Natasha Lyonne Biography
Natasha Lyonne (Natasha Bianca Lyonne Braunsteinis) an American actress best known for her role as Nicky Nichols on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. She received an Emmy Award nomination in 2014 for the TV series and also for her role as Jessica in the American Pie film series (1999–2012).
Natasha Lyonne Age
Natasha Bianca Lyonne Braunsteinis was born on April 4, 1979 in New York City, U.S. She is 39 years old as of 2018.
Natasha Lyonne Family
Lyonne was born to Ivette Buchinger and Aaron Braunstein, a boxing promoter, race car driver, and also a radio host, who was distantly related to cartoonist Al Jaffee.
Her parents were both from Orthodox Jewish families, and she herself was also raised Orthodox. Ivette was born in Paris France, to Hungarian Jewish parents who were Holocaust survivors. She has darkly joked that her family consists of “my father’s side, Flatbush, and my mother’s side, Auschwitz.” Lyonne’s grandmother, Ella came from a large family, but only her and her two sisters and two brothers survived, which Natasha credits to their blond hair and blue eyes.
Her grandfather, Morris Buchinger operated a watch company in Los Angeles. During the war, Morris hid in Budapest as a non-Jew working in a leather factory.
Natasha Lyonne Husband | Natasha Lyonne Married | Is Natasha Lyonne Married?
Lyonne is not yet married.
Natasha Lyonne Boyfriend | Fred Armisen Natasha Lyonne | Natasha Lyonne Dating | Natasha Lyonne Fred Armisen | Natasha Lyonne Spouse
Lyonne has been in a relationship with Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen since 2014.
Natasha Lyonne Girlfriend | Natasha Lyonne Lesbian | Natasha Lyonne Gay
Natasha has been regarded lesbian several times as she has portrayed lesbian characters during her whole career. She also kissed her ‘best friend of 20 years’ Clea DuVall at Sundance Film Festival premiere of her directorial debut The Intervention in 2016 raising eyebrows even further.
Natasha Lyonne Daughter
Lyonne does not have a child.
Natasha Lyonne Movies and Tv Shows
Natasha Lyonne American Pie
Lyonne appeared as Jessica in the highly successful teen comedy American Pie (1999). She reprised the role in two of its sequels.
Natasha Lyonne Orange Is The New Black | Natasha Lyonne OITNB
Since 2013, Lyonne has appeared as Nicky Nichols on the critically acclaimed Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. This role is her first television job as a series regular. Lyonne received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, and has also twice been awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, along with her co-stars.
Natasha Lyonne Orange Is The New Black 7
Natasha will also be directing an episode of Orange Is The New Black for its seventh and final season.
Natasha Lyonne Dennis The Menace
Lyonne made a film appearance as a young child portraying Polly in the American family comedy film Dennis the Menace.
Natasha Lyonne New Show
Natasha Lyonne Russian Doll | Natasha Lyonne Netflix
Lyonne’s new project Russian Doll was given an 8-episode straight to series order by Netflix. It was co-created and executive produced by Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland. It was released on February 1, 2019.
Natasha multiple roles in the series. She is credited as the lead actress and is also one of the executive producers of the series with directorial and writing credits.
Natasha Lyonne Netflix Movie
- Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie – 2017
- Girlfriend’s Day – 2017
- A Futile and Stupid Gesture – 2018
Natasha Lyonne Net Worth
The Russian Doll star has an estimated net worth of $3 million.
Natasha Lyonne Drugs
Natasha experienced legal problems and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and for incidents involving her neighbors during the early 2000s. Lyonne was evicted by her landlord, actor Michael Rapaport, following complaints by other tenants about her behavior in 2005.
Natasha Lyonne Health
Natasha was admitted to Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan under a pseudonym in 2005, suffering from hepatitis C, a heart infection, and a collapsed lung; Lyonne was also undergoing methadone treatment. An arrest warrant was also issued for her in January 2006 after she missed a court hearing relating to her prior problems.
Lyonne’s lawyer said an emergency had arisen, but did not give details. Later the same year, she was admitted to the Caron Foundation, a drug and alcohol treatment center, and also appeared in court afterwards. A judge then sentenced her to conditional discharge.
She has undergone heart surgery to corrrect damage caused by her heart infection. Lyonne recovered from the surgery and also discussed her past health problems on The Rosie Show in March 2012.
