Category: Photoshoots

Lola Kirke Is Finding Her Voice

   

Lola Kirke grew up in a world where everyone was famous and everyone made art. She also grew up in a world where rock music was made by men. These two facets of her unique childhood have shaped the path of her young but already remarkable life as an artist — and the order of the hyphens that precede her name.

The actress-turned-singer was born in London and raised in New York City music and fashion circles by her father, Simon Kirke, the drummer of English supergroup Bad Company, and her mother Lorraine Kirke, designer and owner of cult West Village boutique Geminola. Surrounded by artists as an adolescent, pursuing acting seemed natural to Lola, the youngest of the multi-talented Kirke brood who watched her sisters, actress Jemimah (of Girls fame) and doula-musician Domino go on to creative careers.

Kirke started acting when she was 10, attended Bard College, and had a breakout year in 2014 when she made her debut in Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle co-starring as Hailey Rutledge, an aspiring classical oboist opposite Gael García Bernal, scored a role in David Fincher’s Gone Girl (as motel rat Greta, who befriends and then robs Amy), and was cast in Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s hilarious dramedy Mistress America.

“I only knew a world where music was dominated by men, and women had a very specific role as wives and girlfriends and daughters.”

The world of acting was one she entered with relative ease and didn’t doubt her place in. Music, however, which she’d been introduced to through a childhood on the peripheries of the hyper-masculine ’70s British rock scene via her father’s career, felt unwelcoming. “I started acting both professionally and as a hobby long before I dared to pick up an instrument or start writing songs,” she says. “I only knew a world where music was dominated by men, and women had a very specific role as wives and girlfriends and daughters.

It has taken the 28-year-old years and the discovery of a group of female musician peers to wrest herself from the role of “daughter of a rock star” — to carve out a space in music aside from the leather pants, pelvic thrusting, groupies and “baby, baby” lyrics of her father’s world, where she could see herself.

It’s a testament to the insidiously pervasive power of male-dominated, often-misogynistic rock culture, that a girl like Lola Kirke could grow up around such an abundance of female artist role models, and still feel that rock music was a boy’s birthright. “I was always intimidated to explore my own capabilities as a musician because of those roles that I saw,” she says.

One day in her early twenties, however, Kirke got her heart broken so badly that she didn’t have a choice but to start writing songs, and decided that, instead of leaving it up to either boyfriends or male musicians to save her, “I was gonna be the boy that I wanted to love me… And I started writing the songs I wanted to hear.

That was it. Kirke made time in her acting schedule to write and record. In 2016, she released her debut EP, EP via Spirit House Records: a hazy, melancholic four-song country-rock collection full of jangly guitars and aerial strings that evokes dusty California highways, rings with the wistful, lyrically vivid tones of Gram Parsons’ cosmic American, and recalls the warm, floating vocals of Bedouine (who Kirke cites as a favorite act today).

Now, she’s getting ready to release her first full length album, Heart Head West, set for release on August 10 via Downtown Records. Kirke has teased us through a couple of tastes this fall and summer — her mournful, self-probing love letter to a struggling friend “Monster,” and exploration of the limits placed on womanhood, “Supposed To.”

Today, she’s released a third single, “Sexy Song” — a warm, slow-building rumination on her relationship to her body, desire and self-worth that’s as sonically lovely as it is thematically rebellious. In the stunningly choreographed video, Kirke explores, caresses, manipulates, inspects and abuses her body: posing seductively then picking her own nose, running her hands down her hips, and then sticking her fingers down her throat, as real iPhone selfies glitch across the screen. The song and video capture both the volatility that often defines women’s relationships to their own bodies and sexualities, and the triumphant pleasure of reaching a truce with your body and desire. Although it peaks in declarations of hard-won self-love, as she decides on the chorus with an audible glint in her eye, “if you won’t love me tonight, I guess I’ll love me tonight,” it’s the kind of empowerment anthem that’s more interested in the messy, chaotic process, than the shiny end-result.

Full article: papermag.com

Lola Kirke on cultivating her own voice in the world

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Lola Kirke is many things – musician, actor, producer, activist, and one of our NO.16 cover stars out in May. Kirke grew up in a household full of creatives (you may recognize her sister Jemima on HBO’s hit series Girls, or her father Simon Kirke, former drummer of Bad Company), and through that experience, she cultivated her own voice.

And now, she’s using it to better the entertainment industry in a plethora of projects. Mozart In The Jungle the long-running series in which she stars, has been received with critical acclaim, her forthcoming thriller Gemini, which stars Kirke and Zoe Kravitz, is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Kirke’s most recent project Active Adults, a love story of sorts that parallels her character Lily and her partner Malcolm’s lives to those of his grandparents’. The film tracks the couples, who are each grappling with similar questions about love, life, and identity.

