Why it Was ‘Irresistible’ for ‘Sharp Objects’ to Hide Amma’s ‘Creepy’ Dollhouse in Plain Sight in Every Episode

(Warning: Spoilers ahead for the “Sharp Objects” finale, “Milk”)

If you were surprised that Amma (Eliza Scanlen) ended up being the Wind Gap killer in HBO’s recently wrapped limited series “Sharp Objects,” you must not have been looking in the right places for clues.

Camille (Amy Adams) puts it all together in the final episode when she finds little teeth in the room of Amma’s dollhouse meant to represent the ivory floor in their mother Adora’s (Patricia Clarkson) bedroom. A mark of the mass murderer was pulling out the victims’ teeth.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Alan Crellin: Complicit or Oblivious? Creator Marti Noxon Gives Us Her Take

Readers of the book have been looking at that dollhouse since the premiere episode, knowing the massive piece of incriminating evidence it contained — and showrunner Marti Noxon and director Jean-Marc Vallée were sure to keep the dollhouse in every episode both as a clue and as a metaphor.

“I think it’s irresistible for a director; it’s such a beautiful metaphor for trying to control the world around you,” Noxon told TheWrap in a recent interview.

“And you know, dollhouses are creepy,” she added with a laugh. “So because it is the key in the end to the girls, I think it was also sort of placed — metaphor intended — to have it in evidence a lot. Because it really is a symbol of Amma’s disorder of this crazy control thing she’s caught from her mom.”

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

Noxon is referencing Adora’s murder of Camille’s other little sister Marian, who died by Munchausen syndrome by proxy. In the finale, Adora goes to jail and, for a few minutes there, it’s easy to assume she also killed Natalie Keene and Ann Nash. The finale cuts off just as Camille is realizing the truth about her little sister, revealing Amma as the murderer.

To read all about the crazy ending, read our conversation with Noxon over here.

Jennifer Maas contributed to this report.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

‘Sharp Objects’: 13 Differences Between Gillian Flynn’s Novel and Amy Adams’ HBO Series (Photos)

‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

‘Sharp Objects’: Showrunner Marti Noxon Says Calhoun Day Started Out as a Joke

(Warning: Spoilers ahead for the “Sharp Objects” finale, “Milk”)

If you were surprised that Amma (Eliza Scanlen) ended up being the Wind Gap killer in HBO’s recently wrapped limited series “Sharp Objects,” you must not have been looking in the right places for clues.

Camille (Amy Adams) puts it all together in the final episode when she finds little teeth in the room of Amma’s dollhouse meant to represent the ivory floor in their mother Adora’s (Patricia Clarkson) bedroom. A mark of the mass murderer was pulling out the victims’ teeth.

Readers of the book have been looking at that dollhouse since the premiere episode, knowing the massive piece of incriminating evidence it contained — and showrunner Marti Noxon and director Jean-Marc Vallée were sure to keep the dollhouse in every episode both as a clue and as a metaphor.

“I think it’s irresistible for a director; it’s such a beautiful metaphor for trying to control the world around you,” Noxon told TheWrap in a recent interview.

“And you know, dollhouses are creepy,” she added with a laugh. “So because it is the key in the end to the girls, I think it was also sort of placed — metaphor intended — to have it in evidence a lot. Because it really is a symbol of Amma’s disorder of this crazy control thing she’s caught from her mom.”

Noxon is referencing Adora’s murder of Camille’s other little sister Marian, who died by Munchausen syndrome by proxy. In the finale, Adora goes to jail and, for a few minutes there, it’s easy to assume she also killed Natalie Keene and Ann Nash. The finale cuts off just as Camille is realizing the truth about her little sister, revealing Amma as the murderer.

To read all about the crazy ending, read our conversation with Noxon over here.

Jennifer Maas contributed to this report.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Sharp Objects' Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

'Sharp Objects': 13 Differences Between Gillian Flynn's Novel and Amy Adams' HBO Series (Photos)

'Sharp Objects' Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

'Sharp Objects': Showrunner Marti Noxon Says Calhoun Day Started Out as a Joke

‘Sharp Objects’ Alan Crellin: Complicit or Oblivious? Creator Marti Noxon Gives Us Her Take

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve watched “Sharp Objects” through Sunday’s finale, “Milk.”)

“Sharp Objects” creator Marti Noxon will tell you that “this story is about the legacy of violence among these women.”

And that’s the truth, as HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel came to a close Sunday with two shocking reveals: 1) Camille’s (Amy Adams) mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson) killed her little sister Marian by imposing Munchausen by proxy on her and slowly poisoning her to death as a child, and 2) Camille’s preteen half sister, Amma (Eliza Scanlen), was the one responsible for the grisly murders of the two young girls from their small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

But sitting quietly in the middle of this storm of murderous rage amongst the women is Adora’s husband, Alan (played by Henry Czerny), trying to tune it all out while listening to his very expensive stereo equipment.

So what exactly did Alan know about all the violent acts the women closest to him were carrying out — including the fact his wife killed their child? Noxon tells TheWrap she left it ambiguous as to whether or not Alan was complicit or oblivious, but that in some “deep dark recess of his soul” he “knows everything.”

“I think this is, again, the story of like secrets and denial,” Noxton told TheWrap in an interview ahead of Sunday’s finale. “How about all of these people who live with people who are abusing their children and they know, but they don’t want to know, so they push it down and they make excuses and they justify behaviors? I think it’s just… he probably in some deep, dark recess of his soul knows everything. But I don’t think he admits it all to himself. This is what I would think Alan thinks of as one of the dark times that he’s just trying to get through.”

