A former child star from a broken home, Jenny Lewis is the voice of Rilo Kiley who had a cult hit with the Watson Twins. Her new solo album sees her dig ever deeper into the dark side of her past. Nick Hasted meets her in LA.
Jenny Lewis, who played Becky McGibbon with Lucille Ball in "Life With Lucy" when she was young provided an inside look into her life in an interview with The Independent. Excerpts of that interview below:
Put out to work by her mother as a child-actress in Hollywood, aged four, she worked alongside Lucille Ball, and Angelina Jolie.
"You know I've felt how I feel today since I was eight years old. I've always felt lonely, even if I'm in a great relationship, or surrounded by my friends and family. I don't know what happened prior to that that made me feel that way. But I've been the same person since 1982."
That was when she became a full-time television actress, five years after her parents divorced. They were a double act in showbiz's twilight zone. After divorce, dad disappeared. Mum, unemployed in LA, put her toddler to work on TV.
The cameras that stared at Lewis through her adolescence perhaps explain her shyness since. It took more than a decade as a musician for her to release a record under her own name. It's as if some vital emotional growth was held back, in her Hollywood childhood. "I feel like I never got a chance to be a child," she agrees. "I wouldn't change it for the world. But when you're a kid supporting your family, you're forced to keep your eye on the prize. I have a great work ethic, from watching Lucille Ball, not necessarily my own family."
"I've lived a good and strange life. I'm a late bloomer, in every aspect. I'm a slow-moving train. But I'll get there eventually. I like people, that's the thing. I'm the most negative optimist you'll ever meet."
For the complete interview, please read "Jenny Lewis - My private traumas" from The Independent.