Lyonne at the 2014 Peabody awards
|Born||Natasha Bianca Lyonne Braunstein
April 4, 1979
New York City, New York, U.S.
I learned that if you're going to be a troublemaker, you don't want a ton of witnesses, because there's inevitable fallout from living like you're in 'Lord of the Flies.'
The aging process is totally minimizing. Life in general is pretty minimizing because you have a lot of big ideas, and you have to battle the mistaken delusions and instability that come with youth.
The thing about curly hair is that it's a toss-up. Some days you can let it air dry and it's better than a hair-do, but some days you just look like a sloppy person. I'm really resistant to a trim. I only do it when it gets hard to brush out in the shower, then I'll submit, begrudgingly.
You compare yourself to somebody who you think is a peer, and you can totally lose the plot, and not understand that you are nothing like them in the first place, and it was never you versus anybody.
I do have an outsider's complex of getting made fun of. I was made fun of as a kid, and I don't have the stomach for it.
I have a lot of friends who are trying to clean up their act, or that are still making trouble for themselves, so I'm definitely well-versed on what goes on in the mind and the heart of a person who self-destructs as their coping mechanism, and also what they're like when you take their preferred substance away.
As a woman, I've learned that having a uniform of your staples or setting your look and saying what distinguishes you – like red lips or hair or whatever – leaves so much time for the rest of the day.
Life is a wildly transient thing with people coming into your life and dropping away. It definitely takes work to maintain relationships.
I would love to option 'Crying of Lot 49' and turn it into a movie.
It's not easy trying to navigate your internal world in the public eye.
I would have done well as a gypsy child, I think. A circus baby. I coulda played a great street urchin or ragamuffin. Or just been one. I certainly liked entertaining people and making jokes, but I don't know necessarily if that's what your child is prone to that you should necessarily put them in a real working industry at six years old.
My family moved to Israel when I was eight until I was 10, and then we came back, and my parents split up. I was suddenly in a single-parent home and on scholarship. Fifth grade was such a hard year for me.
I grew up in Manhattan, and I've always had all kinds of people around me. I've always had a very 'live and let live' point of view.
It's a wild thing, that people have the ability to help each other by just relating to one another.
That's usually how I get to know strangers – get inappropriately touchy. Once they've experienced the awkwardness of you being way too close for comfort, after that, it all gets easy.
From the first instant I met her, I wanted to be Nora Ephron. I just really wanted to please her.
When I was a young person working, everybody was older than me, so I had to kind of keep up. I'd see every movie and listen to everything played, and read all the relevant books. Being an actor, it's kind of your job to know what came before you and how big your feelings are allowed to be.
Rather than spend so much time wondering if I'm going to get hired, or is it a problem that I've got this black-tar history, I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing and try to be decent.
I adore Eddie Kaye Thomas and Jason Biggs. Eddie was the only one who called me when they were doing 'American Reunion' and told me, 'You need to do this.'
I always see the absurdity in most situations. It's my experience of how life works.
I often think my boyfriend is going to leave me just from seeing how I talk to the dog. But you know, when you are talking to your dog, you are accessing this softer side of you. Everything else melts away.
I will take the subway and look at certain women and think 'God, that woman's story will never be told. How come that lady doesn't get a movie about her?'
There are epic downsides to living a somewhat public life. The upshot of that is there's nothing to hide. It's a relief in a way. There's nothing about me that can't be said.
I was this kid who had been raised in New York, and now all of a sudden, my mother decided that she was a Jewish divorcee and therefore she should be living in Miami Beach.
I'm not someone who went to acting school – I was just out of the gate, doing it.
There's something great about all your worst fears coming true and being said about you. There's a tremendous liberation on some level.
Anormal day looks like, you know, shower, put on the same jeans, the same tattered Gucci loafers I got at the thrift store, white socks, and my t-shirt and my very beat-up Helmut Lang blazer. I'm in the exact same outfit every day.
I started wearing all black around the time I got into Nirvana. I first heard 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' when I was about 12, and I remember jumping on my bed, so excited about it.
I'm somebody who believes in funny things, and laughing, but I do like for them to come from a place that addresses the human condition.
As a New Yorker, or wherever I am, I just want to know I can get our of the house in five minutes if I have to and not have to spend a bunch of time obsessing in the mirror, trying on a million different options. Now, I just know what works.
As wild as I was, when the cops show up, and suddenly you're being handcuffed, it's so deeply shocking and terrifying, the loss of freedom.
I have to say, I'm still surprised anyone's nice to me, that anyone talks to me. But I think people understand that other people go through things. We're all a bit gonzo, and you're allowed to take a little time to get your head on straight.
I feel like I just have such the blood and bones of a New Yorker that I can almost imagine better, like, giving up the fight and not being able to afford the city and going out West, keeping a small place here, and then when I'm like 80, coming back here, living on the park and going to the theater.
My hair is such a statement that it's like a neon sign asking for trouble.
I have a deep compassion for the idea that it's okay to be myself. The idea that anything 'other' is bad and wrong and broken is so wildly off base.
It's such a weird thing: to sit and look at yourself is so distracting to the psyche. It would be like me standing in front of a mirror and looking at myself all day, trying to find a flaw.
If I was a bajillionaire, I would spend a lot of time at Barneys just buying all kinds of great things all the time. I would have so many black cashmeres it would be out of control. I like the way nice things feel very much.
In my experience of living, for a time, in the underbelly of society, I spent a lot of time in various holding cells.
The world at large doesn't always make sense to me, and there are safe havens. Linda Manz in 'Out of the Blue' is one of them.
I have a pretty fancy facialist, this woman Dale Breault. Getting older, it's a good thing to have a serious facialist.
I'm not to be confused with Natasha Henstridge in 'Species,' where I just emerge out of the weird alien womb looking amazing. I really rely heavily on my black outfits and my gold chains to give me sort of a thing.
I have a theory that self-made, first-generation actresses don't feel entitled to success.
There are beauty icons that I can never be like, sorta like a Gena Rowlands – I'll never have that look. I love Giulietta Masina, the great Fellini actress. But I'm probably more Seymour Cassel. Or somewhere between Lou Reed and Nora Ephron?
You've got to do something with all the books you've read, so you might as well imagine you've optioned them.