Perhaps you’ve heard of Juggalos. For this highly dedicated group of Insane Clown Posse fans, their love of the hip-hop group isn’t just a passing fancy—it’s a lifestyle. They paint their faces in clown-like makeup, they engage in something called Faygo showers and, surprisingly, a small group of Buffalo, New York, Juggalos are off-handedly responsible for Never Rarely Sometimes Always star Sidney Flanigan’s unique rise to fame.
Prior to attending a backyard Juggalo wedding in Buffalo, Flanigan was your standard 21-year-old (who just so happened to have a real musical talent). She spent her free time “doing the singer-songwriter thing” and playing the violin, ukulele, guitar and fiddle. Like her dad before her, she jammed in a few bands and “just always wanted to play.” And then she met filmmakers Eliza Hittman and Scott Cummings.
“I was with this group of people staying at this house where people called Juggalos live. Scott was making a film called Buffalo Juggalos at the time, so he would be there filming them, and I was just kind of hanging out on the fringes,” Flanigan told PureWow
She went on to recall, “There was a wedding in these people’s backyard. Scott was there and Eliza was there. Her and Scott followed me on Facebook and watched videos of me playing music. Then, all these years later I got an email from Scott saying that Eliza was making this film and wanted to know if I would audition.”
At the time, Flanigan had no acting experience or aspirations, yet when she read the film’s script, she knew she needed to do it.
“I was really hesitant at first, but after reading the script and getting an idea of what the story is actually about, I felt encouraged by my friends and gave it a shot. And it all worked out,” she shared.
In the film, Flanigan plays a teen named Autumn who experiences an unintended pregnancy and realizes the lack of options available in her area. With the help of her cousin, Skylar (Talia Ryder), they travel to New York to find a resolution. It’s a quiet and powerful film that calls upon Flanigan to tap into deep emotions. She plays the part exceptionally well. So will she continue acting? She says she’s not sure. For the time being, she’s still struggling to come to terms with the fact that she just starred in a feature film that premiered at Sundance.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve 100 percent wrapped my mind around it. It’s still very surreal and still something I never really imagined,” she admitted. “Having come from a working-class family, I didn’t really think I’d make it out of that world.”
In light of recent events, Focus Features opted to release the film at home on-demand and it’s now available to stream on a screen near you (like, probably whatever you’re reading this article on).
Just a heads up: You might need some tissues.