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

But Noxon says it’s possible Alan also “gets off on the violence.”

“We’ve seen these stories so many times about female spouses who walk that line between trying to control the force — the dangerous force in their family — but also not being willing to sacrifice to do it,” Noxon said. “And I think that’s Alan. He almost feels like a beaten spouse to me. He’s sort of trying to control Adora, but he’s also just trying to walk away.”

“I don’t know if he is in some ways, you know, he gets off on the violence?” she added. “I think he’s almost more a victim of whatever mind control [Adora has inflicted on him]. He feels like a very classically female character in that way.”

Read more from our interview with Noxon about the finale here. And get a breakdown of the finale’s chilling post-credits scenes here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

‘Sharp Objects’: 13 Differences Between Gillian Flynn’s Novel and Amy Adams’ HBO Series (Photos)

‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

‘Sharp Objects’: Showrunner Marti Noxon Says Calhoun Day Started Out as a Joke

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve watched “Sharp Objects” through Sunday’s finale, “Milk.”)

“Sharp Objects” creator Marti Noxon will tell you that “this story is about the legacy of violence among these women.”

And that’s the truth, as HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel came to a close Sunday with two shocking reveals: 1) Camille’s (Amy Adams) mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson) killed her little sister Marian by imposing Munchausen by proxy on her and slowly poisoning her to death as a child, and 2) Camille’s preteen half sister, Amma (Eliza Scanlen), was the one responsible for the grisly murders of the two young girls from their small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri.

But sitting quietly in the middle of this storm of murderous rage amongst the women is Adora’s husband, Alan (played by Henry Czerny), trying to tune it all out while listening to his very expensive stereo equipment.

So what exactly did Alan know about all the violent acts the women closest to him were carrying out — including the fact his wife killed their child? Noxon tells TheWrap she left it ambiguous as to whether or not Alan was complicit or oblivious, but that in some “deep dark recess of his soul” he “knows everything.”

“I think this is, again, the story of like secrets and denial,” Noxton told TheWrap in an interview ahead of Sunday’s finale. “How about all of these people who live with people who are abusing their children and they know, but they don’t want to know, so they push it down and they make excuses and they justify behaviors? I think it’s just… he probably in some deep, dark recess of his soul knows everything. But I don’t think he admits it all to himself. This is what I would think Alan thinks of as one of the dark times that he’s just trying to get through.”

But Noxon says it’s possible Alan also “gets off on the violence.”

“We’ve seen these stories so many times about female spouses who walk that line between trying to control the force — the dangerous force in their family — but also not being willing to sacrifice to do it,” Noxon said. “And I think that’s Alan. He almost feels like a beaten spouse to me. He’s sort of trying to control Adora, but he’s also just trying to walk away.”

“I don’t know if he is in some ways, you know, he gets off on the violence?” she added. “I think he’s almost more a victim of whatever mind control [Adora has inflicted on him]. He feels like a very classically female character in that way.”

Read more from our interview with Noxon about the finale here. And get a breakdown of the finale’s chilling post-credits scenes here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Sharp Objects' Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

'Sharp Objects': 13 Differences Between Gillian Flynn's Novel and Amy Adams' HBO Series (Photos)

'Sharp Objects' Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

'Sharp Objects': Showrunner Marti Noxon Says Calhoun Day Started Out as a Joke

‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

(Spoiler alert: Don’t read ahead unless you’ve watched the “Sharp Objects” finale… all the way to the end of the credits!)

Deep breaths, people, deep breaths.

“Sharp Objects” went out Sunday with the big reveal that Amma (Eliza Scanlen) is the one who murdered Ann Nash and Natalie Keene, with the HBO limited series’ finale cutting off right at the moment Camille (Amy Adams) realizes the truth about her devious little sister. Amma says, “Don’t tell mama,” then the screen cuts to black and Led Zepplin’s “In the Evening” kicks into high gear as the final credits roll.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

But if you stick around to watch all the way through till the very end of the small-screen adaptation’s final episode, “Milk,” you’ll catch a few glimpses of Amma that reveal more of the murderous story from Gillian Flynn’s debut novel. And that are sure to send chills down your spine.

The first, which comes mid-credits, is a chaotic shot of Amma doing the deed — strangling the girls in the woods as they fight back. (They don’t show Amma pulling out their teeth, which are to be used as the ivory floor in her coveted dollhouse, but she did that, too). It even gives a few glimpses of her offing her new friend in the city, Mae.

While the Adams-led drama doesn’t give you more details about how Amma carried out the crimes than those jagged shots, Flynn’s book fleshes it out in its final few pages. You can read more about the differences between the book and the limited series here.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’: Eliza Scanlen on Playing Amy Adams’ ‘Rebellious’ Little Sister With ‘Balls’ (Video)

The final scene of the series comes at the very end of the credits, and is a blink-and-you’ll-almost-miss-it shot of Amma in a long white dress, gazing at the camera before turning to walk into the woods. The vision is significant because, if you remember back in Episode 2, “Dirt,” the only eyewitness to Natalie’s capture was a little boy who described to Camille a woman dressed in white as Natalie’s kidnapper.

The short scene is also a call back to Amma and Camille’s mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson), who is often depicted in white (see below), has that ivory floor in her bedroom, and who killed Camille’s other little sister, Marian.