As a woman in Trump’s America, an actress in Hollywood who is ready for the time to be up, and a vocal political ingenue Kirke thinks we can all be doing more.

How do you think the struggles of Malcolm and Lily’s generation differ from that of their grandparents’? How are they similar?
I think we live in a time and a society where people get to grow up a lot later. 30 is the new 20 and even that is still a young age to get married or have babies. There’s so much freedom and choice now but that can actually be a bit paralyzing.

Why do you think it’s so hard for young people to “make it” in New York (or any city)?
It seems like there’s an inflation of art and industry nowadays. On the one hand, it’s easier than ever to make your own content but on the other, there’s so much content that it can be hard to break through. Also, I feel like people typically “make it” in hyperspace on the internet instead of in actual spaces like New York City.

What does success, or “making it”, mean to you?
Success to me means being seen and heard and making other people feel that way too.

In the film, Lily feels pressure to return to the city and pursue lofty achievements, while Malcolm is content to remain in his grandfather’s community. Do you think this pressure is something most post-grads feel?
I think capitalistic culture breeds this idea that we aren’t good enough until we achieve something of great merit. So yes, I imagine a lot of young people feel a sense of urgency to prove themselves in the world. I certainly did. But I’ve always been like that. So maybe it’s not capitalism, maybe it’s just a kind of spirit.

What surprised you most about making this film?
What surprised me about making this film was essential that we could make it! It’s the only feature film I’ve ever produced so that was a real feat.

What’s the most important thing we can learn from the generations before us?
My grandpa once told me I didn’t have to take everything so seriously. I liked that.

Are there any women in the industry that you look up to who are at the forefront of this kind of change?
I love Lady Bird, I think that’s fucking great. There are lots of beautiful women filmmakers. I love the movie Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven. I just want women to make whatever kind of films they want to make. And I think we need to make different kinds of films. I don’t see that many movies that are pushing cinema forward. I see a lot of movies that are keeping it exactly where it is. I think we need new voices.

It’s a pretty strange time in the industry. What’s been your biggest challenge?
I see how much being a woman does provide a problem in this industry. I mean, I think it does in all of the industries. I think it’s still very hard for women to get their films made.

There’s this quote by Susan Howe quote that says something to the effect of: “Why would I seek to align myself with the very systems of power that have shut me down?”
I’m all for equal pay, but I think that there’s a way in which we need to expand our idea of what it means to be a powerful woman, rather than it just meaning being an executive at a film company. I would like to see the industry change more than it’s pretending to right now.

Look out for the full interview in our MAY print issue, NO.16 “VOICES”.

Source: ladygunn.com

Lola Kirke Would Really Like You To Give A Damn (Ahem, Taylor Swift)

Lola Kirke cares. This is the immediate impression one receives talking to the 26-year-old multi-hyphenate. She cares about upending the “vapid culture” of celebrity. She cares about using her platform to funnel goodness into the world. She cares about making movies with her friend and collaborator Zia Anger. She cares about her music (which she describes as “country-inspired rock and folk”). She cares about being serious and silly, often at the same time.
Most recently, you can see her particular brand of giving a damn in Gemini, a slick, jazzy caper about a personal assistant who transforms into an amateur detective after discovering a dead body. Set in the heart of Hollywood, the film is essentially a contemporary, female-driven take on The Fugitive: The story of a woman tasked with proving her innocence.
The film made its world premiere at SXSW, where Kirke is also doing a set. When she sat down with Vogue in Austin, Kirke opened up about how she navigates Los Angeles, her reluctance to call herself an artist, and why, in 2017, celebrities have a responsibility to speak up about politics.

Considering Gemini is so deeply rooted in Los Angeles, what did you make of the city after graduating from Bard in 2012 and living in New York?
When I first started going out there for work, I was like, “What the fuck is this stupid town?” But I think when I moved to [Los Angeles], I was just excited that it was sunny all the time. Then when it rained for like a week, I was just miserably depressed. What I realized is that L.A. is one rhythm, and it’s your rhythm. You’re in your car, it’s your house, it’s one weather.

You can make it as busy or as not busy as you want.
Exactly. But what I love about New York is how demanding it is of you. You are constantly being asked to adapt—or forced to adapt—to all these different rhythms that are going on around you. As an artist—and I’m not saying myself as an artist, but in general for artists—it’s really important to know what rhythm is and to experience different rhythms and experience a variety of things. In that way, I lean towards the reality of New York more than L.A. But, whatever, I also really fucking love doing things on my terms.

You’re doing a lot these days. Do you have a personal assistant?
No, I fucking wish I had a personal assistant. Full disclosure: I had a personal assistant for a week and it was amazing, but I’m a control freak and deep type-A personality, so I actually spent so much time designing the schedule of my personal assistant that I may as well have done it myself.

