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Juliette Lewis: 'I'm the oddity at the freak show'

Published 19/04/2016

Juliette Lewis
Juliette Lewis

Juliette Lewis is glad she didn't start making music until she was almost 30.

Juliette Lewis is the bearded lady at a rock 'n' roll circus, according to the rocker/actress.

The 42-year-old star branched out into rock music with her band Juliette and the Licks in 2003, and spent six years touring the world before the group broke up in 2009.

Now a solo artist, her impact as a rock & roll frontwoman is the focus of new documentary short, titled Hard Lovin' Woman, and it has given the star a chance to reflect on her career.

"I always liken myself to the bearded lady," she told Rolling Stone. "Because I'm an actress turned musician, a woman doing male-dominated rock & roll... I'm the oddity at the freak show, you know?"

While Juliette loves being up on stage and making music now, she confesses it took her a while to step up and get her singing career off the ground, starting the band just before her 30th birthday.

"I think in my late 20s, I was starting to enter that realm of complacency, which is the most terrifying place I can imagine as an artist," she added. "I felt time creeping up on me. And from as far back as I could remember, I had always intended to be musical, and to be a songwriter and a performer. So the fact that I hadn't done it at that point was disconcerting, like, 'Holy s**t! I've gotta try to regain all that I am in my creative self!'"

With hindsight, Juliette is glad her music career happened when it did, because she felt able to cover ground she wouldn't have been able to if she had started when she was a teenager.

"At that point in my life, I had a crazy work ethic," she said. "I was disciplined. All my drug problems were behind me. So I approached my rock & roll music with an athlete's frame of mind. It was about stamina and endurance and giving everything onstage, rather than debauchery and all that other c**p."

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