Our interview with talented dynamic sisters Violet and April Brinson who are the most electric talents to storm into Hollywood and are forces to be reckoned with as they star in the critically acclaimed HBO mini-series “Sharp Objects,” opposite Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson in the Jean-Marc Vallée (“Big Little Lies”) directed and Marti Noxon produced (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “UnREAL”), based on the book by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl.) Sharp Objects airs Sunday nights at 9pm.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
April: The best part of being an actress is experiencing so many different lives. You get to experience so many new and different things, between research for your roles and learning new skills that may be required, you are always learning and expanding your worldview. I would say the hardest part of being an actress is definitely the down time in between projects.
Violet: The best part of being an actress is being able to step into another’s life and emotions and be able to experience the world from someone else’s perspective. You get to see how everyone is different and how everyone is the same. The worst part is the agonizing wait to hear back about projects that you really, really want to be a part of.
Best advice ever given?
April: The greatest piece of advice I’ve encountered is from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” I think it’s a very relevant piece of advice for me as an actress. With every role, I think of this quote and strive to truly understand the characters I am inhabiting.
Violet: My mom once told me that ‘Only you can affect how you feel about yourself.’ What others say and think about you, is their problem and not your business. It shouldn’t determine your self-worth.
How did you find out about “Sharp Objects,” and tell us about your characters Jodes and Kelsey?
April: Violet and I were having dinner together when we got the call. It was one of the greatest moments in my life. Not only was I going to be able to work with such an amazing cast and crew, but I was also going to be able to work with my sister. It was a dream come true.
My character Jodes, is best friends with Kelsey and Amma. She is more sensitive and at the bottom of the pecking order within their trio.
Throughout filming, I really had to identify with the moments in my life where I have felt less than or unwanted. I also had to find the desire to please Kelsey and Amma even though they continued to treat me poorly. Jodes tries hard to fit in with them.
Violet: April and I were out eating dinner with our really close family friends and I got the call from my agent like two seconds before April got the call from hers. It was an insane moment, really. We were like jumping on top of each other and couldn’t stop laughing because we were so excited.
I play Kelsey. She is best friends with Jodes and Amma. They do everything together and since there isn’t a lot to do in Wind Gap, the three of them go out looking for trouble and excitement. They are rebellious and searching for adult experiences, which don’t always lead to the smartest choices. Their dynamic definitely has a pecking order.
What is the series about?
April: An investigative reporter, Camille Preaker, returns to her hometown to investigate the murders of two preteen girls.
Violet: Sharp Objects is about a reporter, Camille Preaker, who goes back to her hometown of Wind Gap, to report on the killings of two little girls. There, Camille is forced to confront her past while trying to uncover the secrets of this small town community.
What has been your most memorable experience from the set?
April: On the very first day I was so nervous. Violet and I had a scene with Eliza and Amy. Amy was so warm and welcoming she really made me feel at ease and Jean-Marc Vallee was so energetic and excited about the day ahead of us, it was infectious. Being surrounded by people who are so passionate about what they do was the most incredible experience for me. I always knew that I wanted to be an actress, but that first day on set, I finally understood the kind of fulfillment acting truly brings me.
Violet: I remember one day when Jean Marc Vallee abruptly decided he wanted to film a scene where April, Eliza, and I would skate around the front porch of the Crellin House. Right then and there we pulled on our roller skates and started following his direction. We had so much fun. This memory sticks out so much for me, because Jean Marc was always so willing to follow his creative drive and wasn’t afraid to change something or add something if he thought it would benefit the project as a whole. It was very inspiring to watch.
What other projects you have been part of?
April: I was fortunate to work on a Disney Micro Movie called Virtual High and an Episode of NCIS. They were both such wonderful experiences. I feel like every time I step foot on set, I learn so much. I’m beyond thankful for every experience I have been gifted with.
Violet: I’ve done a couple national commercials and short films, but Sharp Objects is pretty much my first project. It’s been such a blast!
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
April: Jennifer Lawrence. She has my dream career. Her body of work is so diverse, I would love the chance to embody so many different types of people and circumstances. I love that she has so many fabulous indies such as Poker House as well as blockbusters such as the Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle.
Violet: This is always such a hard question, because I have so many! One of my favorites though, is Reese Witherspoon. She has such an impressive and varied career. She has done all genres of acting, from films like Wild to Legally Blonde, Walk the Line and Freeway. She’s even branched out to TV with amazing series like Big Little Lies. She is a lover of books and reading and has a production company, where she can bring her favorite novels to the screen. She’s experienced everything, which is something I would love to do. I follow her on Instagram and she’s always posting about the books she’s reading and her life in a very accessible way. She really inspires me to take risks and follow my dreams.
3 things you can’t leave your house without?
April: Whatever book I’m reading, my bkr glass liter water bottle, and a snack
Violet: I can’t leave my house without clothes, my phone, or my water bottle.