Read our conversation about the gut-punch finale with showrunner Marti Noxon over here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Sharp Objects’: Showrunner Marti Noxon Says Calhoun Day Started Out as a Joke

‘Sharp Objects’: Eliza Scanlen on Playing Amy Adams’ ‘Rebellious’ Little Sister With ‘Balls’ (Video)

‘Sharp Objects’ Star Eliza Scanlen Portraits (Exclusive Photos)

‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Says No to Season 2: ‘This Is It’

(Spoiler alert: Don’t read ahead unless you’ve watched the “Sharp Objects” finale… all the way to the end of the credits!)

Deep breaths, people, deep breaths.

“Sharp Objects” went out Sunday with the big reveal that Amma (Eliza Scanlen) is the one who murdered Ann Nash and Natalie Keene, with the HBO limited series’ finale cutting off right at the moment Camille (Amy Adams) realizes the truth about her devious little sister. Amma says, “Don’t tell mama,” then the screen cuts to black and Led Zepplin’s “In the Evening” kicks into high gear as the final credits roll.

But if you stick around to watch all the way through till the very end of the small-screen adaptation’s final episode, “Milk,” you’ll catch a few glimpses of Amma that reveal more of the murderous story from Gillian Flynn’s debut novel. And that are sure to send chills down your spine.

The first, which comes mid-credits, is a chaotic shot of Amma doing the deed — strangling the girls in the woods as they fight back. (They don’t show Amma pulling out their teeth, which are to be used as the ivory floor in her coveted dollhouse, but she did that, too). It even gives a few glimpses of her offing her new friend in the city, Mae.

While the Adams-led drama doesn’t give you more details about how Amma carried out the crimes than those jagged shots, Flynn’s book fleshes it out in its final few pages. You can read more about the differences between the book and the limited series here.

The final scene of the series comes at the very end of the credits, and is a blink-and-you’ll-almost-miss-it shot of Amma in a long white dress, gazing at the camera before turning to walk into the woods. The vision is significant because, if you remember back in Episode 2, “Dirt,” the only eyewitness to Natalie’s capture was a little boy who described to Camille a woman dressed in white as Natalie’s kidnapper.

The short scene is also a call back to Amma and Camille’s mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson), who is often depicted in white (see below), has that ivory floor in her bedroom, and who killed Camille’s other little sister, Marian.

Read our conversation about the gut-punch finale with showrunner Marti Noxon over here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Sharp Objects': Showrunner Marti Noxon Says Calhoun Day Started Out as a Joke

'Sharp Objects': Eliza Scanlen on Playing Amy Adams' 'Rebellious' Little Sister With 'Balls' (Video)

'Sharp Objects' Star Eliza Scanlen Portraits (Exclusive Photos)

'Sharp Objects' Showrunner Says No to Season 2: 'This Is It'

‘Sharp Objects’: 13 Differences Between Gillian Flynn’s Novel and Amy Adams’ HBO Series (Photos)

Ending

While the show cuts off dramatically as Camille is realizing that Amma is the one who killed Anne Nash and Natalie Keene, the book continues for a bit — Amma even ends up in prison for what she’s done.Noxon said that the decision t…