Natasha Lyonne Movies
|2018||A Futile and Stupid Gesture||Anne Beatts|
|2017||Girlfriend’s Day||Miss Taft|
|Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie||Det. Fleur Scozzari|
|2016||Yoga Hosers||Tabitha Collette|
|Adam Green’s Aladdin||Mom|
|Jack Goes Home||Nancy|
|2015||Addicted to Fresno||Martha Jackson|
|Sleeping with Other People||Kara|
|Hello, My Name Is Doris||Sally|
|Bloomin Mud Shuffle||Jock|
|2014||Loitering with Intent||Kaplan|
|He’s Way More Famous Than You||Herself|
|Girl Most Likely||Allyson|
|2011||4:44 Last Day on Earth||Tina|
|Night Club||Mrs. Keaton|
|2010||All About Evil||Deborah Tennis|
|2009||The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle||Tracy|
|Outrage: Born in Terror||Molly|
|2008||Tricks of a Woman||Sally|
|My Suicidal Sweetheart||Grace|
|2003||Die, Mommie, Die!||Edith Sussman|
|2002||Comic Book Villains||Judy Link|
|Zig Zag||Jenna the Working Girl|
|Night at the Golden Eagle||Amber|
|Fast Sofa||Tamara Jenson|
|Scary Movie 2||Megan Voorhees|
|American Pie 2||Jessica|
|The Grey Zone||Rosa|
|Kate & Leopold||Darci|
|2000||If These Walls Could Talk 2||Jeanne|
|Detroit Rock City||Christine Sixteen|
|Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby||Crystal “White Girl” Van Meuther|
|But I’m a Cheerleader||Megan Bloomfield|
|The Auteur Theory||Rosemary Olson|
|1998||Slums of Beverly Hills||Vivian Abromowitz|
|Krippendorf’s Tribe||Shelly Krippendorf|
|1996||Everyone Says I Love You||Djuna “DJ” Berlin|
|1993||Dennis the Menace||Polly|
|1990||A Man Called Sarge||Arab Girl|
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Natasha Lyonne Instagram
Natasha Lyonne Scary Movie | Natasha Lyonne Scary Movie 2
Natasha Lyonne News
Natasha Lyonne Anchors The Riveting ‘Russian Doll’
Published: February 1, 2019
A woman whose curly red hair spills past her shoulders stands in front of a bathroom mirror as a party rages outside. She looks at her reflection. People bang on the door to get in. She turns and leaves, through a door with a handgun for a handle, out of the bathroom where the areas of the walls and door glow with blotches of chilly blue light. As she leaves, two women push their way past her into the bathroom, and she moves into the room where the party is. Friends swarm around her. A woman cooking in the kitchen offers her a joint laced with cocaine. Something is wrong. She is a quick-witted New York game designer who seems to smoke in part for the smoking itself, but also in part so she can gesture, in quick little jabs, with her cigarette. And she can’t figure out quite what’s going on. “What was I just doing?” she asks her friend.
This is, I think, as much as I can tell you about the premise of Russian Doll, an eight-part series premiering on Netflix Friday, except that the woman is named Nadia, and she is played by the genuinely inimitable Natasha Lyonne. Lyonne created the series along with Amy Poehler and playwright/director Leslye Headland.
Lyonne has been around a long time. She was a child actor on Pee-wee’s Playhouse and in Dennis the Menace. She was in American Pie. She did small, well-regarded films in the late 1990s, most notably Tamara Jenkins’ Slums of Beverly Hills and Jamie Babbit’s But I’m a Cheerleader. Most recently, she’s one of a group of actresses who got wonderful boosts from appearing on Orange Is The New Black. There, she plays Nicky, whose addictions continue to haunt her in prison. Lyonne was nominated for an Emmy for the role.
She’s always been a good actress, and still, Russian Doll feels like a revelation. Lyonne is not only the purest version of herself in it, but Nadia is an improvement, in this project Lyonne co-created, on every character she’s played that has nearly captured her particular energy. Nicky on OITNB, for instance, is a very Natasha Lyonne role, as it were, but Nadia is more so. Lyonne can seem, as a Guardian profile once noted, like someone who “has a weird ability to grow more appealing the gnarlier her character and surroundings get.” But Nadia isn’t a character bigger than Nicky. She’s not broader. She’s just so specifically conceived. It’s a performance where the actor understands the character so well, down to every little gesture she makes, every twitch of her face, that it’s startling, at times, to remember she’s fictional.
It’s a tough show to review, because I’d like to tell you all about its pleasures — how clever it is, how intelligent about people, how intelligent about the isolation of knowing you’re the only person who knows the truth about your own situation and even you know only some of it.
