BlackBook Interview: The ‘Sharp Objects’ Set From The POV of Its Roller-Blading Teen Stars
Photo: Anne Marie Fox/ HBO
We’re assuming by now, five episodes in, HBO’s Sharp Objects has you trembling with fear and anticipation, as you await the next chapter of the limited series each Sunday night. The Amy Adams led adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel is equal parts gripping crime thriller and heartbreaking exploration of a woman deeply troubled by her childhood and her battle with alcoholism.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the show is its handling of children – particularly the three young roller-skating party girls at the plot’s center. Eliza Scanlen plays 13-year-old Amma, the younger sister of Adams’ Camille Preaker. In the most recent episode, we saw her popping pills on stage with her two cronies, played by real-life sisters Violet and April Brinson.
We’ve seen their backlit silhouettes gliding down the nighttime country roads of Wind Gap, Missouri all season, their miniskirts fluttering as a psychopathic killer of young girls remains on the loose. As the show progresses toward its sure-to-be grisly conclusion, we couldn’t help but wonder: what’s it like on set in the deep south (Barnesville, GA), alongside a somber Amy Adams, a sinister Patricia Clarkson (playing Camille and Amma’s cold-hearted mother), and several fake corpses?
Who better to answer that question than the true flies on the wall: the Brinson sisters, who watched the show unfold from the comfort of their roller skates.
Walk me through the casting process – how did your audition(s) go?
Violet Brinson: Well, before we even got in the room with casting, we had to submit a roller-skating video. April and I filmed separate videos that we sent to casting. It was really funny because they called up April’s agents and asked them if April had a sister, and her agents didn’t know, so they said she didn’t. Then casting called again asking if she had a cousin or something, because our last names are the same and our videos look very similar. April’s agents called our mom and finally asked whether or not she had a sister or cousin auditioning and my mom confirmed that, yes, April has a sister that is also auditioning. Everyone got a good laugh out of this. After we read for casting the next step was the director’s session with Jean-Marc Vallée. At first, it was a bit bittersweet because we were both going in for the same role. We really had to channel our inner Serena and Venus Williams (sister goals). We were so thrilled when we both got cast!
Had you read the book before coming in?
April Brinson: As soon as I found out I was going to be reading with casting I read the book. I loved it and became attached to the characters and story almost instantly. I had previously read Gone Girl, so I was already a fan of Gillian.
How familiar were you with Amy Adams, Jean-Marc, and Patricia Clarkson before signing on?
Violet: Oh my gosh! I knew exactly who all three of them were! I’ve seen Dallas Buyers Club and Wild and Demolition and they are some of my favorite movies of all time. I’ve grown up watching Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson. They are such successful and talented actresses, who I have looked up to since I was young. Being on set with them was so surreal.
April: I had seen almost every project each of them had worked on. I had grown up looking up to them. While I was going through the auditioning process, Big Little Lies was being released and I was obsessed. So I couldn’t help but be thrilled to work on Jean Marc’s next HBO series.