Natasha Lyonne on That Accent and How Acid Made Her See Things Clearer – Rolling Stone

During For feature reporting on Peacock’s exciting upcoming mystery series poker face, we got too much stuff from creator Rian Johnson and star Natasha Lyonne to comfortably fit. So as a bonus, we’re giving you some highlights from the rest of our conversation.

Last week, we went in-depth on Johnson’s fun and challenges of giving Leon’s character Charlie Keil the ability to tell when someone’s lying. This is where we open things up with the actor, who explains, “I hate badness. Yes, I love, however, blasphemy.”

What is the difference between bullying and bullying?
Bulllaugh A perfect partner is a human being who is angry, or lying. Bullbeat it joking, joking; Joking, talking, passing idle ideas around, killing time.

Earlier, you seemed surprised to hear that everyone I interviewed called you one of the smartest people they had ever met.
Alan, but I’m terrible with shapes. If you give me a simple children’s jigsaw puzzle, I will put the edges in the middle of the puzzle. i’m lost. i can’t understand. I am completely self-taught. So I am very thorough about the subjects that interest me. And thanks to its street smarts, I can gather a healthy amount about things seamlessly. I think part of what they’re experiencing is that I’ve done so much acid in my early life that I can process scientific and artistic and interpersonal and religious and philosophical concepts very smoothly, because it Almost like I’ve seen evidence of them. As I saw the world divided among itself while reading Nietzsche as a teenager on acid. Or so I saw A clockwork orange Many times as a child. I don’t know what to tell you. My grandmother loves it. Because that’s the trait I value the most. Along with humor, which is actually my favorite thing.

The persona you have now on camera, and to some extent off camera, is very different from the way you presented yourself in the early years of your career. You’re older now, but is there any Joe Pace/Andrew Deas Clay thing you’re joking about as a way to make yourself more attractive than ever? Does it have any effect?
i can’t understand. I think in many ways, my voice changed. Honestly, it scares me. I am not interested in her. I just switched to Harvey Fierstein/Elizabeth Ashley against my will, because I smoke too much. There was that Jay Leno bit that went viral recently, and I see myself in it and I’m like, Oh my god, that’s what I was calling before all those cigarettes. But I remember my accent was a problem for that [directors] Tamara Jenkins and Woody Allen and Jamie Babbitt. This has always been a problem. There was a casting director in New York City who showed me this weird, old video of New York actors who had auditioned for him and made it, and it was like me and DiCaprio and Phil Seymour Hoffman and Uma Thurman. and And I was very happy to be in this group. But, like, Emma Thurman comes in and she’s a 17-year-old goddess. And here I come, I’m wearing a tweedy tater tot, my hair looks like it hasn’t been brushed in a year, and I speak with the thickest New York accent you’ve ever seen in your life. And I’m talking about punching someone in the lunch line. Jesus Christ! No wonder I didn’t get those jobs! But are you experiencing the New York accent with me now?

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From left: Leon as Charlie Kyle and Audrey Corsa as Rebecca poker face.

Sarah Schutz/Mom

Your accent is much less pronounced than your roles right now as we speak.
I think that’s how I speak. I also think that my accent is less obvious poker face in contrast Russian dolls. But I’m afraid of public speaking. Conversation scares me. So I think when I’m scared, my accent increases. In season one and season two Russian dolls, I spent a lot of time editing trying to tone down my accent, because I hate it. I find it very annoying. But I guess I’m just old, honey. But when I got nervous, I went further to New York, like to protect myself from strangers.

Clea Duvall said that one of the reasons you’re friends is that in your nineties and early years, you both felt like you didn’t fit what the business wanted from young women. What were those years like?
The village is truly extraordinary. We are both orphans, so we really have each other. At Kalia’s wedding, I am the best man, or like the father who gives her away. For us to go through that evolution from nineteen-year-old Andy—to showrunners, creators, writers, and directors—is pretty wild. We are both such dark, dark horses that it makes no sense. In the nineties, I think we were a bunch of scary girls. I see these pictures of us from when we were young, and we smoked a lot, and nobody knew what to do with us. And we don’t know what to do with ourselves. It was just, we were weird. They knew it. We understand. And it felt bad all the time. I think it was distorted. Maybe something is broken outside of us. And it really makes you think as a young woman. But I think the truth is that there was something wrong inside of us. Like, we were too fully loaded inside to really make sense within these limited parameters. Ironically, the times have caught up with us. If we were young now, we would hate it. We will be brilliant children. This breed really likes an outsider as the main event. Our era, if you remember, was as cookie-cutter as cookies can be – like, “Bring on the Aryan nation!” It was a dark time to be queer in showbiz. And I am very grateful to see this change. Also, because I think it’s terribly boring. Honey, they’ll never be as good as John Blondell. So keep it moving.

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the trend

Ryan and Clay and Chloe Sevigny all say you’re never happier than directing. Would you say that is fair?
Yes, it makes me feel like Bob Fosse. And I mean at speed. I like an orchestra. I like being a driver. And I think my strange life has prepared me well, to enjoy seeing the severity of the situation. And it’s very natural for me, because I’ve been on sets since I was five, feeling in control of all the elements. I like actors. I love aesthetics. I’m such a big cinephile that I really understand shots and blocking. Seeing it all come together, it brings deep, deep joy to my soul. I feel like my feet are in the right place. And no matter how stressful it is, or people freaking out about the lights or whatever, I’m really having a lot of fun. And I feel completely occupied for the first time – like it’s an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. And I come home and I’m tired. I love that it asks your brain to use it at its full potential, in multiple directions at once. I find it very relaxing, and the feeling of white noise comes through my body.

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I love movies, like – OK, it’s weird, but if you really, for reasons unknown to me, slowly peel off all the skin from my body, and you’re curious about what I’m made of inside, You’ll just see a bunch of pictures from all these classic movies together. And it’s actually that I’m still going, in addition to all these cigarettes, it’s pictures that they don’t experience the negative side of nicotine. And so the sword holds them together. This is what celluloid means. And I love to solve problems. And I love to improvise. And despite my seemingly reckless nature, I’m a deep-down obsessive workaholic, which is pretty much perfection. So I like heavy preparation and precision. I like very clear parameters, and then fill the frame with as much information as possible. But I really don’t like lawless chaos. If you’ve been to my house, my bed is always made. I don’t know how to explain it. I just have big hair – this is the best way I can do it. And I think it’s potentially misleading to people. But I really, really love directing. All my heroes are true, editors. I love acting. The thing I love about acting, though, is that it’s almost like music. I like the idea that Ryan is a composer, and he allows me to play any part of the song in service of that album. And I want to do it the best for him, and it makes me happy to do it. But with the writing and the production and that all of that kind of comes together now with the directing, it’s a lot more fun to have pages on set and correct it in real time with the actors, because things are setting up. I also like to look at the schedule with interest and figure it out. I love being in the edit, and that feeling when a song or score is placed in a sequence just right to tie it together is a gratifying experience. I feel so alive when all this happens. And I like not feeling dead inside.


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