Natasha Lyonne: 14 Now You Know Facts
No one has the same old soul, cigarette voiced, New York delivery of the great Natasha Lyonne. Although she's gained mainstream popularity in recent years for Russian Doll and Orange Is The New Black, the star has been in the movie business since she was just 6 years old. Here are 14 facts about the comedic assassin Natasha Lyonne.
She was on Peewee’s Playhouse
At just 6 years old Natasha Lyonne appeared in the first season of Peewee’s Playhouse. It was Natasha’s first TV acting gig, until the production moved from New York to L.A. for the second season, meaning Lyonne could not return.
Lyonne Thinks She May Have Been Put In The Business Too Young
Lyonne Told The New York Times, “I was kind of put into this business by my family, by my mother. To be fair, I think she thought it was the right thing, and I definitely responded to it. I was an outgoing child. But I don’t know if it was something I would have done by choice.”
She Dated Fred Armisen
Natasha Lyonne dated comedian Fred Armisen for 8 years. The duo met through a mutual friend in 2014, and hit it off instantly, appearing in each other’s projects from time to time as well. The couple broke up in 2022, but Lyonne insists they are still great friends.
She Lived In Israel
Both of Lyonne's parents were Orthodox Jews, prompting the family to move to Israel for a year and a half when Lyonne was eight years old. Lyonne’s father was a boxing promoter there and Natasha got the chance to help him out by “walking around the ring as a card girl in a little skirt and tights and little boots."
She Was In Scary Movie 2
Who is that underneath all of that Exorcist makeup? It is none other than a 22-year-old Natasha Lyonne working alongside James Woods and Andy Richter.
She Still Stays In Touch With Paul Reubens
Despite joining the cast at 6 years old, Reubens and Lyonne still have a close relationship after Peewee's Playhouse. Lyonne said, “Paul Reubens send the best GIFs in the biz, long before they became so accessible with iPhones." Steve Jobs should write him a letter of thanks.
She Was Evicted By Fellow Actor Michael Rapaport In 2004
In 2004 Natasha Lyonne was renting a brownstone apartment from Michael Rapaport, who eventually had to evict and issue a warrant for her arrest due to her “harassing neighbors and destroying the property.” The charges were dropped after Lyonne attended court-appointed rehab and the two are on good terms now. On the incident, Lyonne has said, "At the time I didn't understand, but now it's like, if I owned a nice brownstone and was constantly moving pianos while listening to Richard Pryor CDs and trying to figure out how to play 'Easy Like Sunday Morning' on the piano for days at a time, I would potentially be pissed too, It's the fallout of shenanigan-based behavior."
She Made Her Own New York Times Crossword Puzzle
Lyonne told Jimmy Fallon about her love of games like Wordle and The NYT Spelling Bee, but who could have guessed that she is talented enough to create one of her own? Lyonne worked with NYT crossword veteran Deb Almen. Crossword editor Will Shorts has reviewed puzzles submitted by Jesse Eisenberg, Isaac Mizrahi, and Weird Al Yankovic, but said, “Natasha took this more seriously than almost anybody else.”
Her Relationship with Maya Rudolph
Maya Rudolph said that Lyonne was the first New York City friend she had made who wasn’t working at SNL, and that the two were even roommates at one point. Now the two own a production company called Animal Pictures. Maya says one of their earliest connections was when Lyonne invited her to be in a fashion show, unknowingly signing them both up to be emcees.
When asked “Who is your hero?” by Larry King, Lyonne responded, “If Lou Reed and Nora Efron had a baby, that would be my hero.”
Her Grandparents Were Holocaust Survivors
Her mother's parents were Holocaust survivors, with Lyonne sometimes joking, “my father's side, Flatbush, and my mother's side, Auschwitz.” Her grandmother Elle came from a large family, but only she and her two brothers and sisters survived the genocide, which Lyonne credits to their blonde hair and blue eyes.
Her Relationship With Her Family
Natasha Lyonne was not very close with either of her parents. Her father passed in 2014 in New York, and she doesn’t keep in contact with her mother. She has said that she has been completely independent from the age of 16.
When She Knew She Had Made It
Lyonne said she finally knew she was famous when she was given free walk-in tickets to a sold-out Morrissey show. “I saw that he was playing on a banner and I was driving by. I walk up to the thing they said it was sold out and the lady said ‘Oh my God, let me give you some tickets.’ and I was like ‘Holy sh*t I’ve really done something right in this life.’”
She Is Still Close With Her But I’m A Cheerleader Co-Star
Clea Duvall, Lyonne’s co-star and love interest from But I’m A Cheerleader is still Lyonne's best real-life friend. Lyonne told EW that she and Duvall still talk every day, and will have long improvised phone conversations about completely made-up nonsense before ever asking how the other one is doing.
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