Sundance Spotlight: Meet Rising Star Harley Quinn Smith

The word on the Sundance (Main) street is Yoga Hosers is a must see. Not surprising, considering the cult-comedy thriller—the latest from director Kevin Smith—features Hollywood favorites Johnny Depp and Justin Long alongside a crop of cool newcomers, including Lily-Rose Depp, Austin Butler, Tyler Posey, and today’s spotlight star: Harley Quinn Smith. With a serious pedigree and a hunger for unique storytelling, Smith is far from your average 16 year-old. We caught up with the actress at the Acura Lounge to get to know her a little better. Here’s everything you need to know.



Jenna Peffley

Her dad is writer-director Kevin Smith.
“My dad and I are super close, because we are literally the same person. Even watching myself in interviews and Yoga Hosers, I look at myself and I’m using his mannerisms. So we are basically the same person, we understand each other super well, and working with him was no different than when he gives me life direction.”

Her first-ever film role was a riff on Clerks.
“The two girls in Tusk were completely girl versions of Clerks, my dad’s original movie. I feel like Colleen is Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls, because she is super innocent and kind of out of it. She’s just not as in tuned as the other Colleen [Lily-Rose Depp]. But she is really sweet and she means well, so she reminds me of Bubbles.”

Lily-Rose Depp is her real BFF.
“We have been best friends since we were five. We went to school together from kindergarten up until sixth grade. We grew up together, we have experienced all of the things that people experience growing up together, and so not only do we share that, we share the start of our careers together. No matter where we go with our careers, we will always have that we started together. It’s so rare that you film with family and friends in such a loving and comfortable environment.”

She’s named after a famous comic villain.
“I’m such a comic book fan. I’m not so much a heroes type of gal. I think villains are much more interesting, because then you have the aspect of how have they become evil, what has happened in their life.”

She’s a total prankster.
“We were shooting [Yoga Hosers] at a convenient store, and amongst all of the weird stuff was Silly String. I kept looking it at it the whole time we were shooting, and I was like I want to take that. Lily and I were mostly filming together the entire time, except for this one part where we film separately, so she was in her trailer and I was like okay, I’m going to Silly String her trailer. I wrote all over her trailer, and she came out and was like, what?!”

You won’t find her in a rom-com.
“I admire Quentin Tarantino’s work. A few months ago I watched Pulp Fiction for the first time, and it’s storytelling in such a cool way. You constantly see so much of the same exact movie—another love story—and it’s just so boring. I’d love to work with somebody who has an individual and unique view on what acting and storytelling should be.”

She loves a great vintage shopping adventure. 
“I like to shop a lot at Goodwill and stuff like that because you find a lot of cool pieces that you can’t find anywhere else. I hate wearing plain, all-black things, I have to throw in something otherwise it doesn’t feel like me. I’ve been to a lot of thrift shops, but I was never really exposed to Goodwill until my friend told me that it was so fun. Over Thanksgiving break, I went every single day because it’s like a game. You find this awesome stuff.”

Jeremy Scott is her style hero.
“I love Moschino, that’s the vibe I’m going for. I have yet to be able to afford it on my own salary, but one day I will be supporting him like no other.”

Get Harley’s Winter Style: See by Chloe Faux Shearling Jacket ($445); Forever 21 Contemporary Sheer Turtleneck ($11); J Brand 620 Mid-Rise Super Skinny Jeans ($227) in Fix; Gianvito Rossi Suede Ankle Boots ($950).

Want more Sundance coverage? Meet the other rising stars of the film festival here.