Halsey Isn’t Fazed By Sydney Sweeney’s Gun or Nervous Threats in First ‘Americana’ Teaser
Halsey makes her official big-screen debut in the Tony Tost film Americana, which will premiere at SXSW on Friday (though she previously starred in the film If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, accompanying her album of the same name). On “Girl Is a Gun,” a deep cut from the record, the singer boasts about her hardened exterior, warning: “I come loaded with the safety switched off.” In the first sneak peek trailer for Americana, in which she stars opposite Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney, the theatrical edge she displays in her music comes in handy.
Clad in all black, Mandy Starr (Halsey) is filling up her glossy red two-door car when a cowboy (Paul Walter Hauser) in a Chevrolet Silverado pickup attempts to make the worst kind of gas station small talk about the weather. Her fuse is short, so all it takes is a mention of possible rain and an inquiry about her weekend plans to set her off. “Hey buddy, today is not the fucking day,” Starr spits at him.
Before the sentence is out of her mouth, Penny Jo (Sweeney), a waitress with Nashville dreams, has a gun pressed against her back. But when Starr said today wasn’t the day, she meant it. “Do you have the artifact?” Penny Jo asks, voice shaking too much for it to be considered threatening or demanding an answer. “Give it to me.” She’s searching for a rare Lakota Ghost Shirt that makes it onto the black market in South Dakota – but so are a bunch of other people.
Unbothered by the presence of a weapon she knows her assailant won’t pull the trigger on, Starr replies with a simple “No.” Even as Penny Jo persists, becoming even more nervous as potential witnesses spill from inside the gas station, Starr calmly places the nozzle back where it belongs and returns to the wheel. “Fuck you,” she tells her, feigning fear. “Shoot me.” Of course, she doesn’t, and as Starr drives off, Mr. “How About This Weather” motions for Penny Jo to get in his pickup to go after her, having both failed to make her waiver for even a second.
“It’s one of my favorite scenes because none of these characters are smooth, experienced criminals in the slightest,” Tost recently told Deadline. “And I love how Sydney, Paul, and Halsey all play their desperate intentions and discomfort to quietly comedic effect.”
Zahn McClarnon, Eric Dane, Toby Huss, Simon Rex, Joe Adler, Austin Boyce, Alex Knight, Megan Hensley, and more star in the film.
Halsey, born Ashley Frangipane, will also star opposite Sweeney in the upcoming HBO series The Players Table, an adaptation of Jessica Goodman’s debut novel “They Wish They Were Us.”
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