AUBURN — After six years working in art departments on movies, including “Iron Man 2” and “Django Unchained,” Auburn native Breanna Wing wanted to be in front of the camera. Quentin Tarantino gave her a shot.
Wing plays “Cheyenne the hippie hitchhiker” in Tarantino’s new film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” a part for which she did not even audition.
“We kept in touch and remained friends (after ‘Django’) and he knew that I had sort of made a transition to acting because I realized that’s where my real love was,” Wing said Tuesday. “He had seen me in a small project, the rehearsal take, and I was visiting set one day when they were shooting ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ and he just cast me as the hippie hitchhiker Sharon Tate picks up. To find out he put me in a scene alongside Margot Robbie was far beyond any dream I could have imagined myself.”
The movie’s cast includes Robbie, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino and Kurt Russell.
It marks Wing’s feature film debut. She attended the premiere and her first red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre earlier this week.
“I’m still riding the high of having the best night of my life,” she said.
Wing, who now lives in Los Angeles, graduated from Edward Little High School in 2007, where she played field hockey and lacrosse and acted in the drama club.
She moved to California for college and got her first internship in the art department of “Iron Man 2” in 2008.
Production Designer J. Michael Riva “brought me onto all of his movies when I was still in school, so I worked on ‘The Amazing Spider-Man,’ ‘Iron Man 2’ and, as soon as I graduated, he hired me on ‘Django Unchained,’” Wing said.
The art department works on set design and decorations, props and tone.
“On ‘Django,’ Riva would let me go on set a lot and just watch the actors, which was so generous of him,” she said. “It was, I think, really on ‘Django’ that I realized that’s what I wanted to do the rest of my life.”
Wing’s other credits so far include an episode of Amazon’s “Transparent” and a few short films. She is acting as much as she can, she said, and hopes to do more film and TV work.
“I’m excited to see what’s on the horizon,” she said.
Her parents Arthur and Cindy, who still live in Auburn, plan to catch “Once Upon a Time” with her brother, Eric, on Thursday night.
“Coming from a not-Hollywood family, and from small-town Maine, having my brother and parents being always so supportive” has meant a lot, Wing said. “My dad gave my mom a ring, and she gave it to me, so I wear it to all my big events for good luck. I got to wear it down the red carpet last night, so I feel like my family is always there with me.”