What music do you like?
April: Anything and everything. I am so open when it comes to music. However, recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, and Tom Petty.
Violet: I’m open to all kinds of music, I listen to a super varied selection, all depending on what I’m in the mood for. More often than not, I’m listening to really depressing music, because for some strange reason I like that. But then I’ll listen to the Rolling Stones–I love ‘Paint it Black’–or D12 and then two days later, I’m listening to Taylor Swift and the Mamma Mia Soundtrack.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
April: Drinking coffee by a fire place, while reading a book, preferably while it rains really, really hard.
Violet: Relaxing with my family, reading, just kind of chilling.
How’s a normal day in your life?
April: I wake up fairly early around 7:00 am. My morning typically consists of drinking a liter of water, checking my email, eating breakfast, and then going to the gym. The rest of the day I fill with whatever I need to get done for that day. Hopefully, I have auditions or scripts to read through. In the evenings I’ll hang out with my friends. We like to go hiking, bowling, mini golfing, or to the movies.
Violet: Sometimes I’ll hang out with my friends, we’ll have a pool day or go out to see a movie. I’ll read, do school, and listen to music. Go hiking or biking. I love the outdoors. Pretty normal stuff.
How would you explain your fashion style and what items in your closet can you not be without?
April: I’m a blank slate when it comes to fashion. I’m still learning, and I’m really open to new trends. That being said, I have a vintage suede skirt I’m obsessed with. I wear it with band T’s and a baker boy hat.
Violet: I’m still learning what I like and I’m in a bit of an exploration phase right now. Honestly, I’m open to everything as long as it looks cute 🙂 As far as what item in my closet I could not be without? I just bought a pair of blue and white striped trouser jeans from Fred Segal, which I swear are the most comfortable pants ever invented. I wear them all the time. My mom and sister are probably sick of seeing them, but they’re just so comfortable!!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
April: Josephine Baker. She was living in a difficult time in our world and although the status quo was against her, she was able to use her art and talent to stand up for what she believed in. Her singing and dancing was not only beautiful and raw, but it was able to transcend all kinds of societal rules and normalcy of the time. She was able to use her art and the platform it gave her, to help bring equality to people in the 1950’s. I would love to be able to have such an important impact on the course of our history through my passion.
Violet: Malala Yousafzai. I read her book ‘I am Malala’ for school about two years back. Her courage and determination to fight for the rights of girls like her, to advocate for their right for an education, really struck a chord with me. She was a teenager when she began speaking out, with the threat of the Taliban literally hanging over her head. I couldn’t believe she was so close to my age. That kind of bravery is astounding. It’s inspiring. Her quote pretty much sums it all up. “I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.”
Who are some of your favorite models and designers?
April: One of my favorite models is Cindy Crawford. She is so elegant and composed. She also gives back to so many charities and works to support important causes, it’s very inspiring. I think it’s extremely important to give back to your community. As far as designers go, I really love Alexander Wang, Versace and Gucci.
Violet: I love Kaia Gerber. I spend hours just browsing through pictures of her outfits and her Instagram.
What is your favorite healthy food?
April: So, I am a healthy baking fiend and I like some strange food combos. Right now, my favorite, simple, go to, healthy snack is sweet potato with almond butter.
Violet: Mangos and spaghetti squash.
And your favorite cheat food?
April: It changes all of the time, but I’m currently obsessed with sushi and pizza.
Violet: I love sushi and cornbread, not together though, that would be gross.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
April: Spending all of my time on set!
Violet: Still acting, hopefully working on projects that matter to people. I honestly just love this job so much and would be happy pursuing it for the rest of my life.
Do you support any charities?
April: I love to volunteer at food banks, no-euthanasia animal shelters, and help with pet adoptions.
Violet: Volunteering at food banks is always a great way to get involved. I love kids, education, and animals. I’m always looking for opportunities to help out.
Where we can follow you?
April: My Instagram is @aprilbrinson123
Violet: I have an Instagram @violet_brinson.
April: All of it
Violet: Any song by Amy Winehouse
April: You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” -Dr. Seuss
Violet: “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
April: South African Safari
Violet: Greece or Italy.
April: Iced Latte with Almond Milk
Violet: Cookies and Cream milkshake 🙂
April: Ryan Gosling, duh.
Violet: Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise.
April: Paint it Black and Into the Great Wide Open
Violet: It changes, but right at the moment? I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.
April: Gryffindor. I don’t watch a ton of sports, but I love Quidditch:-)
Violet: I don’t really watch sports… Umm, Serena and Venus Williams. Go Sisters!
April: Taxi Driver and The Bird Cage
Violet: Pulp Fiction and The Help.
Photographer: Benjo Arwas
Stylist: Erin MacDonald
Hair Stylist: Preston Wada
Makeup: Dee Daly