(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen Episode 103 of “Sharp Objects,” “Fix”)
Eliza Scanlen may play a wild child on HBO’s new limited series, “Sharp Objects,” but that’s far from her real-life M.O. The Australian born actress told TheWrap as much last week, when she stopped by to talk about her role as Camille’s (Amy Adams) rebellious half sister, Amma Crellin, in the TV adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s dark debut novel.
“I think when it is a challenge, it’s all the more fun and exciting and what you get out of it, it’s a lot more gratifying,” the 19-year-old said of taking on the two-faced preteen, who lets her mother, Adora (Patricia Clarkson), baby her all day, then runs her posse of preteen bullies during those hot Missouri summer nights.
“So in that sense, I think playing the more rebellious side to Amma was really fun, ’cause I’m definitely not like that in real life,” Scanlen added. “I’m a goody two shoes. I’m pretty boring and I wish I could be that interesting. I wish I had the balls that Amma has.”
When it comes to being both a good girl and a bad girl at the same time, the newcomer (who has already been labeled the limited series’ “breakout star” by many a critic and fan) says that’s part of Amma’s charm.
“She does have this dual personality that’s very interesting to see onscreen, and I think even just with the first three episodes she’s still a bit of an enigma to the audience,” Scanlen told TheWrap. “It seems as though her personality, it’s ever changing. You can’t really pinpoint, you know, what her agenda is specifically, which was really fun to play. But at times it was confusing because sometimes Amma confused me and I was like, ‘What? I don’t know what is she thinking? And why is she being so mean right now?'”
After last Sunday’s episode, “Fix,” viewers know that Camille has been haunted by the ghost of her old rehab roommate, Alice, a young girl who was a cutter, like her. That episode also saw Amma begin to really bond with Camille, who she hasn’t known until her big sister came back to their small town to report on the grisly murders of two young girls.
“In terms of the progression of the story, Episode 3 is definitely really important,” Scanlen said. “You discover who the girl that’s been appearing in the mirrors is and how she’s connected to Camille, and her story, and her bouts of self destruction. And for Amma, she’s sort of discovering more and more that she’s very much alike to Camille, and perhaps there is a friendship that can be manifested there.”
“And I think it’s also an opportunity for her to explore herself more freely, and without judgement. Because I think she feels a lot of judgement from Adora to be this sort of character,” Scanlen said. “And seeing Camille really sort of stepping away from Adora’s expectations and trying not to be influenced by them serves as inspiration for Amma. So yeah, we do see this friendship flourish. And I think it makes the story a little bit sweeter, because so much of it is dark and there is a little bit of innocence that Amma brings into the story, which is refreshing.”
Watch the full interview above.
“Sharp Objects airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.