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SUNDAY CONVERSATION

Hollywood's honest actress

December 14, 2008|Choire Sicha | Sicha is a freelance writer.

Bijou Phillips stars in "Dark Streets," a noir film musical that opened Friday. She has recently appeared in "Choke" and "Hostel II." Danny Masterson, of "That '70s Show" fame, is her boyfriend. She is just barely bicoastal.

What did you have for breakfast?

I've been on a vegan diet for six months and this morning I had eggs Benedict.

Did that go down OK?

My body was like, "What happened? Did we just recover from a famine?"

So you feel all right?

I feel good! I'm sick and I've been sick four times since I've been vegan and I hadn't been sick for five years before that. I need to eat food because this isn't working. Every vegan I know gets sick all the time.

But did you lose a lot of weight?

That's the only blessing. Sick and thin! "Bijou Phillips: Sick and Thin," in theaters near you. I'm going to have to go back on Atkins to lose weight. There's a movie coming out called "Wake" that I'm really fat in. It's because I quit smoking. And I decided if I had to eat Bolognese every night, it was OK. Then I did "Made for Each Other" when I was on my no-carbs, and I was like a rail. I had to do [dubbing] for both movies in the same week, and after seeing myself in "Wake," I was like, that's it! And I picked up the cigarettes again and became a vegan.

Your poor body.

It's fine now! I'm eating. I'm smoking and eating regular food, so I should be OK. You gain so much weight! And if you never smoked you probably wouldn't have gained the weight.

So you're engaged in a process of struggle.

It's a war! It's a battle. I'm like the only actress in Hollywood that's honest about it. Everyone else is like, "Oh, I just work out a lot and drink a lot of water." Yeah, right. Shut it.

What do you do for fun when you're not torturing your body?

I ride horses. I have three horses. So I spend all my time riding them, grooming them, bathing them. Doing everything on Earth to help them be horses. And I show as often as possible, every weekend. Trying to fit all that in is very hard. I have my regular car, my sedan, a little Beemer that's fun, then I have my big Dodge Ram that has a bumper sticker that says, "My horse is more pampered than my boyfriend," filled with hay and supplies. I drive this big truck around L.A. So my life's, like, pretty odd compared to most people. Very rural. I live in the Los Feliz area so I drive through Griffith Park to the other side -- you can ride all through Griffith Park, you have 55 miles of trails. It's horse paradise where I live! That's why L.A. is so great! I get to New York in the winter and you can't do anything. It's fine if you don't mind sitting in your apartment doing nothing and you don't mind having dinner and seeing a movie -- it's so boring! There's no activities. In L.A., in an hour you can be in Big Bear skiing. In 45 min- utes you can be on the beach in a wetsuit. See? It's better here. You can go on a hike all year round! It smells like sage and magical plants and pepper trees!

Oh, man.

The worst part about New York is you have to live in a little box. In L.A., you can look at a tree and maybe some grass. Maybe you live at the bottom of Runyon and you can leave your place and go for a walk and you can have a dog. And if you already have a dog, it'll be happier! It's just overall better.

I guess!

And you still have all the arts! All the stuff that's in New York is in L.A. All the same bands play. All the art exhibits come. So you can't say, "Oh, it's because of the arts." If you want to go to the theater? There's only so many plays, and they're all on for years, so you can go to New York for a couple weeks. So there's no reason to be in New York. Unless it's friends. And they don't want to be there either. So you can get all your friends to move to L.A. Probably 90% of all your good friends have already moved to L.A. Who would want to come back to a dark box on a loud busy street with construction and debris? Your apartment is so small and filled with coats and jackets and gloves and scarves -- and accessories are cluttering everything and it's miserable. And even if you go out, it's small! Even the massage parlors are small! Everything is small!

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