Natasha Lyonne is up for three Emmy’s this Sunday. Her show, Russian Doll, has been nominated for 13 in total. I loved that show and have started paying much more attention to Natasha but I clearly knew nothing about her. Like that she’s been acting since she was six, or that she’s been dating Fred Armisen since 2014 and they met through her friend Maya Rudolph. I also didn’t know Chloë Sevigny has been Natasha’s best friend through thick and thin. By that I mean Natasha’s heroin addiction and tabloid worthy bad behavior that she didn’t shed until court-appointed rehab in 2006. Now that Natasha is 40, she’s back on top and knows what she wants from life. One thing she definitely does not want is a baby.
On people telling her to have kids: Go fuck yourself. Let me live my life. I maintain that one out of 5,000 people should have a child. To me, that would be statistically more sane. It’s not that I’m inherently averse to children, although maybe I am. I admire greatly all my friends who have kids. But one of the great reliefs about turning 40 is people start backing off.
On Aging: I’m keenly aware that I’m getting older. I’m very into it. I’m much happier on this side. I would say the underlying anxiety I experienced around turning 40 is just looming mortality. It’s emboldening me to really do the things I want to do before it’s too late.
On her mother: Chloë happens to be the coolest person in the world—my mother was not. She was a messy person. It was a very meta trip, to be filming the show with Chloë, looking around our stomping grounds, but now all the trailers and signs were for the show I created. And being in the editing room with the footage and watching her with a young version of me was almost a way to forgive my mother.
On the continuation of Russian Doll: There’s so much in that show that’s deeply autobiographical. So it’s very funny to me that people think that’s the whole story.
On holding other women up: The older I get, the more I feel protective over young people—particularly outsider women. I want to tell them there’s not only space for their underlying otherness, but also that, sometimes, what we experience as lows and rejections are because that’s not actually the best outcome. If I’m not this broken person, then I’m suddenly freed up to be much more available to the world.
I like all of what she said here. As you know, I was one of those people who thought a second season of Russian Doll would ruin it but her comments take most of that worry away. The first season was so well done, I should trust the creators when the say the story isn’t finished. And she nailed it with her comments about becoming protective of younger women. That’s so true, isn’t it? The media would have us believe that all women over 35 resent younger women for their youth, but I’ve never felt that. My first reaction is usually to jump in and defend a young woman rather than join in a pile up.
As for her thoughts on kids, again, I agree. Maybe not the 1 in 5,000 part, (although she might be right about the statistics) but about the go eff yourself to those insisting people have kids. I’ve never understood the argument that a person will regret not having kids later in life – how would anyone other than the person deciding possibly know that? If someone says they definitely want kids, they get universally supported. But if a woman says they definitely do not want kids people tell them they’re wrong or making a mistake. After everything Natasha has been through, I really think she knows what she wants from life.
Photo credit: Williams + Hirakawa/Glamour