Juliette Lewis: ‘I quit all my bullsh-t at 22. Get out of the past’

Juliette Lewis

Much has been made of the McConaussance and rightfully so. At the same time, there’s a woman who has been quietly executing her own return to the acting spotlight. I’m talking about Juliette Lewis, who has spent the better part of this decade rolling around onstage like a rock ‘n’ roll madwoman. Her music is okay. She really needs a better band (and she’s been through a few of them). I really think her strength is as a marvelous character actress, but she’s been in some dreadful movies over the years. I vividly remember one where she waded through a room full of packing corn while some serial killer taunted her with raw meat and swarms of flies.

Thank goodness that’s all over. Juliette returned with a supporting turn in August: Osage County, and she has some new movies showing at SXSW. She wants to escape her past reputation as a wild child and the ex-girlfriend of Brad Pitt. That’s what most people know about her: she wore cornrows while dating Brad and dabbled in drugs. Now that she’s turning 40, Juliette is ready to overcome the gossip that has followed her for half her life. Although she admits that dating Brad has given her a great deal of press. At least she’s honest:

Juliette Lewis is at a turning point.

Admitting that most past news coverage about her was “usually about Brad Pitt or drug addiction, which hasn’t been me since I was 22,” she says, “I’m 40. I quit all my bullsh-t at 22. There is growth. Get out of the past.”

At present, Lewis has two films at the SXSW arts fest in Austin: Kelly & Cat, which Variety in its review called an “inspired match-up of underserved veteran Juliette Lewis and breakout newcomer Jonny Weston,” and writer-director Kat Candler’s darkly emotional Hellion, which premiered Sunday and costars Josh Wiggins as a struggling teenager and Aaron Paul as his father.

“I like doing roles that are rooted, where the character has a history and a range of emotion,” says Lewis, who, as a young actress shot to fame with roles in the critically acclaimed What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Cape Fear and Natural Born Killers.

Off-screen she was causing excitement, too – being chased by paparazzi during her relationships with both Pitt and Johnny Depp.

But that was then. Lewis says turning 40 is about expressing herself. “I used to be really insular, really introverted, spoke very little words,” she says. “I couldn’t articulate myself.”

That means not only expressing herself with her screen work, but in the recording studio. After her turns in the Oscar-nominated August: Osage County and the ABC series Secrets & Lies with Ryan Phillippe, Lewis is also preparing her new album, her fifth and her most recent since 2009’s Terra Incognita.

“I took five years off of movies, just making music and touring,” she says. “I am mid-life, and this is a new chapter for me.”

[From People]

I gotta point out that Juliette still has plenty of “bullsh-t” in her life in the form of Scientology. She still seems like one of the more normal celeb members (which isn’t saying much, I know). I remember hearing stories of her proselytizing on movie sets (she also tried to recruit Brad into the fold), but that was many years ago too. She’s toned it down a lot. Juliette is ready to be an actress again. As long as she sticks to her craft, Hollywood will be better for it.

Juliette Lewis

Photos courtesy of WENN

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42 Responses to “Juliette Lewis: ‘I quit all my bullsh-t at 22. Get out of the past’”

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  1. gg says:

    Dear J: Ditch the co$ and you will get GREAT press and be a hero.

  2. SayWhat? says:

    At least she isn’t holding on tight on anybody’s coat tail…

  3. mimif says:

    She looks great here.

  4. aims says:

    Love her. I saw a clip of hers on you tube, It’s called “stupid sh*t girls say”. It was hilarious. I agree with the others, just get her out of co$ and she’d be set.

  5. fluffyrabbit says:

    She can leave her wild days behind her all she wants but as long as she is in the cult of CO$, I have zero respect for her. I have always loved her as an actress but she and the rest of Hollywood that are brainwashed by CO$ are not people that I take seriously about anything.

  6. Sullivan says:

    She’s growing on me. I like her in spite of the CoS, which surprises me a bit. She’s funny, talented, and she’s gotten prettier with age. She looks great in the red dress.

  7. lunchcoma says:

    I’ll still give her the side eye for being a Scientologist, but I can sympathize with her not wanting to be judged entirely on her actions 18 years ago. I never hear about any shenanigans from her, so I’m inclined to believe that’s all in the past.

