A very interesting conversation with the multi-talented actress.
Iyana Halley certainly knows how to keep busy. The Brooklyn native played a pivotal role in the recently concluded Sharp Objects and will be in next month’s The Hate U Give. Following that will be even more acting roles. And that’s not to mention the custom clothing boutique she operates! AiPT! managed to get some time with Iyana to discuss a variety of subjects.
Warning! Spoilers for Sharp Objects follows!
AiPT!: The ending of Sharp Objects is certainly talkable. What did you think about the it?
It was! I thought it was an amazing plot twist. I actually watched the series with my mom and she thought the killer was Adora. Then she switched it to Amma. For me I already knew, but I love how the writers kept the viewers on their toes. We think its Adora, she goes away to jail, then we see Amma living almost happily with her big sister. She then gets a nice friend who can be a positive light for her…then BAM! She’s the killer! True shocker!
AiPT!: Your character was introduced in the final episode of Sharp Objects but is definitely one of the most important in the entire series. Did you know the plan for Mae?I knew Mae was going to die but when I booked the show they only send you your episode. So honestly I was confused about the whole plot and everything because I knew nothing about the other episodes and I never read the book. I thought Amma was the killer and everyone knew it throughout the whole series. I didn’t realize that with Mae going missing everything would start to come together. Jean Marc Valle is brilliant!
AiPT!: In one of the most pivotal scenes in the finale Camille (Amy Adams) notices writing on your hand. What does it say?
It says CALL MOM, TEXT A, READ BOOK, and MILK. It’s funny because when the makeup artists on set wrote these words I was so confused as to what this had to do with my character! Obviously I knew I’d understand after seeing my episode!
AiPT!: Sharp Objects deals with complex themes. Audiences will see you next in The Hate U Give (releasing nationwide October 19), which will also be dealing with powerful real world subjects. How difficult is it to prepare for these roles?
For The Hate U Give it wasn’t difficult at all because unfortunately a lot of the themes are common today. My character (Bianca) is a very mean girl. I seem to play that often, actually [laughs]! I enjoy playing characters in films/shows that deal with complex themes. These stories need to be told.
AiPT!: Along with your acting projects you have your own clothing brand. Where do you find the time?
Honestly, I stopped sewing for a while to focus on my acting. I was taking an intensive acting program, which required super long rehearsals, but now that I am finished with that I am back designing. Sewing is VERY time consuming but I love it. I figured that even when I am a series regular or a lead on a film I’ll have to figure out how to set time for it. It’s my little getaway. When I am sewing I am really in my own zone!
AiPT!: You have worked with some big names like Amy Adams, Regina Hall, and Vivica Fox. Have you ever been star-struck?
I have been…but I kept it all in my head [laughs]. During filming with Amy I was so excited but I was also trying to play it so cool! During a break we had we were talking for a bit too. She’s so sweet. That’s when I asked her for the picture! I’ve always loved Regina Hall also and I met her at the table read for The Hate U Give. I find it’s super cool that I get to work with actors that I love.
AiPT!: Who would you like to work on a project with?
I have so many people on my dream list! I LOVE Gabrielle Union. I think I could play her daughter! I also love Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Aniston, Rachel McAdams…Honestly I could go on all day [laughs]. [There are] so many amazing actors I pray I get to work with soon. Getting to work with Amy Adams was a dream come true. Michael B. Jordan is also [one of my] goals. I think I could be his sister or something!AiPT!: You are a Brooklyn native and have lived in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Do you prefer the bustle of the big city or would you rather live in smaller town?
I definitely prefer the bigger cities! Atlanta was great but its very slow paced, especially since I moved there from New York. LA is home for me now. It’s pretty fast paced (though not as fast as New York) and I love it! I could definitely work in Atlanta on a movie or show but I doubt I’d live there permanently again.
AiPT!: You have done television and movies. Which do you prefer?
I love both, but my goal is to become a series regular on a TV show. I think you grow more with television characters. In between filming my TV show I’d like to do movies as well.
AiPT!: You are an incredibly busy person. What do you have upcoming?
I really try to be! After The Hate U Give I will be in the first episode of I Am The Night, which is set to air January on TNT. It stars India Eisley and Chris Pine. I’m so excited for that and I got to work with Patty Jenkins (who directed Wonder Woman). Room 104 on HBO is set to air soon but they haven’t released an exact date. I just know I am in episode four! I’ll also be playing a prostitute in an upcoming independent film that will be in film festivals soon called Skin in the Game. After that, a movie I recently finished called If Not Now, When? directed by/starring Meagen Good and Tamara Bass will be coming! I’m claiming new bookings before the end of the year so I’ll have to update you when I get even more new jobs.
Iyana can be found online at the following:
Instagram (Haus of Halley)