Sasha Lane is tired. One thing no one tells you when they ask you if you want to be in a movie is one day you’ll have to talk to journalists about it. And so Lane, the young star of “American Honey,” has gone from a young woman in Texas, who was discovered by acclaimed English filmmaker Andrea Arnold (“Fish Tank,” “Wuthering Heights”) on a Florida beach during Spring Break, to interview rooms, talking endlessly to strangers about herself and her unusual new film.
“I’m brain-dead,” Lane admits with a chuckle.
But she soldiers on. In “American Honey,” Lane, now 20, plays Star, an 18-year-old who hitches a ride with a gang of young runaways who drive around the Midwest in a bus, selling magazine subscriptions. It’s a grim business, with their boss (Riley Keough) always threatening them with beatings or with stranding them in the middle of nowhere. And yet most of the crew acts like they’re on an endless Spring Break — partying outside motels, drinking and singing along in their sad van.
What you see onscreen is sort-of-accurate, says Lane. They each got their own motel rooms, but they really did drive around in that van, and really did pick their own driving music. Usually it was rap and Top 40.
“I had the more chill songs,” Lane says. But everyone got used to that. “I remember I played one song. At first you could tell everyone was like, ‘Oh, Sasha, her and her vibey stuff.’ But eventually it just settled everyone. Everyone started chilling out. It was a really serene moment.”
Lane wouldn’t play just anything she liked. “I enjoy a lot of sad music,” she explains. “People would think it’s sad, but for me it’s another form of creativity. That’s another part of my brain I like exploring. But I’m not just trying to downhill everyone. Those songs are more when it’s a one-on-one, or with three people. I’m all about moods and vibes and energy. Like, ‘I’m gonna need candles for this. It’s gonna take a lot of care and effort to set the vibe.’”
She agrees being sad isn’t a bad thing. “People are very afraid of feelings,” she says. She doesn’t like when people are constantly happy or on. “That’s wack. That’s what I think is insane: when someone’s constantly one thing.”