  • Ending
    • While the show cuts off dramatically as Camille is realizing that Amma is the one who killed Anne Nash and Natalie Keene, the book continues for a bit — Amma even ends up in prison for what she’s done.Noxon said that the decision to cut it off there was because she and the writers wanted to “convey the emotional experience of reading the book, and to me the book ended there.””And it felt emotionally like, this story is about the legacy of violence among these women and that it really started with Adora,” she continued, adding that Amma’s words — don’t tell mama — bring it all back to Adora.”So to end it sort of calling back to Adora felt like the original ending for this mystery,” she said. To read more about that shocking ending, head over here.
  • Visions
    • As for Camille’s visions, those were a visually creative decision added to the show by director Jean-Marc Vallee.”That was a choice that Jean-Marc made, and I think that it was just this idea of being haunted by these broken women that, again, there is this sort of legacy all around [Camille] of people who haven’t survived trauma, in a way,” Noxon told TheWrap. “And in some ways, I feel like she’s doing it for them as much as she’s doing it for herself. She will tell the truth about one of these stories.”
  • Calhoun Day
    • While Calhoun Day is a huge event in the show for Wind Gap, the holiday doesn’t exist in the book. Noxon told TheWrap in a previous interview that the whole idea started out as a joke in the writer’s room.”There’s a lot of talk about myth and fantasy and how that can influence towns, and your story versus your truth,” Noxon said. That idea bleeds into Camille’s own mythos: “The [Preaker] family has myths, the family has things that aren’t necessarily true on the surface.””The more we talked about the fake news of the town, the things that they told each other that just weren’t true, the more we kept focusing on the founder’s story, and the joke was that we were going to do Calhoun Day the musical,” she said with a laugh. Read more about the Calhoun Day episode over here.
  • How late her cutting is revealed on screen/to reader
    • Viewers of the show don’t realize Camille has cuts covering nearly her whole body until the end of the premiere episode — but it takes readers of the book even longer to get to the reveal.”I was mindful that many of the people watching the show would not know the story,” Noxon told TheWrap after the premiere. She added that was the moment the reader “really get[s] the story of what these ‘sharp objects’ have done to her,” and so she knew she wanted to replicate it on screen.”But I also felt like we didn’t want to leave it too deep in the season,” she said. “At one point there was debate about, you know, do we match the book and hold it until like Episode 3? And I was like, ‘no way.’ I think the viewers will feel betrayed if they’ve been kept out of her secret for that long.” Read more about it over here.
  • how it was revealed in show – dress shopping scene
    • In the fifth episode, Adora insists that she take Camille dress shopping to find something appropriate for Calhoun Day. Adora knows about Camille’s scars at this point, but Amma doesn’t. Adora suggests several strappy dresses for Camille that would definitely reveal her scars, and then forces her into the dressing room, takes her regular clothes, and asks Camille to come out, revealing the scars to Amma. In the book, that interaction doesn’t happen at all (neither does Calhoun Day). In the book, Amma finds out TKTKTKKTKTKTKKTk.
  • Gang rape/cabin in the woods thing
  • obsession with music
    • One of the show’s delights is the way music is used to enhance the story. But while Camille is obsessed with her rock playlist — and carries that cracked iPod with her everywhere — there’s no mention of her musical preferences in the book. Of course, Camille’s connection to music is largely due to her relationship with Alice, who also isn’t mentioned in the book.Noxon said that the show’s soundtrack is all thanks to director Jean-Marc Vallé.”I think if you look at his work in everything, he’s very, very, music-driven,” she told TheWrap (you might think of the “Big Little Lies” soundtrack). Noxon added that she was impressed with his ability to secure the rights to some songs.”Frankly there were things that he was like, we’ll have Led Zeppelin here, and I was like, good luck with that! And he’d be like oh we got Led Zeppelin. I’d be like okay, you did!” she said, adding that he has a reputation for “exquisite” musical tastes.
  • Alice
    • One thing we learn about Camille’s backstory is her fight with alcohol addiction, and that she at one point checked herself into rehab. She’s bunkmates with a young girl named Alice, who Camille empathizes with — and who introduces her to several rock classics. Sadly, Alice dies by suicide, and her memory joins Marian in haunting Camille throughout the series.
  • Chicago
    • While a smaller detail, in the book, Camille lives in Chicago, not St. Louis. But in both the show and the book, she works for an editor named Curry and brings Amma home for a time after Adora is arrested.
  • Amma’s age
    • In the novel, Amma is only 13 years old, though the actress who plays her, Eliza Scanlen, is 19 in real life.Showrunner Marti Noxon said that the decision to age Amma up was in part to make sure viewers wouldn’t be distracted by her youth.”It would be hard to see her doing some of the stuff she does,” Noxon told TheWrap. She continued to say that their goal was to age her “only about a year older, 14 maybe nearing 15? But we just wanted to age her up a tiny bit because of some of the parts in the book that are you know — visually it’s different to see it than to read it, we might even age her up in your head a little bit.”She added that part of why Amma’s age is never explicitly mentioned in the show is “because those teen years where girls are somewhere between womanhood and childhood are so different for every girl. And depending on her emotional and physical maturity, you can imagine something for a girl who looks a certain age and not with others. You know, it would take the focus and put it on a whole different thing.”
  • Alan more of a sympathetic character
    • It’s easy to look at Alan on the show and see a “beaten spouse,” as Noxon described him in a recent interview with TheWrap. But in the book, his character feels far more distant and much less sympathetic.”I think he’s almost more a victim of whatever mind control,” Noxon added. “He feels like a very classically female character in that way.”
Related stories from TheWrap:

'Sharp Objects': Showrunner Marti Noxon Says Calhoun Day Started Out as a Joke

'Sharp Objects': Eliza Scanlen on Playing Amy Adams' 'Rebellious' Little Sister With 'Balls' (Video)

'Sharp Objects' Showrunner Says No to Season 2: 'This Is It'

Why 'Sharp Objects' Showrunner Named Each Episode After a Word on Camille's Body

‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Marti Noxon Explains the Final Line and Why They Cut the Ending Off Early

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve watched “Sharp Objects” through Sunday’s finale, “Milk.”)

Well, there you have it: Adora dunit, but Amma also dunit.

The finale of HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects” ended with the reveal that — even though Adora (Patricia Clarkson) had killed her daughter Marian and was finally sent to jail for her crimes — she wasn’t the one who murdered Natalie and Ann.

Instead, in the final moments of the episode “Milk” we learn Camille’s (Amy Adams) living little sister, Amma (Eliza Scanlen) — who she has taken away to raise in safety — is actually the one responsible for the grisly murders of the two young girls from their small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Breaking Down Those Chilling Post-Credits Scenes

And the very last line Amma uttered when she walked in on her big sister discovering her victims’ teeth hidden inside her dollhouse was, “Don’t tell mama.” Then the screen cuts to black and Led Zepplin’s “In the Evening” kicks into high gear as the final credits roll. (Insert chills here.)

While that ending is probably enough to disturb you for years to come, Flynn’s debut novel closed a little differently. Well, not differently, just with more to it. So TheWrap talked with showrunner Marti Noxon about why she, Flynn and director Jean-Marc Vallee chose to cut the book’s coda, which included Camille visiting Amma in prison and discussing her crimes.

Oh, and why they settled on those final three words that will haunt you until the end of time. (And if they don’t the post-credits scenes certainly will.)

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’: 13 Differences Between Gillian Flynn’s Novel and Amy Adams’ HBO Series (Photos)

Why did you cut the ending off early?

Marti Noxon: My recollection is that — and I don’t have the book in front of me — but those few pages, they are very short, that little coda of that part. And we were trying to convey the emotional experience of reading the book, and to me the book ended there. And there was so much more that I wanted to know about the other part. And it felt emotionally like, this story is about the legacy of violence among these women and that it really started with Adora. That everything in this story, that’s what we get to know about. So to end it sort of calling back to Adora felt like the original ending for this mystery.

Did you leave clues for fans to find if they go back for a second viewing, now that they know Amma is the killer?

