Sundance 2016 | Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp Talk ‘Yoga Hosers’
Sitting next to Harley Quinn Smith (left) and Lily-Rose Depp (right), you would probably assume they were just like a lot of other 16-year-olds. You talk to them and find out they met each other in kindergarten, grew up together and started a band. They also go with their dads to work, and sometimes have to do odd jobs while they’re there. Perfectly normal, except their dads just happen to be filmmaker Kevin Smith and actor Johnny Depp, and the odd job they have this year is starring in Yoga Hosers as Canadian teens who do battle with clones of Hitler that are made out of bratwurst.
Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp were at Park City, Utah this weekend for the premiere of Yoga Hosers, their first time at the festival and their first taste of stardom. I hung out with them for about 15 minutes and picked their brains to find out what Sundance was like for them (pretty much on fleek), what they want for their futures (Lily-Rose wants a career in acting, Harley Quinn actually wants to play Harley Quinn in a movie), and why their fake movie band “Glamthrax” isn’t half as cool as the band they started together when they were both six years old.
Crave: What were you doing before the Yoga Hosers premiere? How were you busying yourselves?
Harley Quinn Smith: While we were here or in real life?
That’s a good question, actually, but let’s start with here, at Sundance.
Harley Quinn Smith: I’ve never been to Sundance and I just expected it to be more like Comic-Con, so this was pretty unexpected. I thought it was all in one place. So I’ve just been walking up and down Main Street seeing what’s going on, and seeing how excited everybody is. I just wanted to totally immerse myself in this experience because it’s like a once in a lifetime thing.
I mean, I hope it’s more than once in a lifetime but this is super special. I’ll never get another first premiere again, especially at Sundance. I’ve just been trying to fully engage myself in everything that’s going on and I hope to see other movies here while I’m here! I really want to!
I hope you do! That’s half the fun.
Harley Quinn Smith: Yeah it is! I’ve been trying and I’ve just been so busy, but I really want to.
What about you…?
Lily-Rose Depp: Well, I just got here the night before last so I haven’t really had time to do anything. I got here late Saturday night and then we had press all day Sunday, so that was really fun though. Honestly, getting to see like the cast again…
I mean I’ve seen Harley, obviously, but I have a lot of the cast that I haven’t really seen since we shot and stuff. So it was cool getting to see everybody again. And the press was cool. We had a couple of hours off also. I wish I could have gone skiing but I feel like by the time I got back into the swing of it I would have had to go back, so I just went and walked around. I actually went in the jacuzzi. It was nice. So that was cool.
So yeah, it’s been super fun just getting to see everybody again, and watching the movie last night and being at the premiere, and being like, this is my first premiere for like a movie that I did, was a surreal thing.
I find there’s two kinds of people’s first premieres. There’s the one where you’re in the crowd, anxiously looking at everyone, seeing how they liked the movie. And there’s ones where you’re standing outside hoping you don’t hear anything bad.
Harley Quinn Smith: No, I was the first option for sure! I was like sitting in the middle of the crowd and I just kept looking around the entire time like, “What’s up, everyone?” [Laughs.] “How do you feel?” But yeah, I really wanted to see what would get the most laughs so there was no chance I was going outside. I wanted to see what played well and stuff.
Lily-Rose Depp: I just like watching the movie also. It’s just fun to watch, also.
Harley Quinn Smith: It is.
Lily-Rose Depp: Obviously it’s fun for us to look back on it since we had such a good time shooting it and everything, but I think just like in general, and we’ve heard from people who’ve seen it, it’s also just a really fun watch. It’s just fun to watch. It never gets dull, that’s for sure! [Laughs.]
Talking about the audience reaction, what surprised you? Was there a joke you were surprised really landed, or didn’t?
Harley Quinn Smith: There wasn’t really a moment when I was like, “Oh God…” Like, I was really happily surprised. Everything went really well. There were tons of laughs throughout the entire duration of the movie. It was just awesome because like, when you film it there’s not like… I mean, there’s everybody on the set watching, they’ll laugh but they’re trying not to laugh because they don’t their voices in the audio. So you’re kind of like, “Was that funny? Or no…?” So to see people actually react to it is like, “That’s cool! That makes me feel good.”
Same with you?
Lily-Rose Depp: Yeah, obviously. I was just excited to see how it was going to play and how people were going to react, and we’re both happily… I mean, not “surprised.” Not that we were like surprised, but it was cooling seeing [it] because so far, we’ve only known people who have seen it who are like people that we know, you know? Obviously they’re biased because they’re close to us or because they worked on the movie or whatever, so I think for me, the most crazy thing was just watching people, who had absolutely no ties to it whatsoever, just watch a movie objectively.
