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Juliette Lewis, star of Kelly & Cal

IFC Films opens Kelly & Cal at the IFC Center on September 5th, 2014.

NYC MOVIE GURU: How challenging is it to find a complex role as a woman?

Juliette Lewis: It's the Holy Grail. Not just a complex role, I also love people who are full of contradictions. I want to play people who are different than myself. I didn't get into filmmaking to play myself onscreen. I also like a good story and diversity--I'm doing Jem and the Holograms and [the TV series pilot] Secrets and Lies. I've built a career of bouncing around from comedy to drama to studio films, so I'm happy when it lands. There are times when there's nothing, and times when you get really good stuff.

NYC MOVIE GURU: Where in the spectrum of optimism vs pesimism are you when it comes to the future of Kelly and her husband's marriage?

JL: When I read the script, I was so judgemental of Kelly. She bothered me because she was so irresponsible. I wanted her to be responsible for her marriage and to communicate and love her baby more. But that's what's exciting. I love when I have that kind of reaction to a character. When it comes to Kelly's marriage, I would say that they tough it out. They would last at least a good 5 years.

NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you feel that the advancement of modern technology is affecting the quality of human relationships?

JL: I don't have technical relationships, for example. When someone can only communicate through email or text, I know that they are socially inept. But, it's not all black-and-white. There are beautiful connections made because of social media. I've connected with graphic artists, painters, street artists, photographers, video directors, costume designers. As for as intimacy, that's still unchanged for me with or without technology. I still want to go on vacations with people, to walk in the park.

NYC MOVIE GURU: At heart, are you a small-town or city girl?

JL: I love small towns. At heart, I'm a small town person. I grew up in Los Angeles, but in suburban Hollywood. A lot of my friends in the valley never left it. I feel at home in small towns. I don't know why. I need the trees and quiet life. I'm a California girl.

NYC MOVIE GURU: Would Kelly & Cal work as a play?

JL: I love this idea! Wow! I need to tell the writer about this.

NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you feel about the abundance of movies that can be turned into video games in our current film industry?

JL: I'm not into video games. How many distractions do we need as human beings? We're breeding consumer addicts. Do you know who maximizes it? Japan. I went to Japan 10 years ago. They go to game rooms where they play video games. It's the most bizarre controlling of the populace.

NYC MOVIE GURU: Which actors or actresses from the Golden Age of American Cinema would you have liked to work with? Which films would you have loved to be in if you lived back then?

JL: Karen Black. She was someone who I'd consider my first teacher. She was like a second mother to me. I knew her since I was a baby. She was friends with my family. I love and miss her dearly. She's always wanted to work with me and I've always wanted to work with her. I would've also liked to work with Anna Magnani. I would've loved to have been in Fellini's movies.

NYC MOVIE GURU: What kind of movie would you want your life to be?

JL: Surrealistic, magical realism films like Fellini's. I'd like to live with fairies live.

NYC MOVIE GURU: How challenging do you think it is to find individualism in today's world?

JL: Some people are really honest and aren't afraid to express their opinions. I've witnessed that. Jonny Weston, [who plays Cal], was his own thing. He's all-present. Some people don't hide behind an artiface. I see it in people, but I find it lacking because today people immitate each other. I see it so much in music and lyrics.

NYC MOVIE GURU: What would make a great double feature with Kelly & Cal?

JL: I don't know if they go together because they're from different decades: Hair and Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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