Totally! I mean, part of the fun of taking this from the book to the screen is that that Amma character portrayed by Eliza is so complicated. Her relationship with Camille is so complicated. And it is in the book too. But I think because Eliza and Amy brought something to it that Gillian and myself we felt really strongly about — which is there is this side of Amma that is really loving and is looking for a protector and a champion and a sister — so that we could rest a little bit. But you know, in the end it is a whodunit, she dun it. So it’s fun to know those little bits and pieces are there.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Says No to Season 2: ‘This Is It’

Why did you choose “Don’t tell mama” as the final line?

To me, the story, you know, is really about this legacy of violence in their family. And Adora, a lot of what Amma does is in reaction to Adora. Probably almost all of it at that age. So she’s still walking that crazy line between trying to emulate Adora, literally by murdering, but also by not having the emotional capacity to do it with any subtlety or even deal with the consequences.

How did you decide how much time to devote to the part of the finale with Camille and Adora and the part after that with Amma and Camille?

To me that’s like the scene in the bathtub, that’s where the real meat of the crime is taking place and it tells you everything about how it happened in the past and what really happened to the girls. So that’s sort of the meat of the finale. That’s the real answer to the whodunit. And then the surprise of, “Oh, and there is someone still doing it or still out there a victim in this” did feel like it’s own coda, in a way.

Also Read: Why ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Named Each Episode After a Word on Camille’s Body

You’ve already confirmed there isn’t going to be a Season 2, but did you ever want more?

I think we were really committed to really doing the book justice, and it is a whodunit. And some people try to live in a world that it maybe doesn’t have a second story. You know, this story feels very complete. But there is also just the reality that this is a tough team to assemble and I think it would be pretty impossible to do it again (laughs).

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Sharp Objects’: Showrunner Marti Noxon Says Calhoun Day Started Out as a Joke

‘Sharp Objects’: Eliza Scanlen on Playing Amy Adams’ ‘Rebellious’ Little Sister With ‘Balls’ (Video)

‘Sharp Objects’ Star Eliza Scanlen Portraits (Exclusive Photos)

‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Says No to Season 2: ‘This Is It’

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve watched “Sharp Objects” through Sunday’s finale, “Milk.”)

Well, there you have it: Adora dunit, but Amma also dunit.

The finale of HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects” ended with the reveal that — even though Adora (Patricia Clarkson) had killed her daughter Marian and was finally sent to jail for her crimes — she wasn’t the one who murdered Natalie and Ann.

Instead, in the final moments of the episode “Milk” we learn Camille’s (Amy Adams) living little sister, Amma (Eliza Scanlen) — who she has taken away to raise in safety — is actually the one responsible for the grisly murders of the two young girls from their small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri.

And the very last line Amma uttered when she walked in on her big sister discovering her victims’ teeth hidden inside her dollhouse was, “Don’t tell mama.” Then the screen cuts to black and Led Zepplin’s “In the Evening” kicks into high gear as the final credits roll. (Insert chills here.)

While that ending is probably enough to disturb you for years to come, Flynn’s debut novel closed a little differently. Well, not differently, just with more to it. So TheWrap talked with showrunner Marti Noxon about why she, Flynn and director Jean-Marc Vallee chose to cut the book’s coda, which included Camille visiting Amma in prison and discussing her crimes.

Oh, and why they settled on those final three words that will haunt you until the end of time. (And if they don’t the post-credits scenes certainly will.)

Why did you cut the ending off early?

Marti Noxon: My recollection is that — and I don’t have the book in front of me — but those few pages, they are very short, that little coda of that part. And we were trying to convey the emotional experience of reading the book, and to me the book ended there. And there was so much more that I wanted to know about the other part. And it felt emotionally like, this story is about the legacy of violence among these women and that it really started with Adora. That everything in this story, that’s what we get to know about. So to end it sort of calling back to Adora felt like the original ending for this mystery.

Did you leave clues for fans to find if they go back for a second viewing, now that they know Amma is the killer?

Totally! I mean, part of the fun of taking this from the book to the screen is that that Amma character portrayed by Eliza is so complicated. Her relationship with Camille is so complicated. And it is in the book too. But I think because Eliza and Amy brought something to it that Gillian and myself we felt really strongly about — which is there is this side of Amma that is really loving and is looking for a protector and a champion and a sister — so that we could rest a little bit. But you know, in the end it is a whodunit, she dun it. So it’s fun to know those little bits and pieces are there.

Why did you choose “Don’t tell mama” as the final line?

To me, the story, you know, is really about this legacy of violence in their family. And Adora, a lot of what Amma does is in reaction to Adora. Probably almost all of it at that age. So she’s still walking that crazy line between trying to emulate Adora, literally by murdering, but also by not having the emotional capacity to do it with any subtlety or even deal with the consequences.

How did you decide how much time to devote to the part of the finale with Camille and Adora and the part after that with Amma and Camille?

To me that’s like the scene in the bathtub, that’s where the real meat of the crime is taking place and it tells you everything about how it happened in the past and what really happened to the girls. So that’s sort of the meat of the finale. That’s the real answer to the whodunit. And then the surprise of, “Oh, and there is someone still doing it or still out there a victim in this” did feel like it’s own coda, in a way.

You’ve already confirmed there isn’t going to be a Season 2, but did you ever want more?

I think we were really committed to really doing the book justice, and it is a whodunit. And some people try to live in a world that it maybe doesn’t have a second story. You know, this story feels very complete. But there is also just the reality that this is a tough team to assemble and I think it would be pretty impossible to do it again (laughs).

