Interview by James Patrick Herman
Photographs by Jeff Vespa
Where are you from?
Los Angeles. I try not to say “like” when I talk, but it’s a struggle. Also, I have horrible road rage. But as I get older, I am more zen about it.
Are you a Sundance virgin?
I have never been to Sundance before.
So how does it feel to be a Sundance sensation?
Absolutely nerve-wracking. When I shot this movie, it was such an intense experience that I forgot it was something that was going to be seen. I really bared my soul.
What’s the buzz about your movie?
It is rare that an indie movie gets to do this but we shot on film — 35 mm. It’s a western but it just so happens to be set in that time period. It’s not at all a typical western, which is almost always a male-driven genre. There is a feminist quality to it.
Describe your character in one sentence.
I had an opportunity to play a feminist hero. She is a young girl in an awful situation. And over the course of a night and a day, she discovers her power and independence. She stands up for herself and she fights for herself and she grows up.
Do you relate to your character?
The script hit close to home. I feel like this character is a part of me. She is kind of the odd duck, and she doesn’t feel like she’s found where she belongs. I feel that way quite often. In no way do I feel like I belong, and I have always felt that way. But I enjoy the ride of trying to figure it out.
What was your first acting experience?
I played my dad’s daughter in a movie called True Crime. I was about eight and I got to choose my character’s name. I was obsessed with Kate Winslet, so my character’s name was Kate. I remember at one point, I thought my stand-in had taken my part, and I started crying. We started filming right after that because in one scene I was supposed to be crying.
Did you ever have a normal job?
I worked as a sales associate at Marc by Marc Jacobs and I was in love with my coworker. That didn’t last.
Describe the Sundance selfie of your dreams.
I am excited to be reunited with the cast so that we can take a selfie in the snow.
What is your favorite Robert Redford film?
Indecent Proposal. I love his character because he is such a likable bad guy.