Sweet Sexpot Pie
Natasha Lyonne talks about KISS and her new film

At 9 a.m. on a Sunday, Natasha Lyonne would rather be in bed. Lyonne -- who urges high school classmates to have sex in American Pie and loses her virginity in Slums of Beverly Hills -- admits she's been out until 5 a.m. at an "amazing" Black Sabbath concert with her boyfriend, actor Edward Furlong.

See also...
... by Cordelia Arnold
... in the Dirt section
... from August 11, 1999

But, with a pack of Marlboro Lights at her side, she rides the publicity juggernaut to drum up interest in her new film, Detroit Rock City. In it she plays Christine, a truculent, disco-loving chick who meets up with four wanna-be rockers (one played by Eddie Furlong) who'll stop at nothing to scam their way into a sold-out KISS concert.

GETTINGIT: There's already talk about a sequel to American Pie. Would you ever be interested in recreating your character Jessica?

NATASHA LYONNE: Yeah, man, it could be funny. It would be funny, actually, if maybe she's become a therapist or something, and she's just sitting there giving people all this really bad advice. Someone told me they thought at the end it was going to be revealed that Jessica was a virgin and, in thinking about that, I think that would have been a really cool idea. So maybe in the second [movie], we could find out that she's 32 now and a virgin and she's never lost it, but she's giving all this sex advice.

GI: You've played a number of risqué roles in which characters deal with their sexuality. What do you look for in the roles you choose?

NL: I just turned 20, so I'm not really that stuck in the characters I want to play and the ideas I have for what works. Most movies that I get sent to me suck, so the choices are already so instantly smaller because there's not that many decent things out there. Then it's just kind of whatever inspires me in the moment.

GI: So we hear you're now a big KISS fan because of Detroit Rock City.

NL: Yeah. I was before this also. I had a bunch of their CDs and a KISS T-shirt and pendant. That's why I was so excited to do [Detroit Rock City]. To bring that classic song ["Christine Sixteen"] to life.

GI: What appealed to you about the role?

NL: At the most basic level, it's given me a chance to be a part of rock 'n' roll KISS history, right? Then, on the other hand, the script is jam-packed and so is the movie. [Christine's] character, in particular, just really popped off the page to me. I always thought it would be kinda funny to play a character that was like that -- the wise-cracking, spitfire, brassy disco chick with tons of makeup and stuff.

GI: Have you ever snuck into a concert?

NL: Well last night [at the Black Sabbath concert], basically what happened was, at first I didn't have a ticket. Jimmy [Rock City costar James DeBello] and Eddie had tickets. Then they got me in, but we were all on the field and there's 50,000 people at this concert and probably 40,000 of them are on the field. It was getting a little intense being an open space like that so we ended up sneaking into ourseats.

Then, Jimmy disappeared for an hour, and we figured he must have gotten his ass kicked or something, and then he comes back with a porn star and VIP passes. The next thing we know, we're in the front row. Then suddenly, we're backstage and the guy from White Zombie's like, "Oh, Eddie," and pulls us into the tent. Then, the next thing I know, we met Ozzy Osbourne. So that was kinda Detroit Rock Cityish.

GI: Was it difficult growing up and doing Pee-Wee's Playhouse? [At age 6, she became Opal on the kids' show.]

NL: It was pretty easy then -- no big deal or anything. It was like a hobby. I don't think I even realized I was on camera except every Saturday morning I could watch myself on TV all of a sudden.

GI: Do you keep in touch with Paul Reubens?

NL: We ran into each other about a year ago and he picked me up and started spinning me around saying "Opal O! Opal O!" Then he gave me his little orange Paul Reubens business card -- it's neon orange with his phone number and his name. Then we went out to dinner, and now he sends me Christmas cards and things like that.

GI: Can you tell us about your latest flicks?

NL: There's two independent movies that I've done that are going to go through the festivals first. They're polar opposites and they've got nothing to do with anything I've played [before]. In Confessions of a Trick Baby, I play this crazy killer convict who's bulimic and in the other one, But I'm a Cheerleader, I play this Christian cheerleader whose parents do an intervention and decide to send her to a rehab where she falls in love and becomes gay and she's really naive and really peppy.

GI: What's it like when you get recognition from your peers now?

NL: I don't really feel it that much. If someone says, "Here, can you sign this?" I kind of sign it and look at them like they're really strange, like "Why? What are you going to do with it, man? It's not going anywhere. It's not worth anything. What are you going to do, masturbate to my signature?"

Cordelia Arnold covers Hollywood when celebrities deign to be uncovered. She spends her spare time avoiding movie stars and trying to be real.