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Sharp Objects': Showrunner Marti Noxon Says Calhoun Day Started Out as a Joke

'Sharp Objects': Eliza Scanlen on Playing Amy Adams' 'Rebellious' Little Sister With 'Balls' (Video)

'Sharp Objects' Star Eliza Scanlen Portraits (Exclusive Photos)

'Sharp Objects' Showrunner Says No to Season 2: 'This Is It'

‘Sharp Objects’ Teen Breakout Eliza Scanlen’s Audition Was So Good It Left Amy Adams ‘Jealous’ of Her ‘Confidence’

The Australian actress also tells IndieWire how she had to learn to roller skate for the role, because Jean-Marc Vallée was inspired by a Hiro Murai music video.

The actor behind one of the summer’s most fascinating characters has a bit of a secret. Before being cast in HBO’s “Sharp Objects,” “I had never roller skated in my life,” Eliza Scanlen admitted to IndieWire.

This might be a bit of a surprise, given that central to the initial introduction of Amma is the fact the young lady moves fast, gliding through the small town of Wind Gap like a rebellious breeze thanks to the wheels on her feet. But if you don’t know much about Scanlen, it might be an even bigger surprise to learn the reason why she hadn’t learned to skate previously: The 19-year-old actress is from Australia.

“It was never common in Sydney,” she said. “I mean, at this time. I used to ice skate at parties when I was eight, but that was sort of the extent of roller skating, ice skating, that kind of sport. So getting on roller skates was hard.”

However, director Jean-Marc Vallée had a very specific bit of inspiration on his mind: the music video for Chet Faker’s “Gold,” directed in 2014 by Hiro Murai (who is of course now one of the Emmy-nominated forces behind “Atlanta”).

You can watch Murai’s video above, a striking and eerie scene set on a highway deserted but for the singer, and of course the girls on wheels. “These girls are professional roller skaters, and they’re doing all sorts of impossible tricks,” Scanlen said. “And [Vallée] said that was his inspiration, and he wanted us to roller skate exactly like that. So I guess that got my butt moving.”

World champion roller skater Trey Knight was brought on to help coach Scanlen as well as the actors playing her friends. “For about a month before shooting, I was roller skating every day and doing classes every day. We all roller skated together, and it was a nice bonding experience too, and a way for us to become friends before we got on set,” she said.

The chain of events that led to Scanlen starring in an HBO prestige drama, on eight wheels, began as it often does with an audition. A ut a major factor, though, in her getting that opportunity was series star and executive producer Amy Adams, who asked for a voice in casting and gave the whole team a lot of credit for letting her speak.

“[They were] really wonderful, really trusting my voice, and that’s given me a lot of confidence. It actually spurred me to want to do a lot more producing, because I really enjoy being a part of the solutions,” Adams said to IndieWire. “A part of the bigger picture is much more interesting to me than just bringing attention or focus on myself or my character. I’ve always cared about the bigger picture, so it’s nice to be able to use my voice in that way now.”

Sharp Objects

“Sharp Objects.”

So during the casting process, Adams and Vallée had a difference of opinion. “He really wanted this one girl for Amma, who was very, very good,” Adams said, “But I said, ‘Is it okay if we read girls? Because so much of what it’s going to be is the chemistry.’ So we were then able to read, and we found Eliza.”

At the time, Scanlen was still finishing high school and working to complete Australia’s Higher School Certificate. “That’s what I really wanted to focus on that last year because I did want to be an actor, but sometimes it doesn’t work out,” she said.

But while she wasn’t that focused on acting at that time, she got the “Sharp Objects” casting call. “Obviously I was excited by that,” she said. “So I sent through a self-tape, didn’t really think anything of it, and then they toured casting in Sydney.”

(As a side note, here’s Scanlen’s advice for a good self-tape: “I find it really helpful to have a reader that you use frequently,” she said. “Because I feel like it’s a bit of a feat in itself having to swap readers constantly when you’re doing a self-tape because there’s that hurdle you have to get over of kind of breaking the ice. My mom usually does my self-tapes, and we’ve built a kind of shorthand with one another… Also, just having fun with it and not feeling restricted in your space and giving yourself enough space filming the shot to move around, things like that. There’s so many little tricks that you learn if you just keep on practicing and practicing.”)

Sharp Objects

“Sharp Objects.”

HBO

Scanlen wasn’t confident about her performance during the follow-up audition. “It was probably one of the first auditions I did of the year,” she said. “So I was not warmed up, you could say. I was a little rusty because I’d just been focusing so much on school. So I walked out of it not feeling too happy about it, and that’s always a great feeling.”

She was later told that she’d made the casting shortlist for the role, something that made her happy (for the record, she was also “really happy” with how her test results for the HSC came out). And that led to being flown to Los Angeles to read with Adams.

And that experience was what convinced Adams that Scanlen was right for the role. “She, in the room, wasn’t thrown by anything,” Adams said. “And Jean-Marc works like… stepping on a set, it’s like you’re launched out of a cannon, and you just sort of fly through the day, and then you’re done, and you have to have a lot of confidence and a lot of maturity. Eliza just has that kind of maturity that completely doesn’t make sense for her age, which I’m always jealous of, because I’m a decade-plus older than her, and I’m like still just developing that kind of self-assuredness.”

From her perspective, Scanlen said, “There was a lot of anticipation. And you sort of have this idea in your head about how you’re going to go about the audition, and as soon as you get there, all of those thoughts just kind of drop away and you realize you’re standing in front of Amy Adams, whom you’ve admired for years and years. That was the first time that I was ever really starstruck in my life.”

