Q&A: April and Violet Brinson talk HBO’s Sharp Objects

Episode 2, debut 7/15/18: Violet Brinson, April Brinson, Eliza Scanlen, Amy Adams.photo: Anne Marie Fox/HBO. Acquired via HBO Media Relations site.
Episode 2, debut 7/15/18: Violet Brinson, April Brinson, Eliza Scanlen, Amy Adams.photo: Anne Marie Fox/HBO. Acquired via HBO Media Relations site. /

We had the chance to interview April and Violet Brinson about their roles on HBO’s Sharp Objects.

April and Violet Brinson are two sisters who are relatively new to the acting scene. They were both able to secure roles in HBO’s Sharp Objects alongside Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson. We sat down with the two to talk about how they first decided to pursue acting, their characters on the show and more.

Hidden Remote: When did you two first know that you really wanted to persue acting?

April Brinson: Well ever since we were little we’ve pretty much been super imaginative. We would spend all of our time outdoors. We would create these crazy worlds and we would keep up these story lines for weeks and weeks and weeks. I don’t think we really realized it was like a career choice until we were probably like 10, 13 and we took our first acting class and we loved it. We got involved in plays and things like that. I would say we slowly started to realize that acting was an actual career. That we could do this thing we loved to do forever.

Violet Brinson: April and I loved to play imaginary games when we were younger and we love to read. I remember the first time that I met my step-grandmother. She’s this really big personality, she talks really loud and she’ll raise her hands when she’s talking. I remember I was like five or six and I started imitating her and like following her around, waving my hands. That was kind of like the first time I realized that I wanted to imitate people and their lives. And then I took acting classes and it was just a blast.

Sharp Objects mental health
Episode 2, debut 7/15/18: Violet Brinson, April Brinson, Eliza Scanlen, Amy Adams.photo: Anne Marie Fox/HBO. Acquired via HBO Media Relations site. /

HR: What was your exposure to acting like while you were growing up in Oklahoma because I know you guys are out in LA now, right?

April: Yeah. In Oklahoma we would take advantage of whatever opportunities that we had. Obviously it was very different than what we’re now exposed to in Los Angeles. But, we would take things like acting classes at my school or I would be involved in the theater company there and we would do plays. When we could, we would drive up to either Oklahoma City, which was only a few hours, or we would drive to Dallas, Texas to take workshops. We would either make a weekend out of it or visit some family along the way, too. So we really tried to soak up every opportunity we could.

Violet: Yeah, we just kind of took every chance and opportunity that presented itself. We drove to Dallas and Oklahoma City, April pretty much covered it all.

More from HBO

HR: That sounds really great. What were your initial reactions to being cast in Sharp Objects and when that opportunity came up?

April: First of all, obviously we were thrilled. we were so excited to be able to work with Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson and all of these amazing actors. And then to be able to work with Jean-Marc Vallée is like a dream come true. But, not only did we get to work with all of those amazing people, but we got to work together, which was awesome because whenever we were off set and things like that, we would have someone to talk to about our day. It was nice to have a buddy in that aspect.

Violet: I was just so excited. I mean, I’ve seen all of Amy Adams’ movies. I’ve watched Big Little Lies and Dallas Buyers Club and Wild. It was just so thrilling and exciting to be able to work with these people that I’ve looked up to. And then to be able to be on set with my sister was just like an added bonus. That was just amazing.

HR: Yeah, I can only imagine how that felt. April, you play Jodes who is usually the one being picked on in the show. How were you able to take that role and embrace it?

April: Well I mean, I really feel like at some point in everyone’s lives, they’ve been picked on or teased or made to feel less than. So for me, I just really had to identify with those moments in my own life and I feel like going about my acting this way also made me feel closer to Jodes because I can relate to her struggles a little more easily.

HR: Violet, do you feel that your character Kelsey got the better end of the deal her?

Violet: Honestly, I don’t really feel like there is a better end of the deal because even though Jodes is technically the one who’s more picked on, Kelsey definitely felt the pressure to be  perfect and to pick on Jodes herself. It’s a bit of a pecking order and I don’t think anyone really gains anything from that kind of relationship.

HR: Right. How would you say the dynamic between Kelsey and Jodes differs from the dynamic between you two as sisters?

April: I think the relationship is similar in the fact that me and Violet are really close and Kelsey and Jodes are very close. But the result of those relationships are very, very different. I mean, me and Violet love each other and spend time lifting each other up. I feel like Kelsey and Jodes are close, but they tear each other down in an attempt to make themselves feel better or to impress Amma. So I feel like it’s more of a selfish relationship.

Violet: Like April said, we’re super close. We do everything together. We share everything with each other. So I think it was very helpful to bring that to the characters because Kelsey and Jones, they’re best friends, so they’re super close. But like April said, where our closeness comes from our love and support for each other, Kelsey and Jodes relationship doesn’t really come from the same place.

HR: We’ve only seen two episodes air so far, so without spoiling anything, can you tell us a little bit about how your characters grow throughout the rest of the season?

April: Well you see us get into some trouble over the course of the season and I feel like you get to explore our group dynamic a little more. But you’ll definitely have to tune in for more specifics.

Violet: Yeah, throughout the season we see Kelsey and Jodes get into trouble and you kinda explore what their life is like in the small town of Wind Gap. Some other things are revealed, but you definitely will have to watch to find out.

HR: What was your overall experience like working on the show? You mentioned being able to work with all of these big names and everything, so was that just something that sort of felt surreal for you?

April: It definitely felt surreal. And I have to say going in, I was really, I was pretty nervous just because I do look up to these people and I’ve seen them and their work. They create amazing things so I felt like I needed to like step up to the plate. But, whenever I got on set, it was really nice because everyone is so warm and friendly that you really feel comfortable right away. So I really feel like that helps me do my best work in order to benefit the project. And the level of professionalism from everyone was just amazing and everyone is so passionate. It’s infectious.

Violet: Working on Sharp Objects was just such a blast. I feel like everyone on set was so passionate and hardworking. And it just inspired you to work your hardest and to do your best. It was just so inspiring to be around such amazing and talented and friendly people.

Next: Sharp Objects episode 2 recap

HR: I bet. Do either of you have anything coming up that you can tell us about outside of Sharp Objects?

April: We’re both working and auditioning all the time, but we can’t really talk about much right now. Hopefully, we’ll get to speak with you again in the near future and we can fill you in.

Violet: Yeah, I mean, we go out on auditions and we’re really busy. We look forward to filling you in at a later date!

Sharp Objects airs on HBO on Sundays at 9:00 PM.