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Lili Taylor / Actress

January 25, 1998|Steve Hochman

Being the queen of independent cinema is a mixed blessing for Lili Taylor. On one hand, the Chicago-born New York resident gets some juicy roles, including the lead in director Nick Gomez's "Ill Town" and as Valerie Solanas in "I Shot Andy Warhol." But her indie credits seem to work against her since Taylor, 30, hasn't had shots at the mainstream. A recent guesting on "Mad About You" can't hurt.

STATE OF INDEPENDENTS: "They're not really independents anymore. Budgets are higher. The revolving doors in theaters move faster so they're not as apt to keep small films and let them get word of mouth. The director has to get a name actor and follow the dictates of the money people, and it's not that independent."

CRUEL IRONY: "Actresses who did bigger movies than I have are getting the 'independents.' To get independents, you have to do bigger stuff. That wasn't the case two or three years ago."

THE SOLUTION: "I'm thinking of directing my own stuff. I'm not seeing a lot of material that's interesting, so by default, I'm turning to my own resources. If I do something too out there, will I get financing? You can follow your heart and take a risk, but if it just sits on a shelf, is it worth anything?"

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW: " 'Park and Marie' is the name of my script. My dream is to have my parents in it. Those are their real names. They're not actors, but I know they'd be great."

RISING STAR: "Director Atom Egoyan ["The Sweet Hereafter"] seems to have something going on, this body of work where he's building and growing with each picture."

DREAM DIRECTOR: "I'd love to work with Todd Haynes. His 'Velvet Goldmine' is supposed to be amazing."

SCREENING ROOM: "I loved 'La Promesse.' And I love documentaries. Frederick Wiseman's one called 'Public Housing,' I saw it on cassette, about a Chicago housing project."

BOOKED UP: " 'The Alienist' would be a great movie if someone could do it right. . . . You'd need a lot of money, and need to be smart, have lots of suspense and be good with making the characters rich. I bet Scorsese could do a good job with that."

ONE FOR OPIE: "Ron [Howard] saw 'The Addiction' and liked me in it and asked me to be in 'Ransom.' That doesn't come along every day. Ron really likes actors, he cares about them and understands them and that's rare when you're up there making this huge product."

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