Interview: Sasha Lane – American Honey


The star of A24’s American Honey is a young vibrant actress named Sasha Lane. The story of her discovery could be its own movie. Before American Honey opens and Sasha becomes one of the most talked about young actresses in Hollywood, she sat down to talk about being cast, her best experience traveling with the film and making friends with a bear.

How did you get cast in American Honey?

Sasha Lane: It was literally happened on the beach in Florida during Spring Break. I remember Andrea (Arnold), her assistant at the time who is now my manager – Amy, and Lucy ran after me. I can’t even remember the conversations. Mostly she was saying she was making a movie and my friends were looking it up. They asked if they could come to my hotel that night. I said yes, but wasn’t sure they would actually come [laughs]. When they called that night and were outside, I froze. It was a British woman in a cowboy hat and overalls, but she was sweet and there was something trustworthy about her. I ended up doing a little improv with my friend on video. The next day we had breakfast and she said she wanted me for the role but wanted to make sure. She asked if I could stay a week longer, so I stayed a week longer. I took my suitcase out of my friend’s car and put it in hers. We had a lot of conversations and by the end of the week she told me she wanted me for the part.

What point did it feel real? Was it the first day on set?

SL: It didn’t feel real until the trailer came out. Once I saw the trailer I remember thinking, “Oh…we made a movie.” Even after Cannes Film Festival, none of it registered with me. During the process between filming and Cannes, I’d wake up forget why I was in L.A. It didn’t feel real at all.

From finishing the movie to now, what’s been your best experience traveling with the film?

SL: As far as festivals, nothing tops Cannes. Most of the cast was together and it was the first time we saw the film. My brother was there and I’d been trying to explain this experience to him and I couldn’t. He was able to see what I went through. There was a lot of love out there. Things like coming out of a screening and someone on the street telling me they drove a long distance just to see the movie, and they connected to it. Connecting with people has been the most amazing thing. Having conversations with them and picking their brains, knowing that they really felt the movie. It felt real to them even if they don’t know that life.

Was there anything in your character that you identified with the most?

SL: I think she’s more naïve than me, but there’s something about her impulsive behavior [laughs]. “What if they do turn out to be a good person?”, even if everything in you is saying no. I’m always trying to find something good in a person wherever I can. I really liked that about her.

Every time Star left with a person I got nervous…

SL: Now I know how people look at me and say, “Sasha, what are you doing?”

Were you nervous doing any of the kissing or love scenes?

SL: It all felt like it was in the moment so I didn’t think about it. You’re in the scene and it just happens. There was so much support and it was always a very intimate set.

What was your favorite day on set?

SL: Honestly, with the bear. How could it not be? When do you get to experience that in such a great setting? It was pretty amazing.

That was a real bear?

SL: Yes and it was really in my face. I had a lot of conversations with that bear [laughs].

I saw The Revenant and couldn’t have gotten that close to a bear without being freaked out.

SL: That ain’t real, we had a real bear. My hippie came out and we were just chillin’. We were good.

There’s a lot of music in the film, what was your favorite song?

SL: Now I think its God’s Whispers by Raury. It hits me every time. It’s a really free song, but still hits you in the heart. It became one of my favorites. It’s such a beautiful song.