Dylan Penn, Sean And Robin Wright’s Daughter, Is Now A Star

    entering the family business

    by · November 13, 2015

    Photographed by Beth Garrabrant, sweater by Topshop, black skinny jeans by Topshop, shoes by L’F

    Maybe with movie-star parents like Sean Penn and Robin Wright, Dylan Penn was bound to find herself in front of a film camera sooner or later. She started out modeling, learned the camera loves her, and then found herself covered in blood and slime for her feature debut, the inventive horror-comedy, Condemned, in theatres November 13. In it, Penn plays Maya, a Midwestern runaway who moves in with her wannabe rock-star boyfriend in an abandoned building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. (Do such things still exist? We think not.) While her neighbors include junkies, masochists, and drag queens by day, their wild side comes out at night when toxic chemicals turn them into bloodthirsty maniacs. Getting your start in a campy horror is basically Hollywood’s version of a debutante ball.

    On a low-budget horror flick, the set is a little different than those you’ve visited with your parents.
    I kind of expected it to not be so luxurious. It was kind of great. I think all the actors and crew benefitted from that, ’cause it made it like we’re all in it together. We’re all on top of each other in this one building, nobody has a trailer or their own space. So it was kind of like being at summer camp, in a way. I don’t know if I want to do that every time when I make movies, but it was fun.

    I doubt you’ve had neighbors quite as bad as the ones in the movie, but any come close?
    The third place I lived in by myself, I was with two girlfriends in a house and both sides of our house were apartment buildings. One side was a self-proclaimed drug dealer and I was seeing drug deals being done every night, the pass off. And on the other side was this woman that was an older lady, very sweet but very nosey and constantly looking over, coming by our house. I think that scared me more than anything else.

    Click through the gallery for more with Dylan Penn.

    Matthew Monzon for Oribe Hair Care

    Styled by Liz Rundbaken

    Photographed by Beth Garrabrant, sweater by Orla Kiely, black skinny jeans by Topshop, shoes by L'F

    The junkie ex-model in the movie has that intense rant about rich girls like your character moving to New York and driving out whatever is interesting about the city.
    I guess I’d have to say that I was kind of one of those girls that moved to the city. I didn’t live here 15 years ago, but it’s fairly obvious to me that New York isn’t what it used to be, especially now the wealthy are taking over the city. Everybody else had to move to Brooklyn, and now that’s being taken over and rent prices are skyrocketing. I think it’s really sad the artist community isn’t able to live here because of financial status.

    And you live in L.A. or New York?
    I live in L.A., but I’m back-and-forth a lot. They’re so different. I don’t even think you can compare. I’m such a California girl. I know I’ll always end up there. But New York definitely has an energy that L.A. doesn’t have. The people in general here are just cooler in every way—also, the fact that it stays open all night. Bars stay open until 4 in the morning instead of closing down at 2 a.m., which makes a big difference in how you live your life, and your nightlife and your social life is just different here.

    Do you go out a lot? What are your favorite hangouts?
    I guess I really love what Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield do together. I’m in, The Spotted Pig, The John Dory, The Rusty Knot is one of my favorite bars; Happy Endings, where you can go dance to old-school hip-hop.

    When you were in L.A., I understand you were a pizza-delivery girl on campus at UCLA?
    That was definitely a humbling experience. I thought in the beginning a female pizza delivery girl would at least get a dollar tip, and that was not the case with UCLA students. I delivered to many stoned boys at frat houses and a couple of times I was mistaken to be a stripper dressed as a pizza girl. Other than that, I was happy to have the job. I needed the money, but it was not my favorite.

    Photographed by Beth Garrabrant, sweater by Arthur Arbesser, jeans by Topshop, shoes by L'F

    One of your first gigs on camera was last year’s Nick Jonas video, “Chains.”
    I really love that song. That’s kind of what made me want to do it more than anything. I think he’s a really talented guy. I think it’s great that he’s able to break out on his own. Working with him is great. He’s very professional. He’s obviously a seasoned veteran of the business, although he’s so young.

    What did your parents say when you told them you were doing a movie?
    They were both very supportive, and it was kind of “good luck and have fun.” The one thing my dad told me was don’t do anything that feels false to you, even though you’re playing somebody other than yourself. Personalize it and make it your own thing, you have to add some of yourself into it. I think that’s a really great thing to say to somebody who is just diving in with no formal training.
    What about Flag Day, is that your next movie?
    This is a passion project of my dad’s for a long time. It’s kind of a dream role for him as well as a great story to direct. He brought it to my attention a few years back before I even considered acting. It’s really a love story between a father and his daughter, and really beautiful in that way and really painful and fucked up, and has everything you want to see in a movie, at least for me. I’ll say that I’m probably going to do it, but I don’t know when. I just feel like I want to have a couple of things under my belt before I decide to do something where my dad is starring opposite and directing me in something. That feels really intense.
    What would be the best thing and worst thing about working with your father?
    It’s kind of a dream to work with your parent in that way. I think this is a business where working alongside a parent in such a way where you both are very vulnerable and creating together, I’m really lucky to have that, but it scares me because it’s a lot on each other. And to be directed and acting with somebody like my father is a big deal.
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    Last updated: 2015-11-19T13:44:28-05:00
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