' Lili on Rosie - February 1998

Lili on the Rosie O'Donnell Show

Rosie: You know who it is today? Lili Taylor. I've never met her but I should say, I think she's an amazing actor. [clapping...cheers] I love her. Did you see that movie about Andy Warhol that she was in?

John: I Shot Andy Warhol.

Rosie: I Shot Andy Warhol. She was great in that.

John: Totally great.

Rosie: Ahhh...I enjoy her. I wrote a movie for her when I was like 25. Me and her after I saw Mystic Pizza. It never went any where...to my drawer...I'm gonna give it to her. But uh...Not today because I didn't bring it...


I've been a fan of our next guest since the first time I saw her on film. Some of her movies include Mystic Pizza, Say Anything and Ransom. Her new movie illtown opens next week. Please Welcome...Lili Taylor! [Lili walks out to cheers and whistles...Lili and Rosie do a quick huddle then sit down] Well hi Lili Taylor.

Lili: Hiiii...

Rosie: I'm so happy that you did this show.

Lili: Me too.

Rosie: I think you're so great.

Lili: Thank you.

Rosie: I really do...Mystic Pizza and then Say Anything. You with those Joe songs. [To the audience] Remember that...[To Lili] when you were like [dopey voice] "Joe...Joe's a liar...Joe." I was hysterical, screaming , laughing in the movie theater.


Lili: [Nodding and smiling shyly] Yeah. It was based on a real woman. Who was still talking about Joe four years after the movie.

Rosie: [Laughing] Really...did she know when she saw the film that it was her?

Lili: Oh she was very serious...she said "Ya know I'm still really upset about Joe." It's four years after the movie [laughs]...I couldn't believe it.

Rosie: Did you ask her if you could, like sort of use her personality in the film.

Lili: No, I didn't meet her till after the movie. Thank God. We met at the wrap party.

Rosie: Do you do that do you like meet real people and use those characters for your work?

Lili: Well umm... You mean if it it's not based on the real person?

Rosie: Yeah not like the Andy Warhol thing.

Lili: Well I do like a combo platter...[picking stuff off invisible platter] I like take a little bit of this person, this person, this person and put it all together.

Rosie: But you're really a wonderful actress. In every movie you're different and you're so compelling to watch. I think you're really great. That Andy Warhol performance...that was something else wasn't it, to play that kind of a crazy person?

Lili: Yeah, yeah. That one umm was very odd and I had to stay very grounded. Because she's pretty out there. I thought she was gonna take me over. So I just kept my feet planted...and ahhh, but you know what she's funny, and she wasn't taking all that stuff so seriously.

Rosie: Do you...are you the kind of actress who stays in character throughout the whole performance? Or are you able to sort of ... nahhh you don't.

Lili: I'm not gonna do that. Then I'd go crazy. I might as well go to Bellevue.

Rosie: Yeah that's true, exactly. But I always think, the really good ones like you, I think they must do something different. They must like go home and still be in it...or...

Lili: Well, to a certain extent yeah, because you can't help it. You know because you ...I mean I can't just expect not to have those 12 hours affect me when I get home. Y'know when I've been filming. But I think it's important to like go back to myself. But you know...it's not...I'm not method.

Rosie: You're not method? I'm not either, I can't understand it truthfully...[Audience laughs] Ving Rhames who I loved at the Golden Globes...he said Stanislovski said ... I keep hearing what he said..."Love the art in you not you in the art." I'm like what art in where? Who's he talking about? You know...that's why I always thought I could do something other than act in movies because I just sort of said the lines. I didn't have a motivation. That's not good is it?

Lili: Right...right...no...no...you knew what was going on you just didn't have it written down...articulated.

Rosie: Did you want to be an actress as a young kid?

Lili: Yeah, I always said I never even thought of anything else...never.

Rosie: You grew up in Chicago?

Lili: Yeah, outside of Chicago.

Rosie: And how many kids in your family?

Lili: Six kids, aaaand a lot of chaos, lot of chaos in the family, I love my family...ummm three boys, three girls and uhhh lot of crazy stuff happened, obviously...and uhhh...

Rosie: Are you the oldest?

Lili: No, second to youngest. And me...I always wanted to be a boy. I was a tomboy, and one time my brother, we looked very much alike, and everyone thought I looked like a boy, and he was playing hockey, and I had my pack and I came in for the fourth quarter, and played hockey ...and no one knew it was me. [laughs] [sincerely] You know...you know...I really wanted to be a boy though.

Rosie: You did...yeah...

Lili: yeah...yeah...

Rosie: I played a lot of sports. I never wanted to be a boy though. No...I played little league, I played soccer and everything. But I always thought it was great to be a girl.

Lili: I'm getting there now.

Rosie: You're getting there. All right that's good. Now tell us what your new movie is about. We don't have a clip because they didn't send us a clip in time. Which I hate. If they send us a clip like next week I'll...I'll play it even though your not here...because I love your work. Anyway what's it about?

