Lili Taylor in Entertainment Weekly
November/December 1997 page 116


ALL THE FEEDBACK I got was that I was very good, but I wasn't, basically, attractive enough," Lili Taylor has said of her tryouts in Tinseltown. Hollywood's loss is indies' gain. While Taylor may not be classically beautiful, you just can't take your eyes off her: Throughout her 10-year, 27-film career, her fierce, incandescent talent has illuminated roles from Mystic Pizza's balking bride to Household Saints' obsessive Catholic. With the light, of course, Taylor brings shadows to her performances. Witness her Sundance award-winning turn as Valerie Solanas in I Shot Andy Warhol, her belligerent teen mom in Girls Town, and her poignant portrayal of River Phoenix's ostensibly ugly date in Dogfight. She'll burn brightly again this December as a drug dealer in Nick Gomez's illtown and set sail in 1998 in Stanley Tucci's period farce, Ship of Fools. Though the 30-year-old Chicago native occasionally turns up in major studio fare (as a jilted songstress in the beloved teen flick Say Anything... and more recently as a kidnapper in Ransom), she prefers the intimacy of indie filmmaking, having said, "When you have a lot of money involved, the pressure is so immense that it kills [the] spirit." And despite Taylor's predilection for solitary rehearsals and midnight script rereadings, she thrives on indies' collaborative nature. "I really get off on working with directors and executing their vision," she says, "and us being equally important to each other." Not that she's prejudiced. "If there's a great film that could make money and have integrity, yeah, I'd do it!" she has remarked. "I just want to keep doing honest work and showing people as many women as I can."--Caren Weiner


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