But I don’t even want to tell you what kind of show it is, because its tonal turns are among the narrative elements that make it effective. That gun-shaped doorknob. Those glowing blue splotches. Is it supernatural? Is it a crime show? Nadia certainly has a way with a clever line; is it a comedy?
Not exactly, not exactly, and not exactly.
This much spoils nothing: unlike many streaming shows, Russian Doll is only as long as it needs to be to tell its story. The eight half-hour episodes maintain their momentum, which is particularly tough in a story that, by its nature and its exploration of a certain kind of déjà vu, isn’t precisely linear. The series bends and breathes, introducing other characters into Nadia’s life (I don’t even want to tell you who!), giving away more and more of her fundamentally New York kind of humanity, never wavering in its conviction that she is fascinating enough to carry this entire story.
And at the center is Natasha Lyonne, playing a character so human that if you opened your own bathroom door and found her standing there, it wouldn’t be all that surprising.
Natasha Lyonne Interview
Publish: AUGUST 23, 2016
How are you? How did the shoot go?
You know, probably it’s as painless as it can be. You know. What can I say?
There’s not really all that much to say about a photo shoot.
I wanted to have Maria Schneider here from Last Tango in Paris. Complicated but, you know, pretty great.
How did the pantyhose-only thing go? [NB: I spoke to Lyonne before the photo shoot, and she told me she wanted to be shot wearing only pantyhose and that I should headline the profile “Sexy Hose.”] Or did that wind up getting tweaked?
Definitely. I wore the pantyhose and you can see them coming out of the bottom of my skirt, and I had to lift them up a little and really tuck them in there. Then they were in much better photo-ready condition.
Nude pantyhose came up as a joke the other day when I was trying on an outfit and then I was like, “Wait a minute! These things really look great!” Then I realized that I crossed into a threshold moment in my life where I would probably look back and say that there was pre-nude pantyhose and post. I mean, I haven’t fully committed to actually wearing them in any actual situation, but I do think it was funny that I had a moment of like old lady clarity where I was like, “These are really practical!”
I think there’s a moment in every woman’s life where she goes for the nude pantyhose.
To be honest, I never considered nude pantyhose in my life because I was always a black pantyhose lady.
Black tights, yeah.
Pantyhose. Let’s not go crazy! Tights, I’m like, “What are they?” Or, black fishnet pantyhose I used to wear as a teenager. But yeah, I never got involved with a nude. Although, you know what can work? A beige—a nude—Capezio fishnet. That I can get into, but I think if I actually crossover into nude pantyhose, I really would’ve reached a point of no return.
Yeah, no definitely! It’s when you start then going into turbans and very Grey Gardenslooks.
Oh yeah! That’s true.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s just like a phase you might not be ready for.
What else? Maybe I’ll substitute coffee for tea.
Yeah, totally! I think there’s a real point where people give up on coffee.
I could be like, “I don’t like spicy foods.”
Getting rid of all flavor…
You know, “I don’t want to go to the gym anymore. I just want to take a nice walk after dinner.” I hate people who want to take a nice walk. I don’t understand where they’re going. What’s the destination? Also, New York is very hard for me to walk slow [in]. I mean, the dog is different, but like doing that leisurely stroll is really the business of old people, but a lot of young people seem to like it.
I guess so. I mean, as a New Yorker, walking serves a purpose. Even walking your dog, when you’re walking slower, there’s a reason you’re doing it. Otherwise, you walk to get places, but I feel like people elsewhere… the only thing they walk for is gentle exercise. Or like, when they’re golfing.
Definitely. When I take up golfing, I’m golfing in nothing but nude pantyhose. I’m talking not even a top. Just a visor, nude pantyhose, cleats, and a golf club, and that’s how you’re going to know I’ve really arrived.
You know what, I personally look forward to hearing all about that day and knowing that I was there at its inception.
I think Amy Sedaris could pull off that look better than I could.
I think you could pull it off equally as well, and I wouldn’t actually be surprised to find out that she has in some form already.
You know what else? Assuming I wear any underwear at all at that time, it would be nice if they were very practical. Hanes, I bought them at Rite Aid. Yeah, and they were under my nude pantyhose and kind of wrinkled in there and not on properly.
How old is your dog?
She’s a lot like a cat for a dog. She turns 72 this month.
She’s four. She behaves like a one-year-old.
Yeah, I mean she has a lot of energy.