Fortunately, “It took only a matter of seconds for it to pass,” she said, “And she just knows how to make someone feel comfortable. And when we were doing the scene, we went over two scenes, and the focus of the audition was really just to play around and be spontaneous. So I had to get pretty tactile with Amy and I only just met her, and it was just a very surreal experience. But I think that she’s just so good at making you feel comfortable and setting an atmosphere, especially on set. She really took control of that and she made sure that it was a comfortable environment for people to work in, especially for the young actors on the show.”

Sharp Objects

“Sharp Objects.”

HBO

Scanlen noted that part of her time in Los Angeles for the audition included a hair and make-up test “because they didn’t think I looked young enough. They refused to tell me if other girls were doing it. So there was a lot of suspicion and tension. We didn’t know how it was going to turn out, really.”

Once cast, there was another challenge to face: not just performing with an American accent, but a very distinctive one. Fortunately, that proved to be a blessing. “All of us, in the end, had to have a dialect coach on set because the dialect was very specific,” Scanlen said. “It was called a Southeastern Missouri accent. So I wasn’t the only one, thankfully. We were all in it together… We’re all practicing with each other. We had this phrase we always used, we’d say: ‘405.’ Just the 405, but we’d do it in the accent to get us into it. Amy taught me that one.”

In the thick of production, Scanlen appreciated the opportunity to work with costume designer Alix Friedberg to reveal Amma’s duality as both dutiful daughter and rebellious teen. “I remember having fittings, and we would put on a skirt and it would sit just above my knee, and we’d think, ‘Nope, that’s too long.’ And literally, we’d get out scissors and just hack around the edges until it went way higher up my thigh. So that was fun,” she said. “It was nice to be able to have a say in what I wore and what I think Amma would wear. I think having that say and that input always helps you feel closer to the character.”

Because, ultimately, playing Amma really taught Scanlen “a lot about myself as an actor and where I’m willing to go as an actor and what my obstacles are,” she said. “And I think I’ve really taken on those obstacles and tried to break them down because I think it’s really important to keep training, even when you’re working…With texts that frighten you, I think they teach you a lot more about your strengths and weaknesses as an actor, and it’s been more helpful than anything.”

“Sharp Objects” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

‘Sharp Objects’: Eliza Scanlen on Playing Amy Adams’ ‘Rebellious’ Little Sister With ‘Balls’ (Video)

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen Episode 103 of “Sharp Objects,” “Fix”)

Eliza Scanlen may play a wild child on HBO’s new limited series, “Sharp Objects,” but that’s far from her real-life M.O. The Australian born actress told TheWrap as much last week, when she stopped by to talk about her role as Camille’s (Amy Adams) rebellious half sister, Amma Crellin, in the TV adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s dark debut novel.

“I think when it is a challenge, it’s all the more fun and exciting and what you get out of it, it’s a lot more gratifying,” the 19-year-old said of taking on the two-faced preteen, who lets her mother, Adora (Patricia Clarkson), baby her all day, then runs her posse of preteen bullies during those hot Missouri summer nights.

Also Read: ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Says No to Season 2: ‘This Is It’

“So in that sense, I think playing the more rebellious side to Amma was really fun, ’cause I’m definitely not like that in real life,” Scanlen added. “I’m a goody two shoes. I’m pretty boring and I wish I could be that interesting. I wish I had the balls that Amma has.”

When it comes to being both a good girl and a bad girl at the same time, the newcomer (who has already been labeled the limited series’ “breakout star” by many a critic and fan) says that’s part of Amma’s charm.

“She does have this dual personality that’s very interesting to see onscreen, and I think even just with the first three episodes she’s still a bit of an enigma to the audience,” Scanlen told TheWrap. “It seems as though her personality, it’s ever changing. You can’t really pinpoint, you know, what her agenda is specifically, which was really fun to play. But at times it was confusing because sometimes Amma confused me and I was like, ‘What? I don’t know what is she thinking? And why is she being so mean right now?’”

Also Read: Why ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Named Each Episode After a Word on Camille’s Body

After last Sunday’s episode, “Fix,” viewers know that Camille has been haunted by the ghost of her old rehab roommate, Alice, a young girl who was a cutter, like her. That episode also saw Amma begin to really bond with Camille, who she hasn’t known until her big sister came back to their small town to report on the grisly murders of two young girls.

“In terms of the progression of the story, Episode 3 is definitely really important,” Scanlen said. “You discover who the girl that’s been appearing in the mirrors is and how she’s connected to Camille, and her story, and her bouts of self destruction. And for Amma, she’s sort of discovering more and more that she’s very much alike to Camille, and perhaps there is a friendship that can be manifested there.”

“And I think it’s also an opportunity for her to explore herself more freely, and without judgement. Because I think she feels a lot of judgement from Adora to be this sort of character,” Scanlen said. “And seeing Camille really sort of stepping away from Adora’s expectations and trying not to be influenced by them serves as inspiration for Amma. So yeah, we do see this friendship flourish. And I think it makes the story a little bit sweeter, because so much of it is dark and there is a little bit of innocence that Amma brings into the story, which is refreshing.”

Also Read: Amy Adams’ ‘Sharp Objects’ Scores 1.5 Million Viewers in HBO Debut

Watch the full interview above.

“Sharp Objects airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why ‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner Named Each Episode After a Word on Camille’s Body

Here’s How ‘Sharp Objects’ Is Not Hiding Its Cuts and Looking Out for Triggers at the Same Time

Amy Adams’ ‘Sharp Objects’ Scores 1.5 Million Viewers in HBO Debut

‘Sharp Objects’ Showrunner on Premiere’s ‘Aha Moment,’ What Those ‘Sharp Objects’ Have Done to Camille

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen Episode 103 of “Sharp Objects,” “Fix”)

Eliza Scanlen may play a wild child on HBO’s new limited series, “Sharp Objects,” but that’s far from her real-life M.O. The Australian born actress told TheWrap as much last week, when she stopped by to talk about her role as Camille’s (Amy Adams) rebellious half sister, Amma Crellin, in the TV adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s dark debut novel.

