Jun 07, 2016
WE GRABBED A RARE MOMENT OF RELAXATION WITH THE ACTRESS-SLASH-ROCKER JULIETTE LEWIS TO TALK HUMAN CYCLONES, IMPRESSING JOHNNY DEPP AND THE IMPORTANCE OF PASSION
“Juliette Lewis likes to think of herself as a revoltist.” She’s not sure that’s even a word, but the actress-slash-rocker doesn’t mind coining a new one to represent the anxious forward motion she displays on screen and in front of her rock band, Juliette and the Licks. In 2003, Lewis’s decision to put a high-profile acting career on hold to lead that band as its explosive, wild-eyed singer confounded many in and out of Hollywood. It was a choice even she acknowledges was “totally insane.” For Lewis, it was just a passion she had to explore.
Now 42, Lewis was still a teenager when she first entered the pop culture consciousness in her Oscar-nominated role in Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear remake in 1991. Three years later she was riding shotgun with Woody Harrelson on a romantic murder spree in Oliver Stone’s frenetic Natural Born Killers, and her reputation for daring, dangerous roles was secure. She worked steadily on camera for years after. Then came the abrupt halt to become a rock star.
And she hasn’t looked back since. Though she went solo in 2009, Lewis recently reunited with the Licks, and she’s jumped back into film and television, too. Currently, she’s shooting Season 2 of sci-fi series Wayward Pines, and she’s working on new music as well.
But balancing these two careers isn’t always easy, and that struggle is the focus ofHard Lovin’ Woman, a new documentary short directed by her friend and fellow actor Michael Rapaport, available April 23 on Red Bull TV.
Lewis, the daughter of the late character actor Geoffrey Lewis, is between Licks rehearsals when she sits down to talk about her life, work and seemingly insane decisions. At a table in a Los Angeles café, Lewis is a fast talker and a slow eater, showing the same nervous energy that continues to propel all of her performances.