Three Great Things: Sasha Lane

The acclaimed actress, who's currently starring in the new thriller How to Blow Up a Pipeline, shares some personal favorites.

Three Great Things is Talkhouse’s series in which artists tell us about three things they absolutely love. To mark the theatrical release this week of the new drama thriller How to Blow Up a Pipeline, starring Ariela Barer, Kristine Froseth, Lukas Gage, Forrest Goodluck and Sasha Lane, acclaimed actress Lane – who broke through in American Honey and may be best known for playing Hunter C-20 in Loki – shared some of the things she cares about most in life. — N.D.

My Daughter Rubbing Her Blanket Under Her Nose Before She Sleeps
I love the little thing my daughter does right before she’s about to fall asleep. It’s her sweetest moment. She does this thing with her blanket where she keeps it in her mouth and trubs it under her nose. Because I’ve raised this child for almost four years, I know right then that her body is comfortable, she feels safe, and she’s basically trying to get to sleep by inhaling her own scent. The scent of being around me. I think it’s the coolest thing ever. She’s been doing it since she was a few months old.

She always puts one corner of the blanket in her mouth and one under her nose. At a certain point, I started being afraid of being away from her, because I was worried that no one was going to know what to do with her blanket when I wasn’t there and so she’d never get to sleep again! I now have four identical versions of her blanket, because she refuses any other blanket. If you look at those corners, you can tell she’s been sucking on them – it’s just hilarious. It’s the scent and the fact that she’s always with me wrapped in it – it’s home. It’s her comfort, like having a glass of wine at the end of the day, or your favorite stuffed animal. When she gets it, she’s good. Instant. Calm down. I love it.

When she was younger, she’d be asleep 45 seconds after doing this. She was just out. Now it’s one of those things where I can tell that I won’t even have to do a proper bedtime routine, as it’s not going to be hard. If she starts to rub her blanket under her nose, I know she’s ready to go. She’ll either say, “Take me to bed, Mama,” or I’ll just see it and know she’s going to be out almost instantly. Once she’s in bed, there will be a quick sigh, a final deep release of the breath through her nose, and then I can relax.

A Really Good Pen
I love a good pen. There’s nothing more satisfying than putting pen to paper. I always prefer to write with a pen rather than type.

Because I write poetry, writing was always my way to get everything out of my head, so I wouldn’t actually say the words out loud. I was very much in my head as a kid, so I wasn’t going to actually tell anyone anything, but I could write it. So that’s how it started. And then when I fell madly in love with a girl, my brain just started writing, and I filled so many journals about her. My poetry’s definitely shifted and it’s helped me a lot with all my different moods and wavelengths, up and down. But it all started from being so in awe of this woman and having such intense feelings.

Writing makes me feel like I just told all my secrets. I’ll wake up the next day and think, “Who is that person? I don’t even know who wrote that.” But I can always tell what mood I was in when I wrote something because my handwriting is never the same. You don’t get that if you write with a pencil; it’s only obvious with a really good pen. If I’m very disassociated and blank, then my handwriting is normal, because I’m kind of numb. If I’m feeling hungry or passionate, it’s slanted and there’s a lot of curls. When I’m angry, it’s just spaced out everywhere, and if I’m sad, it just kind of droops. I don’t think I ever write straight or neat when I’m sad; it’s always slanted.

Taking Out My Scrunchie at Night
When I take out my scrunchie right before I’m about to go to sleep and lift my hair up, it just feels like everything’s done for the day. It’s true in any scenario, whether I’m working or it’s just day where I’ve been dealing with the mundane stuff of kid life.

I constantly feel the need to do something and my brain is also always overworking, so I have a really hard time relaxing and settling, because it’s feels like somebody always needs me to do something or there’s another thought to be had or I have to make a list. I can’t even take a bath. It’s really hard for me to just say, “I’m good,” and it’s really hard for me to fall asleep easily, unless I’m totally exhausted. So it really isn’t until I say to myself, “You are going to bed. You’re not going to lay awake and allow your head to spin any more thoughts. You’re fine,” that I pull out my scrunchie, and it’s just the perfect release. It gives me that feeling like, “Good job, Sasha – go to bed.”

During the day, my scrunchie is in the entire time, unless my hair gets heavy and I’m taking a very short break. But if it’s out, it’s not for longer than three minutes and then it goes right back up. When it comes out at night, it’s me feeling like I can say to myself, “This is enough. It’s OK. You don’t have to be tense.” My therapist used to say if I had too many racing thoughts to paint my brain: Imagine a brush and white paint and just paint until the entire thing is covered and no other thoughts are getting through. The equivalent is being completely wiped and allowing myself to chill out and just go to bed. After my scrunchie’s out, I’m instantly relaxed. If you told me something just exploded in the kitchen, I’d just say, “That’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”

Featured image, showing Jayme Lawson and Sasha Lane in How to Blow Up a Pipeline, courtesy Neon.

Sasha Lane broke through in her feature film debut, Andrea Arnold’s acclaimed, award-winning drama American Honey, and is currently starring in the drama-thriller How to Blow Up a Pipeline, out now through Neon. She was recently seen in the miniseries Conversations With Friends alongside Joe Alwyn, Jemima Kirke and Alison Oliver, an adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel, and playing Hunter C-20 in Loki, alongside Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Owen Wilson, and Wunmi Mosaku. She also starred in the 2019 reboot of Hellboy; Hearts Beat Loud, opposite Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons, and The Miseducation Of Cameron, with Chloe Grace Moretz and John Gallagher Jr. (Photo by Gordon Correll, via Flickr.)