Lili: "illtown"...umm it's hard to describe, but I'll just say that it's...I think it's like a jazz song. I think it's like when Coltrane, and Pharaoh Sanders and those guys in the 60s were experimenting. That's what I think it's like. It's an out there jazz song. You gotta sit back, just feel that it's visceral and don't...don't think about it. Just...just sit back and just go with it.

Rosie: Sit back and relax. Bring a congac to the movie with you. It'll be...

Lili: [laughs]

Rosie: Now umm...you do a lot of independant films.

Lili: Yeah.

Rosie: Purposely?

Lili: Well it just seems like that. I mean umm...I feel that uhhh...um as a...as a female there's better roles in independants. Because they can take more of a risk. Y'know umm...because they don't have to make as much money back. Y'know and uhh...I feel that with the bigger pictures that sometimes the females get sort of a formula which is one-dimensional, and that doesn't...that's not much fun.

Rosie: That movie "Dogfight" that you did you were great in that too...that was a wonderful movie, I think. Really spoke to a lot of uhh...[audience cheers]...women who felt like they weren't maybe the perfect one. Yknow...it was really a great movie. I understand you like musical theatre.

Lili: I love it.

Rosie: Give me a high five on that Lili. [They clasp hands.] Have you seen "Lion King"?

Lili: No...no.

Rosie: Have you seen "Ragtime"?

Lili: No...but I know I'm gonna go. I'm gonna go. I hear it from all...everybody on your staff...[gestures back stage]...says I've gotta go to "Ragtime".

Rosie: Would you want to go with me?

Lili: Yeah...

Rosie: Because I'd love to go see that again. I saw "Ragtime" six..."Ragtime" once, but I saw "Lion King" six times. But I didn't see "Ragtime" again. I'll go with ya. I would love to.

Lili: Would ya? Because I heard it sold out. You could help me get in.

Rosie: I would love to. I know people. Don't worry. Now umm...is it true that you don't own a television?

Lili: I don't. I...[I couldn't figure out what Lili said here...]
Rosie: Now Lili this makes me sad.

Lili: OK yes...but it's not...I think it's because I would never turn the thing off...and I have to do other things. Yeah...

Rosie: Would you...are you compulsive like that?

Lili: I think so...yeah...

Rosie: But you don't even...you don't even own one like little Sony Watchman?

Lili: ...oh no, you got one you're going to be in trouble...

Rosie: But you don't get the reception on those.

Lili: No but I saw Sybil on one of those little watchmans and I was...I was hooked. I love Sybil.

Rosie: When people come over to... [double take] You love Sybil the movie? Really?

Lili: I think it was a great movie. [audience makes surprised noises]

Rosie: [To audience] What do you mean "wooooo"? It's a brilliant acting role [to Lili] but it's an interesting thing to say "I love Sybil".

Lili: I do. I just think it's a...I think it's a really beautiful movie.

Rosie: It's very...that thing when she's in the ahhh...attic and she remembers the name "Green"..."Green" was that what it was?

Lili: "Purple".

Rosie: Yeah on the...[gestures]...I remember when I saw that I was in High School and it was ahhh...it really marked me. I remember it vividly.

Lili: Yeah...it's about a woman coming to wholeness...trying to integrate 32 personalities. That's a tough job.

Rosie: There's some wonderful books about those things...ummm...uhhh that I was...after that...after I saw that movie I read all these great books about women who had had to do that in their life after overcoming some very horrific childhood. But that's interesting that you saw it on a little screen and loved it.

Lili: But no tv...no tv.

Rosie: Well listen if you want to come over I've got a big wide screen. You wanna watch it on a wide screen? When your friends come over do they say "Lil where's your tv?"

Lili: No...actually they say "Gosh...it's kind of nice not having a tv around."

Rosie: Did you ever see this show? Ever before?

Lili: [quietly] I saw clips.

Rosie: [looks at camera - deadpan] You saw clips. Alright. Did you enjoy the clips?

Lili: Yeah...

Rosie: It's OK...it's not a great...

Lili: You're fantastic...

Rosie: Yeah? You like it? I want you to be my friend because I wrote a movie for us when I was 28.

Lili: I know...You were just telling me about it...but I think we'll need to update it. I know you wrote it for when we were young but I think you've gotta update it.

Rosie: I promise to let you read it if you promise not to tell everyone how horrible it is.

Lili: No, we can polish it up...really.

Rosie: We can work it through?

Lili: Let's do it...let's do it...alright?

Rosie: [To audience] illtown opens next Friday. We have no clip. If we get one next week we'll show it to you. Because if you're not familiar with this woman's work you should be...[to Lili] and I thank you so much for being here. I really do Lili...thank you.

Lili: Thanks alot...

[Audience cheers]

Rosie: We'll be right back with Tina McBride after this!

[Lili and Rosie talk as camera pans away...]

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