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Natasha Lyonne tells all about her first audition horror story

Natasha Lyonne just hosted SNL last week which seems to have sparked, everybody jonesing for more Natasha Lyonne content, and a natural destination is the new Netflix series du jour, Russian Doll. She’s been acting since her childhood, and has had plenty of experience in the industry, which means that there’s plenty of content to go around, so why not dive into her acting and her stories and anecdotes?

Specifically, in an interview in 2020, she talked about her first audition horror story. She starts off by saying, “Oh, my God, I’ve had so many bad auditions. I don’t know that I really have any good auditions. I would get a breakdown for something that would be like, ‘She’s tough, she wears eyeliner, and she smokes.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, I’ve got this one.'”

She then clarifies, “But just kidding, it’s actually an episode of CSI [and] there’s no way you’re getting it, because that means a supermodel in Miami who’s wearing some eyeliner, ya dumb-dumb. They’re not actually looking for Linda Manz in Out of the Blue. In many ways, there were so many rooms that I fought so hard [in], but as soon as I walked in, that job was already not mine. Sometimes it has nothing to do with how I do.”

She gets back into her story, saying, “And yet, I can say to you that I’ve had so many bad auditions. I remember [my] early days of being a child actor and just weeping out of terror. To give you some indication of my childhood, nobody thought that was indicative of, ‘It’s time to go home.’ They were just like, ‘She’ll do better tomorrow.’ So I can remember those.”

Then, she gets a little more specific, “I can remember [being] 11 or 12 and I just couldn’t cry on cue in the audition and it was just fuckin’ breaking my heart. I knew I had done it so good at home, and I just couldn’t get there, you know? And it was so shaming and I was so young. There’s also this other thing where I always thought that if I could just hold you hostage longer, maybe I’d have a better shot at getting a role, but that’s just not true. I think it’s actually often the opposite: The actor just comes in, does it, splits. I think sometimes I’m hoping that I’ll be able to seduce them into wanting to give me this job, and by seduce I just mean, like, ‘Well, here’s another anecdote! Like me personally!’ I feel like I’ve also had so many failures that are just basic, and I’m sure a lot of women, and probably men, too, can relate.”

Even as she tells the story with a flair of comedy and grace, there is something sad in her having to put so much pressure on herself from such a young age. No child should be that heartbroken by a little bump on the road like an inability to cry on cue.

Either way, it’s clear that Natasha Lyonne has grown quite a lot since then, and has held onto her charm in spades.