Lola Kirke Vault

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Lola Kirke Has Some Opinions About Social Media She’d Like to Share

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Lola Kirke, the musician and actress from New York City, is running around her Manhattan apartment, gathering her phone, her keys, and making sure she hasn’t forgotten anything, because she won’t be back home for the rest of the day. The 29-year-old has packed her schedule for the next 12 hours to the walls: lunch; then a visit to the smoking hypnotist, who’s responsible for her quitting cigarettes a few days prior and whom she swears by; then, a massage with “a guy who rings bells over my body,” she explains, and finally, dinner at one of her favorite restaurants, Frankie’s 457.

For her, this is a rare day off. A break before the release of her latest music video, for the song Win It, off of her latest EP Friends and Foes and Friends Again, and then a visit to Park City, Utah—where her latest film, “Lost Girls,” premieres at Sundance tonight.

The decor of her apartment, at least, suggests a sort of calm. It isn’t renovated, dorm-like, or minimally decorated like popular interior design Instagram accounts suggest a celebrity’s house should be—it’s got original wooden floors, patterned wallpaper, and all the markings of a lived-in place that’s her own. Her shelves are stacked with records and books—on the record player, which sits front and center in the living room, Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road spins and spins for infinity, having reached the end of the album. A guitar and a mandolin line the opposite wall, which has a large amp propped up against it, labeled in hot pink tape “Lola.” There are palo santo sticks everywhere.

She’s also made a home in the neighborhood. She greets a friend she knows who’s working at the door at a nearby restaurant, then remarks on how beautiful the pancakes look. Although Kirke has a famous family (her sister is Jemima Kirke, her other sister, Domino, is married to Penn Badgley, her father is the drummer Simon Kirke, etc. etc.), and a lengthy résumé of her own, (a starring role on the Amazon hit Mozart in the Jungle, a part in Gone Girl,) she isn’t snobbish or condescending. She speaks to people lovingly, and levels with them. She visibly enjoys making them laugh. Kirke is eloquent and well-read, pedigreed in her speech, but she talks quickly, furiously, as though her ideas and the metaphors she uses to encapsulate them are ones she’s mulled deeply for months, and she can’t get them out fast enough. Sometimes, however, she is measured in the way she talks, the words she chooses. She demonstrates this when talking about the current state of artistry, which she has said in the past depresses her: all the ego of social media, the lack of general interest aspiring artists seem to have in becoming technically strong or learned in their particular forms.

“I am a little saddened,” Kirke says slowly, “about how the byproduct of films is becoming more important than the product itself. It’s great to have the opportunity to go to Sundance and to be in films that get to go. I’m really grateful for that. I just am scared about the trajectory of cinema and acting and everything as a whole.

She thinks about this a lot, she says, ripping off a piece of pita and dunking it into the dish of labneh, then pressing the bread into her mouth. It grazes a strand of her hair on the way, and leaves a dot of white yogurt. But to combat these feelings on the industry, she plunges herself into the work, hoping that her pursuit of technical excellence will inspire others in some way.

When cast in a new role, Kirke says she wholly dives into the character—and for “Lost Girls,” the film based on a true story of murdered sex workers whose bodies were uncovered in Long Island, N.Y., she read the book of the same name by journalist Robert Kolker, then consulted her friends who were more familiar with sex work. Director Liz Garbus gave her space to expand on the real-life woman she played—a family member of one of the women murdered.

I wanted to have a more nuanced, exciting portrayal of a sex worker who could really be anyone,” she explains. “I just felt like we had an opportunity to change the perspective a little bit on who does this kind of work and why. For me, the pathology of somebody who does that is that they want bigger things for themselves. And they want their life to be more vast and wide-reaching and colorful.

Full Interview:

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Steve Buscemi, Lola Kirke, Chris Messina Join ‘Three Sisters’ Ensemble

Tony Award winner Sam Gold will direct the new Chekhov adaptation by Clare Barron, with previously announced stars Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac.
Steve Buscemi will make a rare return to the New York stage this spring, playing Chebutykin opposite previously announced leads Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac in a major off-Broadway production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters.

Buscemi’s last theater appearance was alongside Al Pacino in a 2002 staging of Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.

Also joining the revival of Chekhov’s classic tragicomedy of yearning and dissatisfaction, which stars Gerwig as Masha and Isaac as Vershinin, are Quincy Tyler Bernstine as Olga, Emily Davis as Natasha, Michael Benjamin Hernandez as Fedotik, John Christopher Jones as Ferapont, Lola Kirke as Irina, Anthony Michael Lopez as Rodhe, Matthew Maher as Tuzenbach, Chris Messina as Solyony, Aaron Clifton Moten as Andrei, Ben Sinclair as Kulygin and Virginia Wing as Anfisa.

The production will mark director Sam Gold’s return to New York Theatre Workshop, where he staged a revelatory Othello in 2016, reset in a contemporary war zone, that starred Daniel Craig, David Oyelowo, Rachel Brosnahan and Finn Wittrock. That limited-engagement production became one of the season’s hottest tickets, as Three Sisters is expected to be.

The project also represents a reunion for Gold with both Isaac, whom he directed in Hamlet in 2017, and Gerwig, who starred in his production of Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike in 2014.

Gold won a Tony Award in 2015 for best direction of a musical with Fun Home. Among his many off-Broadway successes was a 2012 intimate modern-dress staging of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, adapted by frequent collaborator Annie Baker.

Three Sisters will be presented in a new version by gifted playwright Clare Barron, a finalist last year for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama with her unorthodox exploration of preteen female experience, Dance Nation, which also won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

The design team on Three Sisters features sets by Andrew Lieberman and Brett J. Banakis, costumes by Clint Ramos, lighting by Jane Cox and sound by Mikaal Sulaiman. The production begins previews May 13 at NYTW ahead of a June 1 official opening, in a limited run scheduled through July 12.

Currently running through March 29 at NYTW is Celine Song’s Endlings, while the company’s production of Sanctuary City, the new play from Cost of Living Pulitzer winner Martyna Majok, begins performances March 4 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. NYTW also is represented on Broadway by 2019 best musical Tony winner Hadestown, and by the upcoming transfer of Sing Street.