“I think when it is a challenge, it’s all the more fun and exciting and what you get out of it, it’s a lot more gratifying,” the 19-year-old said of taking on the two-faced preteen, who lets her mother, Adora (Patricia Clarkson), baby her all day, then runs her posse of preteen bullies during those hot Missouri summer nights.

“So in that sense, I think playing the more rebellious side to Amma was really fun, ’cause I’m definitely not like that in real life,” Scanlen added. “I’m a goody two shoes. I’m pretty boring and I wish I could be that interesting. I wish I had the balls that Amma has.”

When it comes to being both a good girl and a bad girl at the same time, the newcomer (who has already been labeled the limited series’ “breakout star” by many a critic and fan) says that’s part of Amma’s charm.

“She does have this dual personality that’s very interesting to see onscreen, and I think even just with the first three episodes she’s still a bit of an enigma to the audience,” Scanlen told TheWrap. “It seems as though her personality, it’s ever changing. You can’t really pinpoint, you know, what her agenda is specifically, which was really fun to play. But at times it was confusing because sometimes Amma confused me and I was like, ‘What? I don’t know what is she thinking? And why is she being so mean right now?'”

After last Sunday’s episode, “Fix,” viewers know that Camille has been haunted by the ghost of her old rehab roommate, Alice, a young girl who was a cutter, like her. That episode also saw Amma begin to really bond with Camille, who she hasn’t known until her big sister came back to their small town to report on the grisly murders of two young girls.

“In terms of the progression of the story, Episode 3 is definitely really important,” Scanlen said. “You discover who the girl that’s been appearing in the mirrors is and how she’s connected to Camille, and her story, and her bouts of self destruction. And for Amma, she’s sort of discovering more and more that she’s very much alike to Camille, and perhaps there is a friendship that can be manifested there.”

“And I think it’s also an opportunity for her to explore herself more freely, and without judgement. Because I think she feels a lot of judgement from Adora to be this sort of character,” Scanlen said. “And seeing Camille really sort of stepping away from Adora’s expectations and trying not to be influenced by them serves as inspiration for Amma. So yeah, we do see this friendship flourish. And I think it makes the story a little bit sweeter, because so much of it is dark and there is a little bit of innocence that Amma brings into the story, which is refreshing.”

Watch the full interview above.

“Sharp Objects airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why 'Sharp Objects' Showrunner Named Each Episode After a Word on Camille's Body

Here's How 'Sharp Objects' Is Not Hiding Its Cuts and Looking Out for Triggers at the Same Time

Amy Adams' 'Sharp Objects' Scores 1.5 Million Viewers in HBO Debut

'Sharp Objects' Showrunner on Premiere's 'Aha Moment,' What Those 'Sharp Objects' Have Done to Camille

‘Sharp Objects’ Star Eliza Scanlen Portraits (Exclusive Photos)

See pictures of “Sharp Objects” star, Eliza Scanlen, in our gallery below. The actress plays Amma on the new HBO limited series, led by Amy Adams.

See pictures of “Sharp Objects” star, Eliza Scanlen, in our gallery below. The actress plays Amma on the new HBO limited series, led by Amy Adams.

‘Little Women’: ‘Sharp Objects’ Actress In Talks For The Role Of Beth March

Australian actress Eliza Scanlen, who currently stars in HBO’s Amy Adams-starrer Sharp Objects, is being eyed to join the Greta Gerwig-directed adaptation of Little Women, potentially joining an A-list cast consisting of Meryl Streep, Emma Stone,…

Australian actress Eliza Scanlen, who currently stars in HBO’s Amy Adams-starrer Sharp Objects, is being eyed to join the Greta Gerwig-directed adaptation of Little Women, potentially joining an A-list cast consisting of Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamete Chalamet. Scanlen is in talks to play Beth March, the second youngest of the March sisters. Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel centers on the March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, on their…

Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ Eyes ‘Sharp Objects’ Breakout Eliza Scanlen (EXCLUSIVE)

After earning strong reviews for her role as Amy Adams’ half-sister Camille in HBO’s “Sharp Objects,” Eliza Scanlen looks to have found her next big role. The actress is in talks to join Greta Gerwig’s star-studded remake …

After earning strong reviews for her role as Amy Adams’ half-sister Camille in HBO’s “Sharp Objects,” Eliza Scanlen looks to have found her next big role. The actress is in talks to join Greta Gerwig’s star-studded remake of “Little Women.” Scanlen tested alongside Emma Stone prior to the Fourth of July holiday and beat out a […]

‘Sharp Objects’: Eliza Scanlen Cast In HBO’s Amy Adams Series

Eliza Scanlen (Home and Away) is set for a lead role opposite Amy Adams in HBO‘s eight-episode drama series Sharp Objects, from Entertainment One.
Written by Marti Noxon based on the book by Gillian Flynn and directed by Jean Marc Vallée, Sharp Objects centers on reporter Camille Preaker (Adams). Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. Trying to put together a psychological…

Eliza Scanlen (Home and Away) is set for a lead role opposite Amy Adams in HBO's eight-episode drama series Sharp Objects, from Entertainment One. Written by Marti Noxon based on the book by Gillian Flynn and directed by Jean Marc Vallée, Sharp Objects centers on reporter Camille Preaker (Adams). Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. Trying to put together a psychological…