Do you often think about career goals and such?
I think that it’s hard not to. I just want to make really good work, and I want to do the best work that I can possibly do as an actor. I think I spent a long time being really embarrassed that I was an actor, which is weird because . . .

I still sense some of that.
In me?

A little, yeah. Earlier you didn’t want to categorize yourself as an artist.
Because it’s weird! I don’t like the “as a [blank]” way of introducing a sentence.

Too self-aggrandizing . . .
Right. I think there’s some trepidation about defining myself as an artist. You have to be accountable as an artist. You can’t just say, “I’m a fucking artist.” But I think as an actor, I’m just beginning to feel excited. Like it’s a really worthy contribution to the world.

Do you find the self-promotional part of this to be difficult?
Yes and no, but it’s so normalized, right? I mean, on Instagram everybody is selling themselves all the time. I don’t mind talking about myself. I’ve been in therapy since I was ten years old, so I’m kind of used to it.

Ten! As a public figure, do you think you have a responsibility to talk publicly about politics?
I mean, in this fucking day and age, yeah, I do. For me, it’s really important to elevate voices and causes that don’t get as much attention with whatever attention I get. I totally understand why some people won’t do that; I definitely think that there are certain celebrities who really could offer more help to grassroots movements with their power—and don’t.

People with a huge platform.
Yeah, like Taylor fucking Swift, who may as well have voted for Trump, as far as I’m concerned, by not doing anything.

I’m still baffled about Tom Brady, too.
I think that the age of celebrity is so confusing and weird, and everyone is a celebrity, and everyone has this weird power that they got because they know how to take a picture of themselves.

Are you good at that, by the way?
Eh. After like 40 tries, yeah, I’ll get one or two good ones. I think it’s a vapid culture, but we can do something profound with these outlets and platforms. You can imbue everything you’re doing with meaning. I believe that life is meaningful and I believe there are things that are important that are not getting the attention that they deserve.
It’s pretty clear right now that there’s a lot surrounding reproductive rights that is pretty insane. Environmental issues . . . I don’t even know where to begin on that one. Basically, human rights at large are in jeopardy, and as somebody that is part of celebrity culture, I would rather not be an agent in detracting from that attention. I would rather not be part of the smokescreen that makes everybody think, “Eh, it’s fine,” because it’s not fine.
I feel a lot of gratitude, and gratitude to me is the shortcut to happiness.

Oh, good line. Is that yours?
[Laughs] Yep. I’m kind of like a poet. I’m kind of a big deal.

Source: vogue.com

‘Mozart In the Jungle’ Star Lola Kirke Shares Her Favorite NYC Record Stores, Music Venues & More

  

Lola Kirke’s Concrete ‘Jungle’
As Mozart in the Jungle continues to hit the right notes with fans and critics, its 26-year-old star Lola Kirke takes Billboard to her real-life Big Apple haunts.

The Manhattan native and current Los Angeles resident, photographed Dec. 28, 2016, in New York, is the daughter of 67-year-old drummer Simon Kirke (Free, Bad Company) and younger sister of Girls star Jemima Kirke, 31.

SUNY
Lola Kirke as Hailey Rutledge in Mozart. The show’s symphony scenes are filmed at the State University of New York in Purchase.

A1 Record Shop, 439 E. Sixth St.
Growing up in the West Village, Kirke frequented Bleecker Bob’s and Bleecker Street Records, but A1 — its ceiling quilted with album covers — is her go-to “for vinyl LPs,” she says. “I don’t buy CDs, but does anyone anymore?

Avenue D
Kirke once ran into Mozart co-star Gael Garcia Bernal in Alphabet City while she was jogging: “I see this gaggle of dudes kicking a soccer ball around in the middle of the street, and I get closer, and it’s Gael,” she says. “He’s kind to everyone, and so brave with his choices.

TR Crandall Guitars, 179 E. Third St.
The specialty shop is co-owned by Kirke’s pal Alex Whitman. “I feel like an idiot every time I go there … I never know what I’m looking at,” says Kirke, who started playing guitar at age 20.

C’mon Everybody, 325 Franklin Ave.
Kirke used to attend music shows “wherever young assholes go” in New York. This Bed-Stuy cocktail lounge, with a performance space that nods to ’70s Manhattan, is her current must-visit.

Lincoln Center
Kirke admits she only recently fell in love with the uptown performing-arts complex that features prominently on the show. “This past season of Mozart gave me a great window into opera,” she says. “I’ve been enjoying listening to it, especially with breakfast. It’s very decadent.

Source: billboard.com

 

W Magazine Celebrates Best Performances Portfolio & Golden Globes With Audi

 

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