TALK SHOW WITH HARPER SIMON | EPISODE 4
Natasha Lyonne Talks Relationships, Film Roots and Rebellion
Successful on stage and screen, Emmy Nominee Natasha Lyonne continues to display her creative versatility and talent after more than two decades in the industry. After making a splash in Slums Of Beverly Hills, she has featured in American Pie and currently is on Orange Is The New Black.
After listening to the definitions, Natasha chooses the one that would best suit her. “It sounds like ideally what you want to go for is an affectionate bond.” She then playfully adds, “Are you going to go into my sexual psychology and assume that I’m just going to jump onboard, because it’s just not going to happen.”
When asked what she thinks people look for to complete their lives, she said much of it centers on family. “People really seem to be into children I feel like, and pets. I wanna say they’re into pets and children, and a home, people are really into their homes – jobs, doing things, and then I think contributing to society.”
While Natasha doesn’t reveal her own relationship status, she does get a bit philosophical about her own ultimate goals.
“I don’t hate having a great time or anything, it’s not like I’m against it. I don’t know what I want. What do I want? I wanna have a nice time, and then I wanna be like, okay I guess it’s over. I just don’t mean in a relationship, but in the greater sense… In the greater scheme of my life, I wanna have a nice time, and then be like, alright, it’s over. You know what I mean, that’s my plan.”
Natasha speaks about one of her favorite roles, in the 1998 film Slums of Beverly Hills. “How do I feel about boob jobs, what do you want to know?” she asks, noting that a major part of the movie dealt with her character’s oversized breasts. “It also hits such a sweet spot of my personal life… because I was 18 – those are prosthetics, I still haven’t gotten a boob job.”
She said she loved working with the cast of Slums of Beverly Hills as well as the director, Tamara Jenkins, and still maintains good relationships with most people connected with the film.
At the time she was making the film, Natasha said that for the first time, she was spending a lot of time by herself in Los Angeles, and even got involved in “all kinds of antics.”
“I remember a particular event with Nichole (Beattie), driving her… There was a time in my life when I was kind of a wild one. So one time, I’m not proud of this, that’s not why I’m telling you,” she cautions. “But I was trying to show off for her, to show how tough I was – and this is dangerous so people shouldn’t do this – but I drove my car on the sidewalk of Beverly Blvd., instead of on the road. And I really remember that as a defining thing like, why was I so desperate to be so meaninglessly rebellious?”
Natasha also reveals that she got into a serious car accident while filming Slums, during which she suffered a serious injury to her upper body. “So I was driving this Ford Explorer and then I remember driving towards La Brea, and then I was inside a furniture store.” She said the accident caused the steering wheel to push into her neck, leaving a visible scar that had to be masked during filming.
As far as her top career influences, she names several figures that she says she still looks up to. “Giulietta Masina is great, I love her. Mae West is huge, Nancy Spungen is huge. I mean, I don’t know where people get references from, but you kind of like hodge-podge them all together,” she said. “If Mae West and Nancy Spungen were making a baby, then you think I would be… here comes America’s sweetheart! That’s a very nice thing to hear for my ego.”
“My early influences growing up were, Scarface, and Rocky – like those movies were played a lot in my house, so I think that’s why I started talking, and acting. Sort of tough, even though I was an Upper East Side girl, who was like a private school girl. I think I was mimicking in many ways sort of like a tough guy lean.”
Watch the entire interview to also hear Natasha’s view on the acting process and how it differs from the lives of the musicians she knows.