She’s getting much calmer, though. She’s a very good girl. She’s an extraordinary animal.
Was she a rescue?
I rescued her from my friend Dave, who was her previous owner, who loved her very much. So it was less of a rescue and more of a dog-napping.
Close enough. I actually rescued a dog from my brother. So it was sort of similar in that sense.
Yeah, but I don’t think those are defined as rescues. Those are defined as stealing a dog you fell in love with. Look at that! [Pointing at a mural of animals on the side of a building.] Root Beer painted that whole thing. Look at all those animal friends of hers. She’s an extraordinary painter. I mean, really, you should do an interview with Root Beer.
I mean if Root Beer has some stuff to say. Has Root Beer seen Antibirth?
Oh yeah, six times. She bought her own ticket to Sundance because she wanted to see it. I got there and was like, “Root Beer how did you get here?” She was like, “Mom, I don’t even mind the altitude. I’m fine.” But she was out late you know partying. She’s hitting that age now.
Yeah, so that was tricky for me, but I just had to sit back and let her make her own mistakes. She’s been running with the fast crowd. I wish there was a stoop or something to sit on.
You have to do it. You have to let her have her first Sundance experience.
Yeah, because I remember being her age.
I remember going to my first Sundance… I mean it’s like our imagination… [We spot a bench on the sidewalk, just when we’d been looking for a place to sit. So we sit.]
It really actually is.
Look at that. [Gestures toward a Citi Bike docking station.]
Yeah. It’s everything you could want.
These are all my Citi Bikes. I own each and every one. I am very wealthy.
Have you ever been on a Citi Bike?
No! No desire to participate. The only time I would ever see myself in a Citi Bike is if I was in a scene from a big-budget ‘80s rom-com where all of a sudden I was running down to catch my boyfriend and there had been a misunderstanding and I pushed this guy off of his Citi Bike and I grabbed it and I said, “Wait for me, Johnny! Here I come!” And I was just riding, if ever on purpose that I would ride one of these things. I mean, that’s not something that’s going to happen.
You mentioned wanting a place to sit and this bench just appeared and now you’re describing the perfect plot of a rom-com that I would happily see. Delia Ephron wrote an op-ed in The New York Times a couple of years ago about how awful the aesthetics of Citi Bikes are, and it was pretty great.
I’m very close friends with her.
Yeah, I love Delia.
It was a great sort of classic New Yorker diatribe against what the rise of Citi Bike means for…
You know, she’s dead right as always. You know, the Ephrons are never wrong. I often think about this Elaine Stritch quote that I read once, where… she was like incidentally probably one of the great pantyhose wearers in the history of time. Nobody wears nude pantyhose like Elaine Stritch.
And with only a top.
Which is the way to go. First of all, what I like about Elaine Stritch is that she doesn’t wear pants. She’s like, “Fuck pants. Why do I need them?” She wears a sensible jazz pump, nude pantyhose, oversized white men’s button down, baller cap, oversized prescription shades… sort of day-to-night sunglass eyewear. Calls it a day. String of pearls. What does she need? Why does she need a hassle? A nice hobo bag. That’s a wrap. She’s an American classic, a New York legend. Everybody running around town going to Urban Outfitters and Topshop. For what? You think Elaine Stritch would step foot in a Topshop? No way!
I do not, nor a Lululemon.
Please! By the way, because that outfit—the hose and the oversize shirt—will take you right from a dance class straight to the subway to the office to dinner. I mean… why would you need Lululemon?
You really wouldn’t, not at all.
I don’t even mind Topshop. I just want to say.
There are worse things. But, like, Elaine Stritch could wear a pair of pantyhose and a white button-down shirt, and theoretically, anyone can wear Capezio pumps, but she always looked like herself, whereas everyone now is just kind of dressing to look like somebody else. They all look the same.
Well, that’s the problem with the internet. Now, I would say this to finish that thought. Her quote was, “People are always complaining that New York is changing all the time. Shut up! It’s always been changing.” Which I think is interesting because I remember Citi Bikes were so jarring in the beginning, and now, they’re just another piece in a pile of muck, another filthy object in the city. Part of the problem originally was that they were so shiny. That said, if they don’t fix Houston Street, I’m going to lose it because I really need to pull it together. It’s thoroughly unmanageable.
How long have you lived in the East Village now?
