As we premiere their latest film with BRTHR, the troublesome two are hell-bent on proving there’s more to them than girls and grills
“To me, they are representative of the American dream,” filmmaker Harmony Korine told Dazed last year. “They are next-level freaks.” He was, of course, talking about the IRL oddity that is the ATL Twins, who, at the time, he’d just cast in his 2013 teen tearaway flick Spring Breakers as Alien’s (played by James Franco) drug dealing sidekicks. Asking the Twins what he means by that, they're quick – and proud – to respond; “Coming from nothing and coming up from nothing. Started from the bottom, now we’re here!” While that 'bottom' is a pair of boys raised in the projects of Chattanooga, Tennessee, that ‘here’ also means a quick internet search will offer up copious articles on them talking about their fast-lane llifestyle; losing their virginities at 13 to the same 21-year old woman (at the same time) and being previously engaged to the same girl. In fact, there’s nothing these boys don’t do together – they’ve famously only been apart for six hours, like, ever.
But all this neglects any substance that might be lurking behind those gold grills. “We kind of did that on purpose. It’s like a magic trick!” says Thurman Sewell in his distinctly Southern accent, his other-half Sidney next to him. But these boys aren’t all they’d lead you to believe. Paralegals by day, and artists, fashion collaborators and film stars by night, the Twins are hell-bent on proving that there’s more to see than just a pair of glock-toting, grill-baring gangsters – though they’re not quite ready to give that up just yet. In their latest on-screen incarnation, the pair run around the LA desert in the mind-altering, hypnotic short film Sinking Stone, scored by GEMS. As it premieres exclusively today on Dazed, we speak to the Twins about shaking off the Spring Breakers image, getting the wrong idea and what’s up next for the brothers in arms.
How did you guys get involved with BRTHR’s short film Sinking Stone?
The ATL Twins: We’re always getting hit up by people for stupid shit, you know? We don’t just do anything. If we’re really into it then it’s like let’s do it! So this was an opportunity – it’s Dazed – it’s legit, right? And those GEMS motherfuckers are the shit. But dude, Alex [Lee from BRTHR Films] and I met at Miley Cyrus’s birthday party. There was a proper script for it and it just seemed dope. We just agreed to do it. We knew James Franco had done something for this film series also [Dazed Visionaries] so we were like, “Alright. If it’s good enough for Franco!”
Speaking of James, you guys worked alongside him for Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers...
The ATL Twins: People always think of Spring Breakers but we’ve done so much other shit, you know what I mean? That world of people who have no culture, they just see Spring Breakers because they can get it on Netflix. People just focus on us hooking up with chicks, but we’ve done a lot more stuff than just that. That’s very much a part of us but at the same time it’s just a small fragment of what we have to offer, who we are. We have so much shit going on that people don’t know about.
“People just focus on us hooking up with chicks, but we’ve done a lot more stuff than just that. That’s very much a part of us but at the same time it’s just a small fragment of what we have to offer, who we are” – Thurman Sewell
You get to play the gangsters in Sinking Stone, how was that?
The ATL Twins: We got to stomp this guys head in and drown the guy in a hot tub and it was fun having guns and shit, being in the desert. Loads of crazy shit happened. It was so far out from LA, and we went down all these roads, back roads and just drove forever. There was this weird church and a dirt road, I don’t know what religion it was, but there’s a cross in the video – the whole scene where we’re shooting – and we had the guns out and people really thought we had guns! So they started getting out their guns too, and there was this whole miscommunication. One of the guys had to clear it up because they were about to start shooting. We were just fucking around with the guns before we had the cameras out, so they didn’t know.They just saw the guns and started tripping.
The film has that reckless youth feel, falling in love and getting into all kinds of trouble – is there anything in there that resonates with you?
The ATL Twins: We were running away from the age of 12, getting into trouble at a young age, crazy shit. One day, with one of our homies, we stole our dad’s car – a piece of shit Impala. Basically we got into this crazy police chase and we ended up hanging off this cliff. We had like 50 cops on us like, “Freeze, motherfucker!” It was nuts. They thought we were like crazy bank robbers and shit.
What have you guys been up to, outside of filming? What’s next?
The ATL Twins: We’re working on more films, five short films. I can’t say who or what brand, but it’s going to be all us. We just want to create. We’re artists. We just had a huge art show in New York [Tales From The Hood]. When we were children, like three to seven years old, we would draw, and not too long ago our mother found the drawings and they were some crazy fucked up shit, so we recreated those. But we’re just taking it slow and doing it right. We’re not just going to jump into anything. We always have [had our heads screwed on] – I don’t know what people think, but we’ve been doing this shit for a really long time.
A series of limited edition, signed posters from the Twins’ sold out Tales From The Hood art show will be available from their online store as of tomorrow, for more information click here.