Stars Of Sundance: Odessa Young

Stars Of Sundance: Odessa Young

The Australian actress is the breakout star of the Sundance hit 'Assassination Nation'.

The Australian actress is the breakout star of the Sundance hit 'Assassination Nation'.

Photography: Sharif Hamza

Styling: Andrew Mukamal

Text: Greg Krelenstein

This interview appears in the pages of V113, The Music Issue, on newsstands now. Order your copy of the issue today at

“I think during shooting we were often so wrapped up in the story and mood of the film, it was almost hard to remember that life existed outside of it for those six weeks,” admits Australian actress Odessa Young of Assassination Nation, Sundance’s hit high-school revenge flick. She didn’t really worry that its bold, violent narrative crossed a line: “I had so much trust and faith in our director that I never questioned how far he was taking it. Most of the time we’d even say, push it further.”

The movie—which features Young alongside Hari Nef, Bill Skarsgård, Suki Waterhouse, and more—could easily sit alongside teen cult classics like Heathers or Spring Breakers. “The script was confronting, timely, hilarious, frightening, and dark,” recalls Young of the film. “It was ambitious, and until I met [director Sam Levinson], I had no idea how anybody would pull it off. But it was so well written, and his vision screamed at you from the page; I couldn’t say no. It kept me up at night.” The way the film tackles sexism, racism, social media, and more, to Young, is a direct product of the times. “The most I can ask of the film is that people see a mirror—not an alternate universe, not a dystopian portal, but a reflection, albeit amplified, of where we stand in the world today,” she says. “That’s another thing that has shocked me since making this movie; every day there’s a new, real story about an event that could literally be taken right out of it.”


Credits: Makeup Ciara O’Shea (LGA) Hair Rubi Jones (Julian Watson) Producer Ashley Herson Local producer Kate Holland Digital technician Casey Richardson Photo assistants Tim Hoffman, Shen Williams-Cohen Stylist assistant Jermaine Daley Hair assistant Megan Gorley Production Assistants Tom O’Meara, Rique Carroll Retouching Hempstead May Location Park City Peaks Hotel


Model Talk: Meghan Roche