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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

“Yellowjackets” Star Juliette Lewis On Never Losing “A Certain Kind Of Fire”

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When interviewing Juliet Lewis at the wheel of a Dodge Challenger muscle car, the only thing you can anticipate (“this comes from a middle-aged man enjoying the fruits of your labor”) is that you can’t predict how things will turn out. “I’m not going to throw all my problems out in the middle of a project driving through the rain in the mountains,” she said. “No. I’m so honored that you chose me to shoot your profile. Well done!”

Nice and unexpected. Two words that can accurately describe Lewis and his Hollywood career over the years. Almost everyone in between. “It’s really interesting that some of the movies that I first made resonate today and are still being watched by a new generation,” she said.

Lewis grew up in LA, watching her father, Geoffrey Lewis, appear in countless movies and TV shows, often opposite Clint Eastwood. “I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately,” she said. You’ll need to put on your gear and boots and ride a horse. And my first set is that kind of set. I came to this playground for the first time.”

But Lewis says the acting bug didn’t really bite her until she was a teenager, when she started auditioning without any formal training. “I did sitcoms. They like everything straight and they were really full of energy. I was almost fired from the sitcom early on.”

Why? “For natural behavior!”

“Am I basically too good at acting?” Burbank asked.

“I mean, Marty said that later, but he didn’t like my style.”

“Marty” is, of course, Martin Scorsese, who casts teen Juliette Lewis in the movie “Cape Feare” and changes the trajectory of her life. The performance garnered an Oscar nomination for 18-year-old Lewis and launched some memorable ’90s movies, including “What’s a Gilbert Grape” with Johnny Depp. “strange Days”; and Oliver Stone’s gory satire “Natural Born Killers” with Woody Harrelson.

“I think it scares a lot of people away from making business decisions,” she said. “People didn’t go around thinking Woody was crazy. But they were crazy about me. Isn’t it funny?”

The tabloids dubbed Louise a “wild child” and breathlessly covered Leo’s celebrity relationship with Brad. “I wonder what it was like to live a public life.” Burbank asked.

Lewis laughed.

“I mean, being a celebrity makes people want to know who you are. Do you know what you signed up for?”

“No, I’m laughing. What if I start crying and break down?” Lewis said.

“It would make a really cool special!”

Lewis says that he came to his senses at the age of 22 through the Church of Scientology and started living a quiet life away from the screen. “I made the decision early on to reclaim my existence on my own terms,” she said. “I took a break from making films. I started a band when I was 30.”

Her punk band Juliet and the Licks toured extensively, giving her the opportunity to live out other childhood fantasies (she’d always wanted to be a singer when she was younger).

“Inspirations for me were ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’, ‘Fame’, ‘Flashdance’ and the musical ‘Hair’.” “They were everything to me. They had everything: the drama, your tears, the music, the dance.”

Five years ago, the band announced that they were recording new music together once again. Future projects with the band, however, would have to share time with Lewis’ busy acting schedule, including starring as Natalie in the hit “Yellowjackets”, which aired on Showtime (part of parent company Paramount Global). Is. The show is about a high school football team in New Jersey that gets stranded in the woods.

Lewis said, “I like the idea that when there is one and the other, what do you reveal and what do you hide, and that dance is something interesting to perform.”

And near the end of the interview, something else happened that I didn’t expect. In that moment, Juliette Lewis became visibly emotional in a conversation about life, love, family, addiction, and acting. This was a reference to one of his first film roles in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.

Burbank said, “I wonder if it makes sense. I wonder if it will become a cultural touchstone. You should definitely see it at Christmas.”

“When I was 15, no, every year my family used to talk to me, and it’s so touching that people who have lost their parents do what they say is a tradition. It’s really heartwarming that my 15-year-old cynical self is in his life every year. It’s amazing, it’s a blessing, it’s getting lucky.

If luck is a vestige of design, then Juliette Lewis’s career is the result of taking chances. Be true to yourself and never guess.

“Yeah, it’s weird. Middle age is weird.” He said. Fire. Enjoying the day, you know, all the good stuff. But no, I’m not crazy. For example, if we hadn’t done this, I would have stayed at home. I’ll just look at the mountain. Listening to the birds, playing ball with my dogs and things like that.”

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