Juliette Lewis takes her rightful place as an iconic goddess in S. Magazine’s feature on the actress turned rock chick in issue 10 of S. Magazine.
Juliette Lewis captivated international audiences with a precocious talent that saw her nominated for an Oscar for her role in ‘Cape Fear’ (1991). As the strange ungainly and awkward actress blossomed into confidence, her unconventional beauty and elongated expressive figure, together with formidable talent, proved exactly the right combination for the slacker spirit of the times. She rose to Hollywood stardom at an accelerated speed, taking the more cynical educated kids with her as her fan base broadened. If both the studios and Ms Lewis herself found it difficult to stage her career or place her particular brand of stardom in the canon, the fans never really cared, they loved her. The mainstream success of films like ‘Kalifornia’ (1993) might have been less than the studios hoped for. But in hardcore Lewis fan territory, everyone remembers her performance as the naïve whitetrash girlfriend of Brad Pitt’s cast-against-type sociopathic murderer as a signature performance.
Almost at the moment that Juliette Lewis rocketed to the upper strata of stardom, there was a sense that hers was not going to be a straightforward tale. As many have noted, including Lewis herself, she was always a bit of an outsider and not of a mindset that was going to easily assimilate itself within the Hollywood system.
Her performance as a screwed up rockstar in Kathryn Bigelow’s cyberpunk ode to pre-millenial angst ‘Stange Days’ (1995) remains another iconic moment in another film that was largely underrated by the mass cinema audience. In Juliette Lewis’ case, it’s a particularly interesting outing given that it almost ends up being prophetic of things to come; both for better and for worse.
After the inevitable fall from grace, the tabloids filled with stories of problem behaviour and addiction, temper tantrums and, perhaps even more problematic for her original Gen X fanbase, a newfound public adherence to Scientology, Lewis remains an actress but has thrown herself wholeheartedly into her music career. Good for her that she has persevered since, some six years on, the inevitable assumption that this was merely a dilettante hobby for a famous actress have started to subside, together with the sniggers suggesting that she couldn’t possibly be as talented a rock chic as actress.
S. Magazine’s wittly entitled ‘Air Raid Siren Song’ feature on Juliette Lewis in the current issue is a nifty little achievement. Nick Haramis’ interview provides the space for us to catch up with Ms Lewis in a conversational way while Mark Squires’ beautiful photos, styled by Marina Toybina offer a beautiful accompaniment, partly an exercise in portraiture, partly a fashion shoot inspired by the persona of the performer herself. Definitely worthy of being an editorial of the month.