Sabrina Carpenter Talks Not Shaving and Going Makeup-Free for ‘The Short History of the Long Road’

The Short History of the Long Road tells the story of a teenager named Nola (Sabrina Carpenter) going from living out of a van with her father to living on the road alone.

The Cheat Sheet talked to the movie’s director, Ani Simon-Kennedy and star, Sabrina Carpenter about the story at the world premiere for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 27. This is what she said about not shaving and going makeup-free for the role.

The movie is inspired by a real subculture of vandwelling

Ani Simon-Kennedy and Sabrina Carpenter attends "The Short History Of The Long Road"
Ani Simon-Kennedy and Sabrina Carpenter attends “The Short History Of The Long Road” | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Director and writer, Ani Simon-Kennedy talked about the inspiration behind the drama.

“I actually was living out of a car and drove from Arkansas to California as I was writing the script and it was my first time taking a road trip alone,” she said. “And I loved it and it really made me realize just what a wonderful experience that was.”

She added, “And then I connected with Ryan Sellmeyer who started a festival called Descend on Bend, where thousands of vandwellers gather every year. It just made me realize that it’s actually a huge subculture that’s growing more and more every day. It’s such a wonderful community and everyone is so excited to see what is the first portrayal of vandwelling in a fiction film.”

In order to keep things authentic, the director got some outside help. “Sellmeyer, who is kind of like the king of the vandwellers, found our van drove it to set and was with us every single day and really just completely dove into the story with us and was really there to kind of make sure that everything was being portrayed as accurately as possible.”

Sabrina Carpenter stopped shaving and wearing makeup for the role

If you’re living out a van you’re probably going to have a different beauty routine if one at all. The director talked about the star’s dedication to get things like that right.

“She just dove into this character,” said Simon-Kennedy. “She did not wear a stitch of makeup the entire time. She stopped shaving for months and was just ready to pour herself completely into this character and really explore some very dark places in a way that was just completely fearless and brought a lot of herself to the role.”

Carpenter said working with women made her comfortable to make changes

Typically women are covered in makeup to film a movie. Carpenter had to get vulnerable to not do that or shave, but she talked about how working with women on this film helped with that.

“I mean I think that that was the reason why I felt just so comfortable,” said Carpenter. She also talked about how hopefully that shouldn’t be the only case for women to make this kind of choice if they want.

“It shouldn’t just feel like you have to be on the set with a bunch of females in order for you to free to feel comfortable and liberated without wearing makeup or not shaving or doing whatever you choose to do,” said Carpenter.

She continued, “I think for me it’s just like really cool that young women are able to kind of see that and see it more regulated on screen because I think that that shows that there’s no right or wrong way to do things or live your life. And Nola’s a very strong character.”

All showtimes and ticket information for The Short History of the Long Road can be found here.

Read more: 15 Celebrities Who Posted Makeup-Free Selfies

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