Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers from the series finale of HBO’s “Sharp Objects.”
“Don’t tell Mama.”
Those are the bone-chilling final words of HBO miniseries “Sharp Objects,” which came to a riveting, emotional conclusion Sunday night. The line is uttered by precocious teenager Amma (Eliza Scanlen), who walks in on older sister Camille (Amy Adams) just as she discovers a bedroom floor tiled with human teeth inside Amma’s dollhouse — teeth belonging to the two girls whose murders Camille was sent to hometown Windgap, Missouri, to investigate.
Despite many false leads and suspects, it’s not entirely surprising that Amma is the killer (and claims a third victim off-screen in the show’s last few minutes). There was always something off about Amma, who wore flower crowns and roller skates around her doting (and also murderous) mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson), but was hard-drinking and overtly sexual with her friends. That Amma was also slowly being poisoned by Adora, who wanted her daughters sick so she could care for them, couldn’t have helped matters.
Scanlen, 19, is back in her native Australia this summer before shooting Greta Gerwig’s star-studded “Lady Bird” followup “Little Women” with Meryl Streep later this year. She called USA TODAY to chat about the finale.
Question: That last shot of Amma is so unsettling, as she goes from being startled to slightly smiling at Camille. What kinds of notes did (director) Jean-Marc Vallee give you about how to play it?
Eliza Scanlen: That was probably one of the hardest scenes for me. It’s the last scene and the last line of the whole show, and you want it to have the right impact. The final cut (of the episode) takes out a few moments where I run up the stairs from just performing another murder, so I’m out of breath and obviously quite erratic. Amma runs into her room only to discover Camille there, who has unraveled the whole mystery, and obviously that’s a really big moment. So we all really collaborated on that last bit. Jean-Marc and Amy helped me get to that place.