Darling Lili

She's roundly considered, by her peers and by many critics, to be the most talented actress of her generation, and ever since the hilarious drone of her "Joe" songs back in Say Anything...we've come to depend on her to give us something substantial to chew on in the midst of our Twinkie movie diet. But Lili Taylor would be the first to tell you that what Hollywood thinks of her is that she's--shudder, shudder--a risk. "It's really hard for me to get jobs. When it isn't difficult, it's because there isn't a lot of money involved." What's the deal here? "First of all, my looks." Unlike every other actress on the planet, Taylor routinely rejects the services of hair and makeup people. "Second of all, the choices I make aren't one-dimensional." None of this has kept Taylor from working, mostly in gritty indies--Arizona Dream, Household Saints, The Addiction. In fact, she was the belle of the snowdrifts at Sundance this year, with Girls Town, Cold Fever and, most notably, I Shot Andy Warhol. Though Taylor plays a villain in Mel Gibson's big-budget summer pic, Ransom, she seems unlikely to trade her indie diet for big studio fare. "I think the wiring in Hollywood is completely twisted," she says. "Human life doesn't interest Hollywood. Just the awful scripts that come out! Is someone actually writing this stuff?"

Michael Atkinson

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