Juliette Lewis has always had a rock star persona. Her performances have commanded attention with a variety of intense and memorable roles. While forging a successful career in Hollywood, the actress never forgot her first love -- music. In Hard Lovin’ Woman, audiences are introduced to the transcendence from actress to singer. A handful of actors have tried their hands at a musical career, yet few have found the other side of the coin equally successful or gratifying.
|Is that Iggy Pop? Mick Jagger? Nope. It's Juliette Lewis.|
Juliette and the Licks are the exception. After a six-year hiatus, the group reformed for a show in 2015. It was an explosion of primal energy, like a caged animal springing to life after its release and pushing the limits of its freedom. Lewis has proven to be a worthy singer and songwriter, but it’s her onstage performance that is the most captivating. She’s a force that manifests before the audience, like the metaphorical love-child of Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop. She is that intense.
“I feel my performances so deeply,” she explains, “It’s as if I’m trying to touch the hand of God through rock n roll.”
Hard Lovin’ Woman documents the sacrifices Lewis makes mentally, financially, and physically while she bounces between the stage and behind the camera. One of the more fascinating aspects of the film are home video reels of a young Juliette, before the fame. Filmed a few years before her Oscar nominated performance in Cape Fear, these films reveal a girl obsessed with musicals and a desire to become a singer. The behind-the-scenes clips of Juliette provide several comedic moments. She’s kind of a goofball, but it entices an infectious likability. As cameras follow her on her daily routine, she will talk philosophically about life one moment and her attraction to ridiculous clothing the next. It’s the real Juliette Lewis, and she’s a lot of fun.
Lewis approaches the stage with a near-Buddhist awareness, fully awake. What enters the stage and leaves are two different beings. It’s an interesting transformation, especially considering her recent (and equally impressive) performance as Detective Andrea Cornell on ABC’s Secrets and Lies. The two entities are complete opposites, yet each are intense in their own way. Director Michael Rapaport delivers his desired lasting impression with Hard Lovin’ Woman, which showcases a woman who – no matter the circumstance – gives everything she’s got, and leaves it all on the stage.
Hard Lovin’ Woman is available exclusively on Redbull TV.
- Lee L. Lind