ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: SAXON SHARBINO

Saxon Sharbino’s icy blue eyes reel you in from the start. A dynamic talent, the blonde beauty is making waves on Netflix’s American Vandal as well as a starring role in Hulu’s Freakish. We caught up with the Texas native to dig a little deeper.

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HYDROGEN MAGAZINE: Let’s go back to the start. Where did you grow up?

SAXON SHARBINO: I was born and raised in Flower Mound, Texas.  I attended public school there until 2012, when I booked the lead in a FOX pilot.  Though the pilot wasn’t picked up, FOX relocated me to Los Angeles and cast me in “Touch”, opposite Keifer Sutherland, in the role of Amelia Robbins for Season 2.  I skipped 5th grade and had just started middle school in Texas. I’ve been in Los Angeles the past 5 years.

HM: Why acting?

SS: I think what initially drew me to acting was the idea that you could be a different person and express emotions you wouldn’t normally get to. I love storytelling and getting to be the face of the story and bringing a character to life is my favorite thing to do.

HM: You’ve chosen an industry where there are more actors than roles to go around. How do you deal with the competitive nature of it all and particularly the pressures young women face to be a certain size or look a certain way? 

SS: I think it’s really important that you only concern yourself with things that you can control. You can always work on your craft, study and focus on being healthy. You can’t control your height or body beyond being healthy. You can’t control if someone decides they want the character to look a certain way that you don’t. So there’s no point in getting upset about it.

HM: Best career advice so far…

SS: Julian McMahon told me on set of the first studio project I worked on, not to believe all the praises and compliments I was receiving.  He explained that if I would simply trust myself, then I wouldn’t be affected if they were criticizing me rather than praising some day. If you care about their praise, you’ll care about their criticism and both of them come in waves, almost regardless of what you do.

HM: You are one busy young lady! Let’s talk about the Netflix series, American Vandal where you play Sara Pearson. Give us the cheat-sheet on the show. What do we need to know? And tell us about Sarah…

SS: “American Vandal” is a true-crime satire attempting to uncover who was the real culprit of the vandalism of 27 teachers cars. Dylan Maxwell, played by Jimmy Tatro, was expelled, but there is no real proof that he was the one who did it. I play Sara Pearson, who Alex Trimboli, played by Calum Worthy, (the same guy that’s the only eyewitness to Dylan doing the crime), claims to have hooked up with. Sara is used to discredit Alex, but no one takes into consideration how these rumors and digging into her personal life affect her.

HM: You also star in Hulu’s Freakish. What’s the premise of the show and what were your first thoughts when you got the part?

SS: “Freakish” is centered around a group of teenagers that get trapped in their high school when a bomb from the local chemical plant causes anyone that breathes the air to turn into cannibal freaks. My first thought when I got the part was, “What’s Anka going to do? How does she play into the grand scheme of the Freakish world?” When I auditioned, they gave me 3 pages of sides and a character description that told me her dad owned the chemical plant that caused the apocalypse. I was so excited to get to explore this world.

HM: Tell us about your character and your approach to playing her…

SS: I play Anka Keller, a privileged girl that’s never really had much conflict in her life.  When the outbreak occurs and her safety is threatened, she’s resourceful and manipulative in order to protect herself and her brother, Ollie. To play her, I found similarities between Anka and I. I love my family and would be super protective of them in the apocalypse. I wanted to play Anka in a way that made her likable, or at least relatable.

HM: Do you have to relate to a character in order to do them justice?

SS: I think you have to understand the character in order to do them justice. You don’t necessarily have to agree with their way of thinking, but you should never judge it. I think you can find things you understand or relate to in almost everyone and every character.

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HM: Let’s talk fashion. How would you describe your personal style?

SS: I used to have a total rocker/edgy style. I’m starting to wear more sundresses and softer, cute things. I’d say I’m still developing my personal style and figuring out what I like from each category. Sometimes I’ll wear ACDC shirts with metal boots, sometimes I’ll wear sundresses with flowers all over them.

HM: Favorite designers right now…

SS: Marc Jacobs – his designs are young and hip.  I love the way he mixes soft and tough together. Michael Kors for when I need classy, timeless pieces.  He’s modern and fresh.

HM: Three must-have pieces in your closet…

SS: 1. The little black dress is always a must have. 2. My jeans by Miss Me, they are perfectly worn in. 3. A killer leather jacket that I can put on with my favorite jeans or over my little black dress.

HM: If you could raid one celebrity closet, whose would it be?

SS: Beyonce. I love how she rocks so many different styles.

HM: When you have downtime, what do you like to get into?

SS: I like to hang with my friends, play basketball or have a girl’s night with movies and snacks.

HM: Tell me something we’d be surprised to know about you…

SS: I had a hole in my heart until age 12. I got a little surgery to fix it and then grew like 4 inches taller that summer.

HM: If you could have dinner with any three people, past or present, who would they be and why?

SS: I would love to have dinner with Jesus Christ, and 45-year-old me, so I could give myself the exact right advice.  I’d also like to have dinner with my Grandma that passed away when I was 10 years old.  I’d just like to know what its like in heaven and what advice she would have for me now.

HM: Treasured possessions…

SS: I have an Owl USB Karyn Usher gave to me from the pilot that moved my family to LA. My phone. A letter from my dad. My mom’s old notebook, it’s super cute. My notebook that I write all my ideas and reflect in.

HM: What are some dreams you still have out there for yourself?

SS: My dream is to create, produce and act in my own super successful TV series.  I also want to be the lead in a studio film, an action role that challenges my dramatic and comedic skills simultaneously.

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SAXON ON TWITTER: @SaxonSharbino

SAXON ON INSTAGRAM: @saxonpaigesharbino

PHOTOGRAPHY: Leslie Alejandro and J. Horton

STYLIST: Simona Sacchitella

HAIR: Yuichi Ishida

MAKEUP: Leibi Carias

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