November 29, 2021 Interview – Eden Brolin
An actress and musician, Eden Brolin is a double threat talent. Seasoned, Brolin has been working in theater, film, and television, making a name for herself with roles in Freeform’s Beyond as well as Paramount Network’s Yellowstone. Recently co-starring along side Dylan Sprouse in the film Tyger Tyger, she continues to turn heads with exceptional performances. On the rise, Eden Brolin recently sat down to talk about her inspirations, learning to take chances, creating in music versus acting, plus more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in acting professionally for over a decade now you have worked in television, as well as film, and you have been a part of quite a few interesting projects. What inspired you to pursue a career in acting?
Eden Brolin – I think curiosity more than anything. It was something that I had grown up around a little bit, but in pretty limited capacity. I think there was a curiosity; it was just sort of like a little fire that was stoked with just kind of slowly learning more and more about it. I was just really interested in what the process of filmmaking, doing plays and doing television really looked like. I think that curiosity is still alive. Just continuing to look into what that process looks like, in different capacities, and with every single project that you go on to being a totally different experience.
Cryptic Rock – You have done a lot of interesting things over the years. Interestingly, beyond acting, you are also a musician, you have a band, you released an album last year. So creatively, how is acting different for you as opposed to performing music?
Eden Brolin – I think it’s a vastly different creative process for me. I think I really, really like acting because there’s the sort of agreement you have as an actor to take either what’s been written or what a filmmaker is trying to get out of a character and into a scene. It is listening to those ideas in a collaborative way, trying to make those ideas into something tangible, into something that translates for an audience. That’s really what I enjoy about acting, I like to hear people’s ideas. That’s what I loved about doing Tyger Tyger. Kerry (Mondragon) had these really wild, big ideas that it was so interesting to problem solve and figure out how we could make that work in this character and in these scenes.
Whereas with songwriting, I have to push myself. I’m not saying I don’t do the work in acting; I think you do, but depending on what you’re doing, it can come a little bit more naturally. As much as I enjoy, you know, singing, playing music and whatnot, I really have to put the effort into making it happen. Just getting the songs out, and being able to non-judgmentally just write a song, instead of sort of waiting for it to happen. Our first record came out in 2012, and our next one came out last year. It was a long time of being like, “Well, I don’t know and I don’t want people to hate it. I don’t want to hate it.” There is just a lot of self-judgment. Then finally being like, I don’t find any joy in this because I’m just judging every thing I’m doing. So finally, being able to just put that down and just write is really freeing. That was a long-winded answer. (Laughs)
Cryptic Rock – (Laughs) It’s cool that you have both those creative outlets. You mentioned Tyger Tyger. It’s a very unique project, and there is a lot of validity to the real world today with everything that’s going on. How did Tyger Tyger come about for you?
Eden Brolin – Tyger Tyger was something that came about because I got a call with an offer for this movie. My representative said, “Hey, this director wants to talk to you about possibility of going straight to doing this movie and a couple of weeks in the desert.” I talked to Kerry about it and just heard about his ideas. It was just something that was really interesting because it was relatively unclear until we actually got into the process of making the movie itself.
So much of the clarity in the character and what happens is because of the process. The clarity came with the process of doing it, which I think is not the case with every story. A lot of things are cut and dry and presented to you in a script where this was really an exploration. So, I just kind of went with it. I had been in the habit of just sort of going with things and going with my gut on things. I had a feeling about Kerry and just going and doing this and it was one of the best experiences of my first 25 years. It was just one of those things that was like, “Oh yeah, I’m gonna remember that forever. No doubt.”
Cryptic Rock – Well, it is an interesting film. As you said, it’s experimental in a lot of ways. The storyline can really fit into many genres. It has elements of Drama, it has a feeling of a Thriller, it has a Fantasy element, but it kind of also fits like a modern day Western. How would you describe the film?
Eden Brolin – That’s a hard question to answer because I think everybody’s going to have their own experience with it. I think you can say that about a lot of different movies, but I do think it’s something that was so personal to Kerry. It is a story that Kerry just had to kind of purge out of themselves. I do think that there are these self-reflective properties and they are abstract because of the way that it was done. I think that gives the audience a chance to have their own experience. I’m having a hard time kind of naming a genre to it and what kind of movie it is. I do think because of how abstracted it is it gives the viewers an opportunity to really dig in and make what they will of it.
Cryptic Rock – Right, leave it open to interpretation. You mentioned, this is a very personal project for Kerry, the writer-director. As you said, it came into vision more clearly as you were working on it. What was it like helping him bring it to life since it is very personal, cathartic story for him as well.
Eden Brolin – I think there was a lot of collaboration going on. I think there was a lot of people with their own opinions about what should be kind of happening in the story; what was making sense and what wasn’t. I think it was really important for Kerry to hear that. Collaborating is such a beautiful part of the creative process and being able to make a film, but it’s also so hard to hear critique and hear certain ideas and not think you’re suddenly wrong about everything. I just think his ability to really stay true to what his story was, what was happening in his brain, and what he was envisioning for all of this. Being able to stay true to that is such a gift to yourself when you’re a filmmaker, as well as being open to different ideas, but really just having a conviction and the story that you want to tell. That’s something that I really enjoyed, just kind of being able to remind each other within that.
I also have a lot of control issues, I like things to be really structured, and this was the farthest thing from structured. There was a script and then otherwise it was kind of – there’s going to be changes here and there, we don’t know exactly where we’re shooting today, we don’t know who we’re shooting with, we don’t know exactly what’s going on. It really gave me an amazing, special opportunity to be able to just let go of the control that I’ve held onto so tightly. It was really like freeing experience to just be like, “Okay, I’m gonna do whatever’s going on today,” and be 100% ok with it. It was just a great personal experience for growth as well.
Cryptic Rock – Very cool, it sounds like it was challenging, but in a good way.
Eden Brolin – Yeah, absolutely.
Cryptic Rock – That is a good thing! You have done some other compelling projects over the last 1-2 years. You have been a part of the Paramount Network series Yellowstone portraying Mia since 2020. Are there any other projects you have coming up?
Eden Brolin – My band did a live EP of some of the songs from our first and second record and we decided to release it. That came out back on March 19th. So that’s something that’s pretty much the closest, upcoming project that can be talked about.
Cryptic Rock – That is something people should check out. Last question. As you mentioned, you kind of grew up around acting. You have been around the arts all your life. What would you say some of the most valuable lessons you have learned from your experiences leading up to your career now?
Eden Brolin – I think going with your gut and really listening to your intuition. I think it will lead to challenges, and sometimes it can lead to some really freeing moments of decision makings and great experiences. I think I’ve learned to go with my gut. It isn’t always going to be the most positive thing in the world, which is a good thing; I hope that makes sense. It will lead you to growth you might have not expected and also some really wonderful experiences.
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