Jennifer Tilly: Untamable Tilly

Jennifer Tilly is known for her small but scene-stealing roles. From the exuberant wannabe chanteuse in The Fabulous Baker Boys to the airheaded thrill-seeker in The Getaway, Tilly's out-there characters hold your attention so much better than most leads that it would almost be a shame if she ascended to soberer starring roles.


Fortunately, she plays another alluring ditz in Woody Allen's next, Bullets Over Broadway. "My agents said that after doing a Woody Allen film, I'll be taken more seriously," Tilly says, "but I don't think so because she's totally over-the-top-- she's Betty Boop!"

Tilly has made her mark on television, too, by bringing a wild-card version of her screen persona into the talk-show arena. "After I sang on Arsenio' my manager said that we have to sit down and talk about my late-night appearances," she admits. "He doesn't like them--but I think they're funny! I don't want to patronize people by going on a show in ripped jeans and talking about Dostoevsky because the format is so patently artificial anyhow, and I'd rather entertain."

Tilly acknowledges that most of the parts sent her way are childlike, bimbo nut cases. So, has she ever had any strange experiences while auditioning? "Oh my God, once I was reading for this sex scene when all of a sudden I got knocked on my back, onto a table--the actor I was reading with started to hump me, and my pages began to fly." What did she do?" Well, it's a good thing I remembered my lines, which were, 'Fuck me, oh God, fuck me.'"


Heidi Parker