Sasha Lane, who made waves for her assured and naturalistic performance in 2016’s “American Honey,” discussed her gay identity in an interview for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival. Lane was promoting the new LGBT film “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” which premiered Monday at the Sundance Film Festival. While Lane has been out as bisexual since 2015, she has never discussed her sexuality openly in the context of her career before.
In the film, Lane plays Jane, a teenager at a conversion therapy center, who befriends the titular main character, played by Chloe Grace Moretz. The story follows Cameron’s experience at the treatment facility after she is caught having an affair with a female classmate on prom night. Her religious parental guardians (her parents are dead) send her to conversion therapy against her will, where she meets other queer people for the first time.
“The story really hit home for me, coming from a household where my brother’s gay and I’m gay,” Lane is quoted as saying in the movie’s press notes. “I liked Jane, who has a free spirit and her own way of thinking. She grew up in a community where everyone was free and lived life in a certain way. Then her mother brought her into a community that was very conservative and unaccepting of her. But both those communities were boxes. I could relate to that because, regardless of how free I am in spirit, I grew up in Texas and that is kind of like a box.”
The movie is the second feature from “Appropriate Behavior” director Desiree Akhavan, who is herself bisexual and often deals with themes of queerness in her work.
Lane is the latest in an elite group of Hollywood actresses who have come out to limited fanfare in recent years. Ellen Page and Kristen Stewart came out with little negative effect on their careers, though Page is a more outspoken advocate for LGBT issues. Lane has the added advantage of not having to slough off the image of an enormous franchise aimed at teenagers, as Stewart did with “Twilight.” She is also not as widely known as Page, having developed a following amongst indie filmgoers who are less likely to care about an actor’s sexuality.
Could this be a sign that the days when stars were pressured to remain closeted to help their careers? If it is a trend, it’s only working for women so far. There are far fewer male actors who are out as LGBT, and almost none who are likely to play a romantic lead.(Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer come to mind, but neither are as prominent as Stewart). For Lane, who exudes an air of coolness onscreen and off, it may only help define her more specifically and bring wider renown. Coming out is probably the best thing she could have done for her career.