Instagram’s marijuana merch queen is snapping at Hollywood’s heels with a starring role opposite Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project
Best known for blazing up Instagram with her profitable weed merch business, Bria Vinaite was scouted on social media for The Florida Project – director Sean Baker’s follow up to 2015’s trans caper Tangerine. In the toke of a blunt, Vinaite went from online weed merch dispensary @chronicflowers to top billing on Baker’s film.
Born in Lithuania, Vinaite moved to Brooklyn at a young age with her mum. She admits that she was a bit of a wild child. “My earliest memory of freedom was when I was about 14 and I stopped caring what people thought about me! I was so free and in charge! That whole year I was exploring myself, and I was so ‘free’ that I got sent away to boarding school,” she says, laughing.
The Florida Project is a dark take on Disney à la Spring Breakers. Vinaite plays a struggling 22-year-old mum in the film. She lives with her daughter in a low-rent tourist motel managed by Willem Dafoe. “She’s a young, single mom stuck in poverty and struggling to raise a child,” says Vinaite. “22-year-old Halley is barely an adult. She gave birth to Moonee when she was 16 and, although she is a loving mother, Halley is more of a best friend to her daughter than a parental figure.
Reflecting on her encroachment on Hollywood’s periphery, Vinaite overflows with gratitude: “I can't help but be thankful, and really appreciate everything I have been through, good and bad, because it got me here!”