And to have those people who have no personal connection to it really enjoy it was amazing because it’s like, that means we made something, a piece of art that people can like even if they weren’t involved in it. It’s something that people can enjoy. It’s just cool seeing like people that we didn’t know at all enjoy something that we made. That was my first time and Harley’s first time too, so that was a really good feeling.
Was it a hard shoot at all?
Lily-Rose Depp: No.
Harley Quinn Smith: No. It was the easiest thing.
Lily-Rose Depp: Yeah, it was so much fun. It wasn’t even like work because we hang out all the time anyway and like, we’ve known each other forever and we’ve known each other’s families and stuff, and the whole crew got along so well. So it was really just like hanging out and we really got to have fun because Kevin’s really flexible in that he lets us just play and whatever, and improv and stuff, you know? At the end of the day if he doesn’t like something he just won’t put it in the movie and if he likes it he will put it in the movie. It was a really relaxed environment and we felt like we could really just try a bunch of different stuff and if it didn’t work it didn’t work, and if it worked it worked, you know? It was a really like, cool, chill shoot.
How far back do you guys go? Kevin Smith said something about kindergarten…
Harley Quinn Smith: Kindergarten, yeah. Age five.
Lily-Rose Depp: Yeah.
Wow. What was your first meeting like?
Lily-Rose Depp: Um, we were like five, so…
Harley Quinn Smith: Yeah, I don’t know…
Lily-Rose Depp: We probably played with some coloring books or something! [Laughs.] I’m not sure.
Harley Quinn Smith: I don’t remember because I was like five, but I was at that school since one year before her, so I remember they would be like, “Oh, we have a new student” and I was like, “Oh cool, hey.”
Lily-Rose Depp: A little five-year-old… [Laughs.]
Harley Quinn Smith: A five-year-old, but I can’t remember…
Lily-Rose Depp: I remember visiting, actually, the kindergarten and that’s when I met you and everything and like, I was really shy. I was the shyest kid…
Harley Quinn Smith: Yeah…
Lily-Rose Depp: And I was just hiding behind my mom and everything. I remember Harley was one of the first people that I like, actually talked to and became friends with so she was like one of my first friends, period. Just one of my first friends of my life, so yeah.
Harley Quinn Smith: Aw!
Kevin was talking about how Tusk came together, and you [Harley] were always going to be in it and you [Lily-Rose] came in sort of randomly. When my dad took me to work I had to do filing, so what was that like? That’s weird.
Harley Quinn Smith: Yeah! A lot different. I mean, we are so lucky that we… I mean, it sounds kind of weird to say but like, we never really had to… Some people work their entire lives to get just an audition, and I struggle dealing with the fact every day that it’s like, I’ve never had to work to get to this place. But that just makes me want to work even harder to continue working because I had such an easy start, and such a painless start to this amazing world. I’m so thankful for that every day, because again, there are so many people who do not have that same luxury as we do.
So it encourages me to work even harder to get more jobs and have auditions on the jobs that I do have. It makes me want to work even harder to make up for having such an easy start into this crazy world.
Are you both officially actors now or is this just your parents dragging you into their movies?
Harley Quinn Smith: No!
Lily-Rose Depp: No, I just shot two movies in Paris so I’ve been working and stuff, so yeah.
So you’re not going to go and get your law degree now or anything like that.
Lily-Rose Depp: That’s NOT the move… [Laughs.]
Harley Quinn Smith: …the move to make! [Laughs.]
What do you want? What’s your dream? Because you just starred in a movie at Sundance. That’s awesome.
Lily-Rose Depp: I just want to be an actor. I really don’t have any other… like, I really don’t want anything else out of it. I have a good time when I’m acting, and bottom line, I just want to enjoy myself and be a happy person, and acting makes me happy. I enjoy it and it’s a good way to escape yourself. You just become somebody else for a little bit and it’s a lot of fun. But yeah, bottom line I just have a good time doing it and it makes me happy and everybody should always do what makes them happy.
Harley Quinn Smith: I mean, I’d be so happy to work on anything that comes my way. Like, it’s an honor when you get chosen to portray a character. Especially, I don’t know, it’s just an awesome feeling. But if I had to do something, I have two very specific dreams. [Laughs.] I’d like to be involved in SNL somehow. I mean, being a permanent cast member is a stretch! That’s pretty damned hard, but to host it one day would be a dream come true. And I would like to play the DC Comics villain Harley Quinn.
I was not going to ask that because it seemed like the obvious question.
Harley Quinn Smith: The namesake…
Yeah, you’re stuck with that.
Harley Quinn Smith: No, but… for a while when I was little I was like, “This SUCKS. Everybody thinks I’m named after Harley Davidson!” Like, nobody knew! Every time…
Lily-Rose Depp: That’s what I thought when I first met her. [Laughs.]