Well, you know, off and on. I haven’t always lived here. I’ve spent my time in different parts of the city. SoHo was a weird scene. I lived there for four years, and it was like being in a mall. It was a mall covered in tourists, and so, I was not a big fan but I had a great apartment. Now, I’m back in the East Village where I was before, so probably off and on for the better part of 15 years or so. I do like it very much here. You can wear your pajamas. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but people don’t look at each other here. It’s one of the last neighborhoods of old New York where, like, look how lazily dressed everybody is. New York used to be more, in that there were characters everywhere. It was a real healthy cross section of rich and poor and old and young, but I think the city has been… It’s outpriced its own citizens to such degree that it’s really like you were saying with the clothes, a lot of homogenization, which is pretty depressing. It just feels like NYU dorms and the people that can afford to live near them.
Right. The dormification of parts of downtown is such a real thing for sure but the…
But the internet, I think, really… like, you know, I feel like when I was being an outsider it was a very involved process, because you had to really go out there searching for things that you could identify with and hope that there would be some sort of answer for you out there. You’d rifle through used bookstores and old records shops and thrift stores, and try to find your sense of belonging in these things. Now, of course, you can just Google what someone looks like and order it online and then take a picture of yourself wearing it and Photoshop it into looking like something that’s such a … it must be a very confusing experience to be an outsider in such an easily mimicable culture of insta-simulation. It’s kind of a bummer for the weirdos, and I definitely stand with the weirdos.
Yeah, I think that just I grew up pre-internet and thinking about what it actually meant to be marginalized back then versus what it means now which is…there are some things that are really wonderful about the internet and even certain aspects of social media, where people who feel like they’re “other” can find people who are like them. But, you know, the reality is that those communities do still exist virtually more so than they exist in reality. So it can seem that some progress is being made when people still have to shut off their computers at a certain point or silence their phones and then have to deal with the real life of whatever world they exist in which might not be as tolerant.
Yeah, they’re just internet buddies. Well, in the words of Bette Davis, “It’s a lonely life.” It’s that way online or not online. That said, I am with you in feeling like the internet is definitely not all bad. I have a great time on the internet. I think social media is very funny. It is scary the idea of when it turns on people but you know that’s terrifying and, that said, there’s a lot of funny content on there and it really can be also like a party. It’s sort of amazing that you can just research anything. The question is really, like, if we’re still retaining the information. Because I think the other thing is when you’re having such a personal experience of like you know… There’s things that you need to sort of touch to remember, even like my photos. I have all these incredible photos on my phone that I totally forget that they exist.
Yeah, they say that about writing, which is just that if you’re not writing something by hand, you’re not even remembering what it is that you’re putting down. It’s a completely different learning process for kids in school like reading on a screen. You don’t retain the same amount of information because you’re not actually flipping pages.
Although one wonders if like we’re not just old people. If in fact, that is, I mean, for some reason whenever I do articles with NYLON, I tend to… I decide that I want to talk to your young readers. I automatically go, “Well, listen kids.” For some reason, I put on my “I’m an old person hat.” Let me talk to the kids, only because I care about them and I want to see them be okay and I’ve lived a lot of life. I feel like I could really give them some insight. I will say this, sometimes I think we’re just old people who don’t understand that that’s a new way of processing information. I think, probably, if you’ve never known paper and a pen or a book or like a store as opposed to… [A man walks by with a gorgeous gray pit bull who stops and stares at Root Beer.] Please don’t eat me, little doggy.
That’s a beautiful dog.
Hi, kooky pants. What kind of dog is that? Pit bull? That’s one good looking pit bull. Is it a he or a she? Is she seeing supper right now? Is she seeing a playmate? Well, look at this face-off. Get a room. We don’t have all day. See you later. [Lyonne returns to our prior conversation without missing a beat.] But you know, maybe they’re just processing information differently. Inevitably, we’ll probably evolve into half man, half robot.
I think we will. It’s just a matter of time before we have chips implanted in our brain to do the same things like Google Glass was supposed to do, and then was too clumsy to really do, but just where we can think, “What’s the weather going to be like today?” And it’s going to flash into our consciousness. And we won’t even know what we know or what we’re asking to know.