    • Green Girl says:

      Same here, Lunchccoma. Speaking for myself, I hate when someone brings up some stupid thing I said or did when I was 15. It’s like “That was a loooong time ago, buddy. I’m not that person anymore.” It’s frustrating because it seems like people still want to see you as that stupid person from years ago.

    • MaiGirl says:

      I agree. I love her acting, and her music, while not my thing, is decent, and she is passionate about it. Also, she is aging extremely well (not that it matters, but it’s still impressive). Scientology is a dangerous cult, but it did help her get off drugs, so I can sort of understand her loyalty. Also, she’s a celebrity, and their bread and butter is catering to celebrities, so she has probably not seen too many downsides of COS personally. Doesn’t excuse her participation, but I do sort of get it.

  8. Damn. I forgot about her Scio beliefs..I still really love her though.

  9. ToodySezHey says:

    And just to hijack the thread topic a little bit……..

    Juliette Lewis is one of the reasons why I never understood why Brad and Jen ever happened.

    Think of all Pitt’s pieces. All his women had some sort of edge, or had some singular type of energy about them. All his women had this aura of strength, almost an air of disdain and superiority- or maybe not even superiority, just of…aloofness, or unattainability. And nearly all of them have a serious case of DGAF about them.

    Even going back to the 80-‘s and his old pieces like Sinitta( former Simon Cowell protege/lover), Robin Givens, , Then he gets with Juliette Lewis, briefly dates Thandie Newton and then on to Gwenyth( and Juliette Lewis said in interviews that she already knew Gwen was the type of gal Pitt could fall for when they got cast in Se7en).

    Im just saying, all his women had a certain *something* about them, an ‘it’ quality that I never felt like JA had or has.

    Which is why I always felt like JA was the rebound, and Brad Pitt made the classic mistake…never marry the rebound. The rebound is the safe option after the person/type you really go for smashes your heart. Then you go for the opposite of your type which is ‘safe’ but then 5 years on you are bored out of your skull and wonder why. And no, this opinion isnt merely based on BP’s experience but just life experience.

    Time and again, the same qualities that draw one to the rebound after a rough breakup are ultimately the same qualities that after the heartbreak fades…bore you to tears. Think of the things Brad has said about himself at that time ‘in a rut’, ‘bored’. You will never convince me that that relationship, for his part at least, was totally a rebound situation that just ran its course. Not to say he didnt care for her or wasnt ever in love with JA, but that ultimately, they werent compatible in a way that sustains a long term romantic, passionate relationship.

    But anyway, back to the thread topic, glad to see J-Lew doing good work again and less rolling around on stage.

    Although, EYE want to see a double billing show of J-Lew and 30 Seconds to Mars…the fuggary levels will be off the chains!

    • MaiGirl says:

      Wow, Toody, you sure convinced me! I still think there were some jacked up shenanigans with Jolie that weren’t exactly honorable in terms of overlapping timelines, but I really think you are right about Jen being a rebound. It is a “one of these things is not like the other” in terms of his other exes and Jen.

    • lenje says:

      Kudos to you for being able to picture the situation of the Pitt-Aniston, without the unnecessary retorting.

    • Teri says:

      I wouldn’t say Jennifer was a rebound at all. He and Goop had spilt well over a year before he became involved with her. I think out of all his exes Aniston was the most like his mother in looks and personality (pull up a picture of Jane Pitt with Jennifer Aniston and they look like they could be mother and daughter), men always marry their mothers even though this marriage didn’t last.

      • ToodySezHey says:

        If you have truly and deeply been in love with someone, a year is nothing in terms of how long it really takes you to get over them,

        And in terms of Jen being like his moms…again I say, of all the Pitt kids, he was the rebel and wild child, and none of his other exes had the qualities of Jen…just saying.

    • LL2 says:


      Bravo! You done a great job of putting into words what I have always thought for a long time. I remember hearing about Brad and Jen for the first time and thinking what he is doing with her? Nothing against Jen. I actually kind of like her but they just felt so wrong together. I eventually got caught up in the Brad & Jen fantasy when they got married and wanted to believe it would work out. But seeing him with Angelina in 2005 made me revert to my previous belief that Brad and Jen were so wrong for each other. Jen is a girl next-door/America’s sweetheart kind of girl and Brad had never dated those kind of women prior to Jennifer Aniston.