Harley Quinn Smith: Yes! Everybody thinks that. I’m like, “Hi, I’m Harley” and they’re like, “Haha! Like the motorcycle, right?” and I’m like, “No!”
Lily-Rose Depp: “No, like the feminine…”
Harley Rose Quinn: “…beautiful, badass!”
Those illiterate bastards!
Harley Quinn Smith: I know! It’s honestly my biggest pet peeve. But a few years ago I just became super interested in her. Like, in my opinion villains are so much more interesting than heroes. So Suicide Squad is just like, wow, so damn awesome. But just her in particular, it’s so interesting. It’s weird to be named after something that’s not even like a real person. It’s a character.
So I’ve always felt a connection to it, not in like “I’m in insane person” way, driven crazy by The Joker, but you see her as a doctor, Dr. Harleen Quinzel, and you see her progress into this insane person and it’s just the most interesting character. I think she’s the most interesting villain, and I would be so honored to portray that one day and I will work very hard to.
I’ll start a letter writing campaign. We’ll make this happen.
Harley Quinn Smith: Yeah! I really hope! [Laughs.]
I have to ask about “Glamthrax.” Tell me that’s based on a real thing.
Harley Quinn: It’s Anthrax…
I know Anthrax…
Lily-Rose Depp: We were in a band together when we were six.
Harley Quinn Smith: What…? Oh! Damn!
Lily-Rose Depp: “The Pink Elephants?” Excuse me…?
Harley Quinn Smith: Duh…! Our hot band, The Pink Elephants.
Lily-Rose Depp: I really thought it was… I remember we just wrote songs about elephants.
Harley Quinn Smith: Yeah, it was solid.
Do you remember any of the titles of these songs about elephants?
Lily-Rose Depp: “Elephant Love.”
Harley Quinn Smith: Yeah.
Lily-Rose Depp: Do you remember that?
Harley Quinn Smith: Yeah, I remember.
Lily-Rose Depp: I literally remember that song!
Harley Quinn Smith: We were going to get this person to play the drums, and this person to play the guitar! It was sick.
Lily-Rose Depp: Yeah, we were literally six years old, like, “We’re done. This is the job.”
Harley Quinn Smith: “This is it!” [Laughs.]
Lily-Rose Depp: Yeah, The Pink Elephants.
I know nothing about yoga. Did you guys actually do yoga before this?
Lily-Rose Depp: No.
Harley Quinn Smith: No. [Laughs.]
Lily-Rose Depp: I’ve done yoga, and it’s fun, but I’m not the kind of person that can wake up and do it every morning. It’s like, I have to be in the mood.
Harley Quinn Smith: I can’t do it.
You faked it well.
Harley Quinn Smith: Thank you! Did you see it?
I did see it! I saw it last night.
Harley Quinn Smith: Did you like it?
I had a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun, but as a critic I was like, “He just said I caused the Holocaust…”
Lily-Rose Depp: [Laughs.]
Harley Quinn Smith: [Laughs.] It was kind of a small… definitely not ALL critics, but like… my dad has experienced some bad people in the past. It was like a small shout out. Like, “Hey…”
I got it. It’s not unfair. I was like, “I mean, kinda, okay, but hmmm…”
Lily-Rose Depp: [Quoting the movie.] “Haters gotta hate…”
Harley Quinn Smith: “A hater has gotta hate, hate, hate…”
Lily-Rose Depp: “And a douche has got to douche!”
I’m sitting right here…
Harley Quinn Smith: That’s what a lot of reviews said. Because they’re all written by critics, so they’re like, “This was rude!” It’s like, “Shout out to you guys!”
I’ve taken so much worse. Is there anything you want to tell people about the movie or the experience, or anything like that, that I didn’t think to ask?
Lily-Rose Depp: Just we hope everybody enjoys it and we had a great time making it, and no matter what it’s always going to… It’s like a one-of-a-kind experience that we’re always going to remember and always keep with us, and it’s the beginning of our careers. And we started our careers together, and so I think that really comes through in the movie, just how exciting it was an how special it was to be able to work with people we love so much. So yeah, we hope people enjoy the movie.
Harley Quinn Smith: Also, like when you see it and you’re like, “This is weird!” just remember that there was a time when people were like, “What is Gremlins? This is bizarre!” “Star Wars? There’s people like in a galaxy far, far away? What is this?” and those are everyone’s… like, that shaped everyone to be who they are. So just remember when you see it and you’re like, “This is so bizarre,” just remember… there are a lot of weird movies out there that have shaped people’s lives. Just keep an open mind because weird art is, I think, the best art and leads us to the best type of things.
Top Photo Courtesy of Sundance Institute
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.