get to a point where gay characters in semi-mainstream film can simply live without the entire plot being about their struggles with sexuality. Obviously, this does not mean that homophobia is over. It’s alive, and it’s ugly. But I’m tired of watching dramas where gay characters’ hearts get broken. Let them beat. Loud.
Directed and co-written by Brett Haley, “Hearts Beat Loud” isn’t exactly a coming-of-age musical, but still uses music as a vital part of its storytelling. As a father and daughter (Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons) write and play songs as a fun thing to do together before she heads away to college, she also embarks on a fizzy, freeing romance with a girl named Rose (Sasha Lane).
In his review for The Times, Kenneth Turan wrote, “[E]nergized by Offerman and Clemons, the effectiveness of the music and the emotional freshness of ‘Hearts Beat Loud’ are finally triumphant. Sometimes wearing your heart on your sleeve is the only way to go.”
Tre’vell Anderson spoke to Clemons and Lane about the film and the offhanded ease with which it deals with issues of diversity and representation. Asked when she first saw herself reflected on-screen, Lane responded, “Is it really … sad that maybe ‘Hearts Beat Loud’ was the first time that I actually saw myself? I can choose other things that I’ve done but I don’t know anything else that I connected with me on every single level.”
At the Village Voice, Ren Jender celebrated the film’s love story, noting, “Clemons, who played the soft butch Diggy in ‘Dope’ and Lane, who is also in the upcoming ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post,’ are both out, queer women of color. In their characters, we see the unalloyed joy and relief in having found one another that some of us might remember from our own queer first loves.”
The actress continues to stun audiences with her performances in the Sundance hits “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and “Hearts Beat Loud.”
“Oh man, that was insane,” says Sasha Lane of learning that The Miseducation of Cameron Post won the coveted Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Lane’s role in the coming-of-age tale, adapted from a novel and centered on teens at a gay conversion therapy camp called God’s Promise, was one that touched her from the outset. “Having a gay brother and also being amongst that community myself, it’s like, you don’t want anyone to go through this. I was reading it on the plane and then I met with Desiree [Akhavan], the director, that same night. The connection we shared and the way she spoke about the film made me want to be a part of it even more,” Lane explains. “The movie is set in ’93—that’s not long ago, and to know that [conversion therapy] is still going on now, it’s just something that needs to be spoken about.”
Filming the movie alongside co-star Chloë Grace Moretz was an immersive experience. “The place where we shot it was some type of resort or camp, so we basically lived there, which was kind of eerie because we had the God’s Promise sign up and we were always around each other, so we constantly were, like, in the movie,” says Lane. Meanwhile, the outside world, and the current socio-political climate, only bolstered their resolve that the project was an important one. “The inauguration was happening when we were filming,” recalls Lane. “We were all pretty upset, but Desiree gave this really big speech and it just kind of made us all realize what we were really doing and why we were there.”
Lane’s other Sundance film, Hearts Beat Loud—the sweet story of a father (Nick Offerman) and daughter (Kiersey Clemons) becoming an unlikely song-writing duo during the last summer before she leaves for college—serves a purpose in trying times as well. “It means a lot because it’s just such a feel-good movie, and I think we need that, because sometimes movies are escapes or just a way to warm your heart,” says Lane. “To work with Kiersey was amazing—to play two biracial women in a gay relationship, it just felt like something, like we finally get to be represented, and other people will feel represented too.”