Juliette Lewis is back – and ready for an encore. She tells Gill Pringle about dating Brad Pitt, ‘divorcing’ her parents and why she’s nothing like ‘that Lady Gaga character’
Fifteen years ago the actress I am meeting for lunch in a low-key Los Angeles café would have arrived followed by a trail of paparazzi.
Back then she ticked all the celebrity boxes: she’d dated Brad Pitt; been nominated for an Oscar when just 17; done time in rehab; become a Scientologist …
But no one spills their latte as Juliette Lewis parks her SUV across the street, scurries across four lanes of highway and then tosses her keys on the table, breathlessly apologising for being late.
In an industry where fame is often the paramount objective it is hard to name another actress who willingly jumped off the A-list bus, exchanging the glamorous red-carpet lifestyle to toil in semi-obscurity in pursuit of a private dream.
‘I’ve never really cared if I was famous for my music. It was just something I had to do,’ explains Lewis, 37.
For the past seven years she has been fronting a punk-rock outfit called Juliette and the Licks, performing angry, energetic songs with names like Junkyard Heart and Suicide Dive Bombers in front of double-figure crowds.
Spending months shuttling between tiny venues on a beaten-up tour bus is quite a contrast to the years of luxury trailers and million-dollar pay cheques.
When we meet, Lewis has just returned home to Los Angeles, not 24 hours after performing at a party in Paris. Far from being jet-lagged, she radiates nervous energy.
She talks so fast that sentences spill over each other, punctuated by throaty laughter so raucous it rattles the cups and plates on our table. Frequently she concludes her excited speeches with an exclamation of ‘that was a long-ass way of saying it!’
Michelle Monaghan reunites with her ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ co-star Robert Downey Jr and Juliette Lewis gets to team up again onscreen with Downey, her ‘Natural Born Killers’ cohort, in the comedy movie ‘Due Date,’ directed by Todd Phillips.
you can view video here
Juliette was at the Los Angeles premiere of Due Date yesterday. Added some pictures in the gallery.
PUBLIC APPEARANCES > 2010 > October 28 – Warner Bros. Los Angeles Premiere of “Due Date”
Juliette Lewis has come by her Hollywood rock ‘n’ roll wild child image honestly, picking film roles and playing music that are dangerous and different.
Since stunning movie audiences when she was barely 18 as Danielle Bowden in Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake of “Cape Fear” (earning a supporting Oscar nomination), the Los Angeles native has tackled some of the edgiest characters out there, including a serial slayer in Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers,” a psycho-killer’s girlfriend in Dominic Sena’s “Kalifornia,” a corrupt cop’s mistress in Peter Medak’s cult favorite “Romeo Is Bleeding,” a worldly-wise young drifter in Lasse Hallstrom’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” a mentally challenged woman in Garry Marshall’s “The Other Sister,” and a nine-months-pregnant kidnap victim in Christopher McQuarrie’s “The Way of the Gun.”
In 2003, Lewis took a break from acting to satisfy her musical urges, which were just as exotic as her dramatic appetites, forming a band called Juliette and the Licks, shaking up a punk-pop concoction that was equal parts Iggy Pop, P.J. Harvey and ’90s alt-rock, and filling two full-length albums with it (“You’re Speaking My Language,” “Four on the Floor”) in 2005-06.
In 2009, she went solo, expanding the colors of her musical palette — with a touch here and there of the blues — on “Terra Incognita,” before turning back to acting in earnest.
And earnest she is in Tony Goldwyn’s “Conviction,” the true story of working-class Massachusetts woman Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank) who put herself through law school and spent 18 years proving her imprisoned brother Kenny (Sam Rockwell) innocent of murder.
Lewis is already drawing critical raves for her brief but indelible performance as an unprincipled, low-living woman whose testimony puts Kenny in jail.
She kicked off our recent phone interview by complimenting my “nice accent,” of all things, making me self-conscious about my Okie drawl. So, I asked about our mutual Oklahoma City acquaintance, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.
A: Well, you know, I met him a couple of times at his shows so I don’t know him past that, other than I’m a big fan of his, and he seems like a real good guy.
Q: The reason I asked is because you actually appear in the Flaming Lips documentary “The Fearless Freaks.”
A: I know, I remember that show. Me and my sister went there, and we had our own animal suits that we rented. We didn’t know that they gave you suits, so we came with our own. And I got to be an animal onstage.
Q: What kind of animal were you?
A: I think I was a mouse.
Q: When was that?
A: Oh, that was like six years ago. It was before I was touring with my own band.
Juliette Lewis was left open-mouthed when she saw a photo of herself in her latest big screen role.
The 37-year-old actress is barely recognisable playing a struggling woman in new movie Conviction.
“It’s the biggest transformation I’ve ever made on screen. It was a really intense role,” she told US chat show host Jimmy Fallon.
“I think that I just scared myself,” she added after the TV presenter showed a photo of her playing Roseanna Perry.
Lewis, who also fronts rock band The New Romantiques, said she was shocked when reporters started asking her about her teeth after seeing the movie at the Toronto Film Festival.
“I had just gotten a root canal a couple of days before and I’m in pain and I have to promote the movie,” she explained.
“The journalists who just saw the movie kept saying ‘So how’s your teeth?’ I thought ‘Oh my gosh, how did they know about my root canal?’”
Conviction, which also stars Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell, is being shown at US cinemas now.