Sasha Lane was the breakout star of the Cannes Film Festival in May, when her startling debut performance in Andrea Arnold’s American Honey stormed the Croisette. She’s back with the movie now, for its Toronto Film Festival premiere, lining up the next role of a career that already seems certain to be big (she’ll appear in Stephen Kijak’s Shoplifters of the World, it was announced this week). And she stopped by Deadline’s Toronto studio to discuss the chance meeting that led to her casting. “I feel like it was meant to happen,” she told me.
She was on a Miami beach during Spring Break when Andrea Arnold approached her to play the role of Star, alongside Shia LaBeouf and an upbeat young cast whose Toronto party rocked harder than the rest at this festival. “The conversations we had, and the feeling I had of feeling really whole; it just felt right. I remember asking her, ‘You want me? This is how I look.’ She was like, ‘All of that is so beautiful; of course.'”
The shoot for Arnold’s film was as spontaneous as Lane’s casting, with Robbie Ryan’s cameras following Lane and her co-stars on an American road trip in which they stayed in the same dingy motels as the characters they play. She and Arnold found Lane’s character Star together, she said.
Lane told me she always felt fate would intervene for her one day. “I had the conversations with my dad and I was like, ‘Trust me. It’s going to happen for me the way I am.’ I’ve constantly had to be like, ‘The way I am is perfect; someone will see that and I will be OK. I promise you I’ll be OK.’ But it’s so hard to tell your parents you’ll be OK off of a whim.”
With another role lined up earlier in the year, as the title lead in Paul J. Franklin’s Hunting Lila, Lane says she has finally found her calling as an actress. “Thank God I held in.”
Check out the video above for more from Lane.