Conviction Interviews – Part 3: Juliette Lewis
Ed: One thing I’ve always appreciated about your movies, is that you always tend to find at least really interesting roles. Especially roles for women. And from what I understand, roles for women in Hollywood can be a mixed bag?
Juliette: I know. In 2010.
Ed: Yeah, it’s still that much of a struggle?
Juliette: Yeah, I’m developing something now that has certain aspects of my own personality. So, we’ll see how that works out. But Hillary will tell you that. Because people are always drawn to real life characters, ’cause she’s played 4 or 5. And she said just that, because there’s not a lot of great stories for women in fiction. There are for men. And the true life stories seem to be the most spectacular. I really admire her career. She’s somebody I look up to.
Ed: Yeah, she’s terrific. And an earlier example of your work that I think of is Whip It, for instance. It was very empowering for girls. I’ve watched that with my daughter.
Juliette: Yeah, oh good. Yeah, it’s a movie you can take your daughters to. And it’s not about the first kiss from a guy. You know what I mean? It’s about a deeper thing of finding oneself, finding your strength. It was actually a really unique story, a youth film. Really for this day and age. I was proud to be a part of that too.
Ed: Yeah, well, you’ve done a tremendous amount of work.
Juliette: Thank you. We’ll see what the future holds. But, yeah, this idea about, I don’t even care about limited. Because to me I always look for diversity. So if people are like, oh you play weird characters or intense characters, I’m like okay, fine. That’s a compliment, I don’t mind. I’m open to the Femme Fatale, or a Newlywed, or a this and that. But I’ll make sure to make that as complex as possible as well. ‘Cause that’s how I think people are.
Joe: Do you find that, as opposed to earlier in your career, have you changed what you look for in the scripts you’re interested in?
Juliette: I think my ability has changed. My ability to deliver has broadened through life experience. And also things I have accomplished. And also musically, that’s enrichened my dramatic process. I used to use music early on, to get sort of a visceral experience right away.
Ed: You get that immediate gratification.
Juliette: YEAH you do!! You listen to a Neil Young guitar solo, you’re there. He’s telling you a story. But, I’m connected to music in that way. Like for Natural Born Killers, I was listening, literally on repeat for a month before we shot, Jimi Hendrix Voodo Chile (Slight Return). And every bend in his guitar, it’s filled with chaos, and danger, and despair. All these elements that to me make up that character. So, short answer, my ability has changed, but what I look for is the same. And it’s something complicated and layered. But it can also be simple people. It can be a professional woman. You can be dressed differently. So that’ll be interesting visually to change. I love visual transformation too. ‘Cause I tell people, I didn’t get into movies to play myself, or to be cool. To me this would be the most limiting, mundane thing I could do in film. …Thank you so much!
Ed: Thank you.
Joe: I’m looking forward to your next movie.
Juliette: Oh I forgot to mention, Due Date is coming out. I have a cameo in that as a pot dealer.
Ed: Oh sweet. That looks hilarious.
Juliette: That shows the diversity. The yin and yang of my spirit. It’s so funny, and it’s with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galafinakis, and my scene is with them.
Joe: We’ll look forward to that.
Ed: Yeah, I love Zach. I saw him live, not too long ago.
Juliette: Me too.
Ed: Yeah, he’s awesome.
Juliette: What was he like in his live show. Was he out of control? Did he include the audience?
Ed: He dressed up as Little Orphan Annie at the end.
Ed: It was just before the Hangover came out…
Juliette: Yeah, it was like his cult following, right? Die hards? I love that Annie outfit with him in it.
Ed: Yeah, it’s great.
Juliette: I’ll see you later.
Ed: Okay, thanks.