Juliette Lewis (born June 21, 1973) is an Oscar nominated American actress and musician.
Juliette Lewis was born in Los Angeles, California. Her father is actor Geoffrey Lewis and her mother a graphic designer. She wanted to act since she was six years old, and got her start in TV at the age of twelve. She has appeared in over forty films and made-for-TV movies. She has also appeared in a GAP commercial which she was dancing with Daft Punk to the tune of the song "Digital Love".
Juliette Lewis dated actor
Brad Pitt for several
years and co-starred with him in the movies Kalifornia and Too Young to Die?.
Juliette Lewis was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1992 for Cape Fear. She received an Emmy nomination for her performance in My Louisiana Sky in 2001.
Lewis has also launched a career as a solo singer and musician, leading a group called Juliette and the Licks which has released a number of recordings. She is working with rock songwriter Linda Perry, among others.
Lewis has also appeared on two tracks by techno group The Prodigy's 2004 cd Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned.
As of 2005, Lewis is one of sixteen stars who had been Punk'd by Kutcher or his crew members but refused to air it on MTV.
Anxious to get on with her acting career, precocious Juliette Lewis dropped out
of high school at age 14, passed a proficiency course and became an emancipated
minor a year later, unbound by child labor laws. Despite having no training, she
had already landed daughter roles in the Showtime miniseries "Home Fires" (1987)
and the ABC series "I Married Dora" (1987-88), and though she would return as a
series regular in "A Family For Joe" (NBC, 1990), starring Robert Mitchum, she
found sitcoms constraining, resenting her directors' insistence that she do
nothing with her hands while standing stiffly, geared for the punchline. The
TV-movie "Too Young to Die?" (NBC, 1990), which teamed her with longtime love
Brad Pitt, provided a sample of the dramatic work to come, casting her
as 15-year-old facing the death penalty for murder, but her feature debut as
Chevy Chase's daughter in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989)
confined her to emotional territory very much in keeping with the sitcoms she
Juliette Lewis' breakout role as the thumb-sucking nymphet struggling for independence from her warring parents in Martin Scorsese's remake of "Cape Fear" (1991) rescued her from sitcom purgatory and earned her an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress. Her sensuous scenes with a psychotic killer (played by Robert De Niro) were the sensation of the movie, and Lewis' small, brightly piercing eyes and pouty mouth suggested a waifish but free-spirited and s--ually--indeed, sometimes dangerously--provocative young woman questing for answers and emotional fulfillment, shattering any notion that she would ever be sitcom fodder again. She stepped in for Emily Lloyd as the college student who becomes involved with her professor in Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives" (1992), sympathetically essaying the would-be "other woman" role in a film whose story of a crumbling marriage and the husband's affair with a much younger woman mirrored the Allen-Mia Farrow breakup.
Expanding on her child-woman of "Cape Fear", Juliette Lewis began her "psychotic waif" period as Gary Oldman's peroxide blonde moll in Peter Medak's hopped-up contemporary film noir "Romeo Is Bleeding" (1993) and adopted a horrifically hilarious spastic laugh and adolescent gawkiness for that year's "Kalifornia". On the road with homicidal partner Pitt and yuppies David Duchovny and Michelle Forbes, her clueless trailer-park Lolita was a perfect "enabler" for Pitt's serial killer. Back on the road for "Natural Born Killers" (1994), more closely matched in sociopathic tendencies with fellow love-thug Woody Harrelson as they terrorized the Southwest on their killing spree, she captured the frighteningly odd emptiness of her character's moral inattention. Tucked amidst these on-the-edge roles was an atypically sweet, reflective turn with Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio in the offbeat "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (also 1993), but a reteaming with DiCaprio in "Basketball Diaries" (1995) returned her to familiar low-life terrain as a scuzzy hooker.
Unfortunately, the fast pace of Juliette Lewis' personal life was mimicking her out-of-control onscreen reality, and she could no longer hide her drug addiction by the time "The Evening Star" (1996) required her life-imitating-art portrayal of a substance abuser. Taking an 18-month hiatus from movies, she cleaned herself out with the help of Scientology and returned to pictures in the independent film "Some Girls" (1998), acting for the first time with Giovanni Ribisi. Her next project was Garry Marshall's much more ambitious "The Other Sister" (1999), which starred her opposite Ribisi as a mentally-challenged female coming of age s--ually. Though many critics objected to the picture's sitcom-like script, Lewis had chosen it for the compelling parallels between the life of her character (who had spent an extended period in an institution) and her own life as both were reentering the world after an absence. Opinion varied regarding her performance, but no one could deny the risk she took in taking the part or that she was completely honest in its creation.
Juliette Lewis was featured in some lighter fare, as a tough New Jersey girl in the 1980s period piece "Hysterical Blindness" (2002), the HBO original movie co-starred Emmy nominee Gena Rowlands and Golden Globe recipient Uma Thurman. She was next seen in the thriller "Enough" (2002), which starred Jennifer Lopez as an abused wife and mother who with the help of Lewis' character tries unsuccessfully to escape her abusive husband (played by Billy Campbell). Thier bootless attempts result in a plot for Lopez to kill her abuser. Then, the following year, Lewis took the turn from serious to comical when she was cast as the girlfriend of Luke Wilson's character in the hilarious feature, "Old School" (2003), a raucous comedy about a trio of thirtysomething buddies who try to recapture their college years by starting their own off-campus fraternity.
This Juliette Lewis Biography Page is Copyright Biography World © 2004 - 2010