Not only is it going there but it’s already happened in many ways. Even the acceptance of the Kardashians is some sort of weird pre-conditioning that society is imposing on itself of processing the Photoshopped image as real. It becomes sort of the uncanny valley. I’m saying that without a judgment in any direction, but I’m just saying the aesthetic of mindlessness, the way certain people are sort of evolving into being completely a photocopy image of themselves in a Photoshopped image in real life is its own early form of robotification. It’s really every magazine that’s continuing those images on covers, and instilling it in young people, creating a further idea of that we all need to be Photoshopped people. We all need to be presentable online 24 hours a day, and it is no longer in the realm of just celebrity. That line is so thin. Everybody is a celebrity on their own phone these days. I don’t even know what it means. It almost feels to be different or other, the goal is to not be that way, but it does feel like inevitably, when the kind of hardware is there, you will go to the dentist and suddenly you’ll have perfectly white all even teeth right away.
Something interesting that I read recently was that people are starting not to recognize themselves in candid photos because they’re so conditioned to what their selfies look like, that they can’t accept what they actually look like to other people. It’s really easy to imagine how that will transform into a dissatisfaction with how they are perceived by others. So, they’ll soon have a desire to change themselves into the image that they have in their head, which is in itself manipulated by themselves and by computers.
It’s like self-perpetuated uncanny valley dysmorphia, which is really disturbing. I remember a story in Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s a bunch of short stories. When I was a young teenager, it stuck with me. They’re going to the party and getting ready in the house and [saying] like, “Sally’s going to be there!” “Oh really?” “I heard her and Tim got a divorce.” “I can’t wait to see them.” “I wonder who they’re going to be with tonight.” So on and they’re kind of picking out their outfits for the night of what they’re going to wear to this big party and by the end of the short story, you realize that what they’re zipping up is actually entire outer shells, meaning, like, “I’m going tonight, and I’m going to go as Danny DeVito.” They were just kind of these two sort of essences without their bodies, just talking to each other, and the entire outer shell was kind of disposable, transferable. It was kind of disregarded as easily as, you know what, I bought these shoes at the store but now I realize they’re physically uncomfortable. Do you want them? They were just totally… zipping up your body could almost be its own trend or something, let’s say, and that really feels like kind of what’s happening more and more all the time.
We’re definitely reaching that point and, in some ways, there’s, like, theoretically a nice release where people can do things to their body whether it’s as simple as tattooing or dyeing their hair in ways that were not socially acceptable, even like 30 or 40 years ago, or really made people marginalized to a certain extent, and now you know this sorts of piercings and other body modifications are fine. It’s a totally different thing.
It’s a curious thing, though. Are we not in that time though where people are like “I physically feel like I was born in the wrong skin.” Thank god, there’s a solution available and that we’re living in an era where you can actually be your most comfortable and correct self, so that’s the sort of like tricky flip side of any big question, like, you know, tell the man who’s born with a cleft palate… Often those can be very sexy, but, you know, tell the person with the cleft palate, who’s feeling insecure, that there’s plastic surgery help for them, and it’s a relief. Yet, we are sort of still in this awkward phase of deciding when it’s too much, meaning like your BFF tattoo with your friend that’s just a cute little black heart is one thing, but just as soon as someone tattoos their entire face, we decide it’s too much. That’s sort of our own awkwardness as a society.
It gets really tricky when even the people who are the biggest advocate for self-expression and who would say everyone should be able to do whatever they want, then you know when you realize that what most people want to change is actually to conform in this really extreme way to the ideas of what everyone is saying are the most beautiful teeth and skin and nose and hair and eyes and then it’s fascinating to see where we as a society wind up going. It tends to be a place of sameness.
People need to remember that social tastes change the same way that you look at jeans from two years and you’re like, “What is that cut?” Like in just that way, it’s as dramatic to be like, “I’m going to have this really full set of lips,” and then turn around five years from now and discover that thin lips are now all the rage because it’s what’s most rare. Essentially, it seems that trends and beauty are often chasing what is uncommon and just as soon as you can buy it in surgeon’s office it’s going to be out of fashion within five years. It is a dramatic thing to think of young girls who are trying to copy trends and turn their faces into other faces that they’ve seen, only to discover too late that now they’re going to have to change it back. I think just in general when I think about my discomfort in my skin as a young person I guess it’s why in many ways I don’t identify because I have such a different experience of being a youth that it doesn’t appeal to me, this idea of staying attached to my 20s or something is not my thing. I’m so relieved that I’m not in that place anymore and imagining myself with that crippling sense of self-confusion, you know, a dysmorphia-like self-criticizing mind making big permanent decisions at a doctor’s office… It is scary to think about. Or even making big scary decisions online of deciding that I’m so bored and could care less anyway about putting myself in what I know feels like a dangerous situation by meeting up with a stranger. It is really scary.
