In Story of a Girl, Shane plays Deanna, a young girl hoping to run from the biggest mistake of her life. When she was 13 years old, she made a sex tape with an older boy named Tommy (Tyler Johnston) and her classmates and her father (Jon Tenney) won’t let her forget it. She gets a summer job at a pizza place owned by Michael (Kevin Bacon), who tries to help her move on.
In addition to Kevin Bacon, two other members of his family are involved. Daughter Sosie Bacon plays Stacey, a friend of Deanna’s. His wife, Kyra Sedgwick makes her directorial debut with the film.
Here’s a look at Shane’s life and career.
1. Shane’s Close Relationship With Her Father Helped Her Prepare for Playing Deanna
Shane’s real home life doesn’t resemble Deanna’s, but it still helped her connect to the character. In Story, Deanna’s troubled relationship with her father is a central part of the plot. Shane imagined what it would be like if she had a similar, estranged relationship with her father in real life.
“In real life, I have awesome parents and I am very close with my dad, so it was easy for me to tap into that lonely, abandoned resentment that would come with not having a relationship with your father,” the 23-year-old told Channel Guide Magazine in June. “The second I imagined it, I just got so upset, because I cherish my relationship with my dad so much. But I totally understood what Jon was doing. It felt like I was vying for his attention like Deanna — we both got good work out of it.”
Sedgwick told the magazine that Jon Tenney, who plays Deanna’s father Ray, was too much of the “life of the party” on set, so she told him to cut off the off-set relationship he was building with Shane.
“I didn’t want him to make anyone comfortable,” the first-time director told the magazine. “This was a really dysfunctional family and I wanted him to be kind of a terrorizer. With Ryann — and it sounds cruel — but I really wanted them to be estranged. That was important to me and I thought it would be helpful. I think it was, honestly.”
2. She Beat Out Hundreds of Actress Who Auditioned for the Part & Was a ‘Real Standout’
Casting Deanna proved to be a challenge for Sedgwick, but once she saw Shane, she knew she had the actress she wanted. The Emmy-winning actress told TV Insider that she auditioned hundreds of actresses for the part, but Shane “was a real standout.” Sedgwick said Shane’s audition was exactly the way she saw the scenes in her head.
In the TV Insider interview, Sedgwick said she had always wanted to have her husband play the role of Michael. She also thought getting him involved would help attract financiers.
“Kevin was so cool and chill. The whole family is down to earth,” Shane told TV Insider about working with Bacon. She said when they first met, Bacon gave her a cup of tea with pigs on it. “He told me, ‘We have a bacon obsession in our family.'”
3. She Played Rebellious Teen Deva Hopewell in Cinemax’s ‘Banshee’
Shane made her debut in a 2004 short called Superstore. Four years later, she appeared in Definitely, Maybe with Ryan Reynolds. In 2011, she landed her first leading role in Lights Out, a short-lived FX series starring Holt McCallany as a boxer. She played one of the daughters of McCallany’s character.
A year after the show ended, TV Line reported that Shane was cast as Deva Hopewell, a rebellious teenager and daughter of Anthony Starr’s Lucas, in Banshee.
Banshee ran from 2013 to 2016 and was created by Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler. Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under) was among the producers on the series.
4. ‘Story of a Girl’ Writer Sara Zarr Says Shane ‘Crushes It as Deanna’
Shane’s performance as Deanna has at least one important fan: Sara Zarr, the author of Story of a Girl. In a Facebook post, Zarr wrote that Shane “crushes it as Deanna.”
In her interview with Channel Guide Magazine, Shane said she met with Zarr after she was cast in the role. Although the 2007 novel isn’t autobiographical, it does include moments from her own experiences.
“She felt like Deanna’s story needs to be told because a lot of stories about high school — especially 10 years ago when it was written — didn’t really dive into the quieter types and the quieter moments of high school and how you deal with darker pasts or situations that force you to grow up when you’re still a kid,” Shane told Channel Guide Magazine. “She just shared some stories about what it was like for her and how that kind of inspired some moments in the story which was really cool.”
5. She Stars in the First Movie Directed by Kyra Sedgwick
Story of a Girl isn’t just a breakout role for Shane. It’s also the directorial debut of Kyra Sedgwick, who is best known for her Emmy and Golden Globe-winning performance on TNT’s The Closer, as well as three decades of acclaimed performances in movies and TV shows. Story is a passion project for her, since she first optioned the book shortly after it came out in 2007.
“The reason I wanted to make the film was exactly the reason why people didn’t think it was going to make money; they didn’t think people would be interested,” Sedgwick explained to Glamour. “‘We like the script, but where are the car chases? Nothing blows up. Where’s the big moment?’ To me the movie is filled with explosions. It’s filled with pain, and angst, and real life. The obstacles were frustrating. I couldn’t help but feel that if it had been about a teen boy, we might’ve had an easier job.”
Sedgwick told Entertainment Tonight that what really attracted her to the story was Deanna’s experience, since it reminded her of her own difficult teenage years.
“Everything feels so huge and so big, and your emotions are enormous,” the 52-year-old Sedgwick told EW. “The point is: You’re shamed about something in the world and the world sees you as a certain thing and you have to fight your way out of the world seeing you that way and yourself seeing you that way.”