“Don’t tell mama.” Amma Crellin’s chilling final words from HBO’s “Sharp Objects” have followed her portrayer, Eliza Scanlen, since the HBO limited series aired last summer. “I’ve had a lot of people come up to me with those exact words,” Scanlen declares. “They always talk about the last scene, those last few moments and it’s been really amazing to see people so affected by it.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Scanlen above.
Scanlen admits that she put a great deal of pressure on herself as she prepared to film the now-infamous final moments of the series. “I would says, actually, that it was actually the hardest scene to shoot in the whole series because it was such a short scene, and there was a lot packed into that one moment,” she admits.
The actress sees Amma is more than just a murderous psychopath. “I wanted to show her vulnerability and to not let the audience forget that she is a victim of trauma and mental illness,” she explains. “While she is a psychopath and while she does have a lot of demons, she is just a little girl in the end.” Scanlen also says that it was important for her to like Amma in spite of the character’s actions. “You can’t play a psychopath or an evil character if you hate them,” she says. “So I had to find a reason to really empathize with Amma and that was her need to be loved.”
Scanlen also explains the ways in which the role of Amma, as well as working with co-stars Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson, has impacted her experience in subsequent acting roles. “Looking back on it, I was really committed to the role but I was quite insecure about my performance. I did fear that I wasn’t going to do the job that people wanted me to do,” she confesses. “Having Amy and Patricia by my side, guiding me through it and having them take me under their wing was an absolute blessing.” With that insecurity in check, Scanlen declares, “I’m still very young and I’ve still got a lot to learn. I think doing that role, I’ve become less afraid to forge my own path and do the jobs that I really want to do.”
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