    • JessMa says:

      Actually she wasn’t a woman when Brad got involved with her, she was a 16 year old girl and he was a man in his late 20’s. I agree with Robin and Angie having edge, but I don’t feel the same way about Gwen and Thandie. Thandie seems lovely, but not edgy. Gwen is probably one of the most boring vanilla actresses in Hollywood. I honestly believe that 90% of the time he just falls for costars like Givens, Davis, Lewis, Paltrow, and Jolie. That is his pattern.

      • ToodySezHey says:

        Gywn may not be ‘edgy’ per se, but the woman definitely is not vanilla.
        And she for damn sure does not have two spare fuggs to give, which seems to be a common trait for the type of women brad dates.

        As for thandie, I agree, she seems sweet., but then again, they dated very briefly after Interview with the Vampire.

        And even if his pattern is dating co stars, Jen still doesnt fit because outside of an episode of Friends, they never worked together, lol.

  10. laura says:

    40….mmm she is born in 1971 but now her birthdate is listed 1973 ( even wikipedia). Funny but in fact she is almost 43.

    • Huh says:

      Good catch.

    • Kim1 says:

      How do you know she was born in 71?

    • mytbean says:

      She looks AMAZING for 40 – much less 43!

      • laura says:

        I know she looks great for 43 and should be proud …I always followed her career and she is born in 1971 as my older sister was born that year too, the same as Winona Ryder …that is why it is stuck in my mind until few years ago when he birth year changed for 1973! but a lot of actors do this and she only changed for two years…

  11. Artemis says:

    I love her acting, she’s so good. I followed her when I was 15 and I sensed that ‘wild’ in her without knowing her background or real-life personality.

    She also killed it with Juliette and the Licks, she’s rock n’ roll! Her CoS affiliation hurts me, I don’t want to hear such nonsense about my fave 🙁

  12. elo says:

    My friend bartends in Austin, she got her wasted on Shinerbock and Tequila last week, she said she was super nice 🙂

  13. Sumodo1 says:

    JLew is prettier now than when she was a fresh-faced girl. Why is that? Her mouth has changed, maybe a nose job. What else? PS, she was incredible in “Natural Born Killers” and it’s a shame that her career tanked after “The Other Sister,” one of the worst movies ever made. I root for Juliette, not CO$.

  14. Huh says:

    She reminds me of Paz. Whatever happened to her? I miss her crazy around here

  15. smee says:

    That red dress looks great on her. That’s all I got.

  16. lucy2 says:

    She looks great. I wasn’t always a fan of her acting work, but if she’s making good choices on her roles, then she should have a nice comeback.

    “a struggling teenager and Aaron Paul as his father.” Say what? Aaron Paul is 30. That seems a bit young to be cast as a teenager’s father.

    • actually..... says:

      aaron paul is 34, and so am i, with a 14 year old. he is not too young to have a teen.

  17. amilu says:

    “I vividly remember one where she waded through a room full of packing corn while some serial killer taunted her with raw meat and swarms of flies.”

    Hahaha. I watched that on cable a few months ago, and you are not wrong. It was TERRIBLE! It was called The 4th Floor.

  18. Emily C. says:

    “Get out of the past” is pure Scientology. LRH had an obsession with being in “present time.”

    I have no respect for any celebrity Scientologist. If/when she leaves the cult, I may be interested in anything else about her.

  19. LOL says:

    SHE needs to get out of the past. She cannot do an interview without mentioning her relationship with Brad Pitt from 800 years ago. Get over it, please. He’s had a bazillion women since then. I never even knew she was with Johnny Depp.

  20. Jenna Zine says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting her after one of her shows – she was incredibly gracious and lovely. We talked about her role in Old School and our mutual love of Will Ferrell. It was awesome! She’s a forever fave of mine.

  21. kim says:

    …”spoke very little words”; “I couldn’t articulate myself.”

    You don’t say.

  22. Amy says:

    Is this the woman who introduced Tom Cruise to Scientology? I always seem to get her mixed up with anotehr woman!