I will say that what made Antibirth so interesting to Chloë and I… Danny Perez is a friend of ours that we really know and love from the music and art scene. He worked with Animal Collective. What I liked about him was that his movie is addressing this sort of stuff, which is like essentially that Lou, my character, is chosen as the perfect specimen [for alien impregnation]. Because of how poorly she treats her system, she has the perfect body to try and create this kind of fucked up government plan and her grappling with the Jacob’s Ladder sort of Rosemary’s Baby impact of that. It’s done in a really sort of punk rock and good time original way. The drafts became a little less specific as time went on and I think wisely so in terms of when you know you’re trying to build a cult movie for the ages, which is hopefully what this will wind up being. like you know for example something like all anybody wants to talk about now is Zika. Remember Ebola? Ebola was like five minutes ago or SARS. Nobody talks about that anymore.
Or West Nile…
There you go! West Nile! West Nile was very recent. The idea that’s constantly in a cycle of slight variations, is that we’re ultimately a bunch of people who are trying to wrestle what’s left of freedom and self-will out from under the grips of an ever oppressive society that we’re all kind of agreeing to participate in….
One of the things that I really liked was toward the movie’s end is the implication that Lou might not even have noticed that she’d been messed with by the government if the end result had not been to be literally impregnated with this truly horrifying creature. It’s just such an interesting metaphor for what is actually happening to a lot of people, where it’s like, yeah, shit can be thrown at them and sometimes they’ll notice but a lot of times they just don’t because there’s so much shit that’s already around them.
We’re so checked out. If you told me that you were going to take away my two best friends or like Root Beer and my cell, I mean, you know, of course… Chloë’s my best friend for 20 years, but, like, I see my cell phone a lot more often. Even when we were in Canada living together and we were pretty much just having a slumber party the whole time, still, I was spending more time with my cell phone. The cell phone really is such a bizarre coping mechanism and mind control tool. It’s really fucking terrifying.
Completely, and it’s totally like an addiction in the sense that… I mean, I was out of the country a little while ago and I didn’t have roaming. I could only use my phone when wifi was available and I thought I was totally fine without it. Like, I didn’t care that I couldn’t use it when I was going around in wifi-free zones but the second I would be back at the hotel, I would check it. I couldn’t not. The only thing that would stop me was not having it at all. It was really sort of disturbing.
I mean what’s better than walking in the door and knowing the day is done and laying down in bed, picking up your phone, and doing The New York Times crossword puzzle? Kids, what’s better?
Speak directly to the kids. The kids of NYLON.
Kids, tweet me your questions. The internet is God. It’s alright. I don’t know how Twitter works. The . I’m pretty sure Twitter is just a bunch of emailing. I was thinking wouldn’t it be funny if you had a Twitter handle, like your actual handle was 144 letters long, and it was just a really frustrating Twitter experience because you had to keep…you couldn’t tweet anything because your own handle was in there. It’s fun, right?
It is fun. Why aren’t you on Twitter with stuff like this?
Oh, I’m on Twitter pretty much 24 hours a day. I’m getting a lot of time on Twitter, but like I’m learning a lot. I know about a forest fire way before most people. I’m all over it.
What else is it for really?
I mean, this fucking global warming is going to kill me. I’m telling you. It’s too hot. It’s terrifying. I had a nightmare the other night and there were little fires everywhere as a bus was going down a windy road. I think that’s like a climate change nightmare. There’s been so many fires everywhere that it’s like full apocalypse like between that and Trump. Kids, don’t vote for Trump! But do register so that you don’t vote for him.
Yes. Absolutely. That’s a good message. Isn’t it weird to think about the Donald Trump that you read about in The Post when you were a kid is like this person… I feel like so many people especially the kids of NYLON maybe knew him from The Apprentice or whatever but like I remember seeing him on the front page of The Post all the time during his divorce and just being like, “What a buffoon!”
That is the terror of the times and the culture that we’re in. Everybody knows it and discusses it but also at the same time it’s still really happening. It’s like you know kind of like it’s the dark side of all this shit which is the online bullying and taking down of this gymnast the other day or whatever, like yeah, come on. And I mean, how much more special do you need to be than Gabby Douglas? And the internet takes you down like with the Leslie Jones thing. These kind of horrifying things that are happening and the idea that somebody like Trump can be viable, can somehow become legitimized, while simultaneously being the ultimate punch line is thoroughly perplexing and terrifying. It is like a dumbing down of culture in such a kind of checked-out dark way and it is really scary to think about. I mean, you want to stay on the side of inspiration. On a personal level, I feel like I’m really in such a special time in my life having come around like many corners or whatever. It hasn’t always felt this good and kind of inspired and productive, believing in the things that I’m involved in with creatively. I’m really in love with so many of my relationships, and, you know, I’m comfortable in my own skin, and yet at the same time, it’s like the most terrifying time there’s ever been.
