August 26, 2018
Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers from the series finale of HBO's "Sharp Objects."
Who is the real Sharp Objects killer? Big finale twist gives answers
"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.
Who is the real Sharp Objects killer? Big finale twist gives answers
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.
Q: How soon into reading the book or scripts did you start to suspect Amma was the killer?
Scanlen: I actually already knew before I started reading the book, so there was no surprise. But it’s been interesting seeing everyone suspecting various characters and all the fan theories.
Q: I just read one theory that Amma's friends were accomplices, after one of them tells Camille none of the "cool" girls were getting murdered. Thoughts?
Scanlen: It’s right! They had a hand in that. That’s very accurate, actually.
Who is the real Sharp Objects killer? Big finale twist gives answers
Q: What do you think motivated her to kill those girls?
Scanlen: It's a very complex situation. Amma has grown up in a very dysfunctional family, who all share a warped sense of love and understanding of intimacy, as well as pain. She's been surrounded by people who manifest that pain and rage through destruction and self-destruction, whether it's Adora (poisoning) her children so she can take care of them, or Camille (drinking and cutting herself). With Amma, it comes in a different form: She's lashing out. She's been confined for her whole life in many different ways and it’s reached a breaking point for her. Those motivations combined drove her to do what she did with so much brutality. I’m still baffled by Amma – I could talk about her forever.
Q: What do your friends think of the show? Has it aired in Australia yet?
Scanlen: In Australia, it’s kind of hard to watch if you don’t have this TV service called Foxtel. But the ones that are watching it absolutely love it. Everyone is telling me all their theories about who did it and I just have to say, "I don’t know!" But my whole family is really supportive and excited. Every Monday night – which is when it airs in Australia – my auntie invites a lot of the family over to her place and we all watch it together. Every time I come on the screen, I run out of the room. (Laughs.)
Q: Did you take anything from the set when you finished shooting?
Scanlen: I actually took a lot. I took Amma's red-and-blue bomber jacket. I took her necklace and the boots that she wore with her white dress that she wore for Calhoun Day. She actually was wearing them when she was killing one of the girls.
Q: Do you still roller skate?
Scanlen: Yeah! I actually went to a roller-skating camp when I was in California a few months ago. It goes for about three days and you learn how to roller skate on ramps and in bowls. It was really scary, but really cool. My butt was sore by the end of it, but it's fun learning a new skill.
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