Like what happened to JFK the other day. and the idea that there were false reports of a shooting and they evacuated all of JFK. The reason they did that is because no one was going to be surprised if there was a shooting.
Right, I mean the fact that you can hear the sound of clapping at the Olympics at an airport bar and that automatically translates to “we’re under attack.” It’s really so wild and so depressing. If there’s any sort of silver lining, it’s that you then recognize what you have to feel lucky for, like relationships.
Well, sure. Obviously, it’s all very much that feeling of I’m going to get the most I can out of this day. On the other hand, there’s also the appeal of checking out and dropping out completely, because what’s the use? I remember after September 11 being kind of a wild teenager in the city and being downtown and feeling like you know, “What’s the point in participating in life anymore? It’s going to end so soon. Why not just check out?” I can understand that that’s also whether you’re checking out by being online 24 hours a day or checking out any million of ways. I certainly understand the appeal.
To bring it back to the movie. that was one thing that stood out to me was just the total desolation of where it was set in rural, I guess it’s supposed to be set in Michigan, but you filmed in Canada right? All the same sort of empty landscape where it’s like that all over America for so many young people. What do you do except get really fucked up all the time? What else is there really driving you?
I think that was definitely something that appealed to me about that character and the story is that it is so America, this kind of desolate landscape. There’s no point in participating, because, you know, it’s like being born in this circumstance. You know what I really like about the message of Lou as a kind of antihero is she’s like, “Well I don’t give a fuck about what I’m doing to my own body but like I’m still allowed to have my own basic rights and freedoms, motherfucker!” There is something powerful about that, certainly with my history. I mean I would definitely say, “Hey kids! Keep your noses clean!” That’s just not my bag anymore. I certainly think that it’s a really good way of translating that message of “you can take my dreams but you can’t break my spirit.” I think it’s probably a sentiment you can relate to.
Absolutely. I think that came across really clearly and also that Lou is really, just in spite of everything that’s going on around her, she does really remain herself. I really enjoyed how you played her. It’s just so loose and free and you can see her in situations that aren’t just that nightmarish one.
No, I remember thinking about it and understanding this moment that she turned kind of like… [A stranger comes up and asks if we’re going to the Fringe Festival] Not that I’m aware of.
Stranger: Do you like stand-up comedy?
[Points at me] She actually hates stand-up comedy.
I don’t like to laugh, and I get uncomfortable when I see people standing.
Her step uncle was murdered by a stand-up comedian. That’s why she doesn’t like them. Thank you so much. See you later. [The stranger walks away.] Yeah, I like where Lou sits up on the sofa and grabs her baseball bat-cane and is like, “I am now going to participate in my own life for like the first time and I’m going to figure out how did this to me.” Lou goes from being a slacker to being her own ally and kind of detective, like she’s going to show up for herself and kind of crack the code. I thought of that as my Denzel Washington in Training Day moment, which was pretty much all I watched preparing for the final scene.
I need to rewatch the final scene now.
Only Denzel Washington in Training Day and Dustin Hoffman as Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy to prepare for the role. Does that make sense?
It makes perfect sense.
And listened to The Misfits constantly playing and doing nothing but watching a lot of like alien encounter documentary shows. That was all I was doing while I was holed up in Canada while Chloë would knock on the door and be like, “Hey! I made you avocado toast.”
That’s a good friend.
Chloë’s the best friend in the whole world.
You guys were so great together. It was really wonderful to watch.
What was so amazing about getting to work with her is that I’ve gotten to it a few times, but never like this and never as grown ups. What was so much fun is that Chloë is just easily one the most gifted people of all time. She’s a full genius and she… getting to watch her work was so much fun for me because it’s a side of her as best pals I don’t often get to see is her in work mode. Getting to act off her was so much fun we got along so well the whole time and selfishly, this is as a really possessive person, the idea that I finally had her all to myself in a house in the middle of nowhere in Canada in the middle of deep winter so that all of her socializing activities would only be with me. So we went to the gym together. Every meal was together. Every activity, which is really how I liked it. It was almost like another terrific film.