What do you think makes a woman sexy?
I feel like there’s kind of room for everyone. I love Björk. I love Pamela Anderson. We need all the different varieties. I think sexiness comes from talent and creativity. Not just in women, but humans in general. I find myself attracted to anyone who is passionate and talented. I just get crazy over someone like John Galliano or Vivienne Westwood, these talents that you can’t touch.
Japan is so inspiring, because you feel like you’re on a different planet.
So those are the things you find attractive in men as well?
Well, I’m married and I’m pretty preoccupied with that. I’ve never really had too many relationships. Just two really, and I married one of them. I never had that whole dating experience. When I hear friends talking about “I’m seeing this younger guy and this older guy who has kids,” I’m like, “You’re seeing two people at one time!? Ahh, my God! Tell me more!” I can’t imagine going on a date. I’m too insecure. But in my next life, I’m going to be a guy and I’m going to be a slut. I’ll try that one on for size. But I do have my fantasy guys.
I want to be him! If I was a boy, please let me be him!
You idolized Jean Harlow and now you’re playing her in The Aviator?
It was such an honor to play someone who was such an inspiration to so many people. I mean, she was the original “original.” I’ve tried out for so many movies and it’s such a humiliating and challenging and horrible experience. But there’s something kind of fun in that challenge. I feel like I have it in me; if someone gave me a chance I feel I could use those muscles. They sent me the script and I found the one page that had my one line. And even though it was only one line, when I went to the first audition, I kept messing it up. Afterward, they said, “If Marty calls, will you come down?” And I’m like, “Hello? Duh!” And he called and I got the part. Basically, they told me, “Come down and audition for him and don’t dress like a rock star.” They wanted me to dress the part.
That mustn’t have been hard, since you obviously love playing dress up. Was that part of what inspired the L.A.M.B. line?
That’ll always be a passion, but I hated talking about it in my youth, because I was like, “Well, fuck, the music is the most important thing.” Everyone would want to talk about it and I was like, “I’m not going to talk about my friggin’ outfit!” But then I met this stylist, Andrea Lieberman, who is like the cooler, Jewish, New York version of me. We just connected and after that we always worked together. She taught me a lot about fashion. I was so ghetto. I came from Orange County and I didn’t know anything. I was a thrift store girl. But Andrea taught me about that world and how artistic and expressive it is. L.A.M.B. is the one thing in my life that is so easy. It fulfills me, but it doesn’t have that deep thing that music does, that weight. It’s just about me and what I like. It’s so greedy that way. You sit at a table and think of what you want to wear.
On the album you talk quite a bit about the fashion in the Harajuku area of Tokyo.
One thing that I’m learning is to have some sort of theme and roll with it. With the line we try to have that and with the album too. On the album there are quite a few themes, but my main inspiration was Harajuku. It was never intentional, but at the same time I knew that that was my muse, if you can call an area a muse. Japan is so inspiring anyway, because you feel like you’re on a different planet. One of my favorite parts about my success is being able to travel and I try to keep my eyes open. In Japan, I was just blown away by the fashion, the creativity. This whole thing of taking bits and pieces of our culture—for me it’s this whole ping-pong match between East and West and how we really inspire each other. It keeps evolving. The whole album is about that too, musically, because I was inspired by things I love. I was stealing and stealing and stealing, but trying to make it my own as well, trying to make it become fresh and new. It was yours and now it’s mine!
And then it becomes someone else’s.
Hopefully it becomes the backdrop for someone’s prom when they’re making out! I feel like the whole Harajuku theme is part of my impression of that place and the way that these girls have a found a way to express themselves. You can see where their inspiration comes from, but they put a twist on it and make it theirs.
Experimenting without inhibition.
And I feel like No Doubt tried to do that, too. We’ve never stood in one place. It’s funny. I was in the garage the other day, and I looked down and there was this box of old clothes. It’s always such a bum-out to get older, really. At a certain point you think you’re never going to get older because it just doesn’t happen to you, and then all of a sudden you realize it’s happening to you. That’s when the race is on. I’ve had a great time, but I mean, fuck—I didn’t do this! I didn’t do that! I looked down at those clothes and I thought, Thank God I’m not that girl anymore. I was really proud that I had been that girl, but I’m not anymore and I’m so grateful. It’s weird how you have to evolve and change that way.
Especially in what you’re doing. As a pop icon you have to be continually evolving.
That’s really weird. Being famous or being a celebrity or whatever, I mean, I can’t even say the words without laughing. When it happens to you, let’s face it, egos are big and it feels really good to have the attention. But you quickly realize it’s all fake. Whatever everybody thinks about me is just a collection of facts they gathered that could be true or not true. And whether what they think about me is good or bad, I can’t pay attention or it’s going to make me crazy. If they build me up to be more than I really am, I’m going to look in the mirror and say, “You’re not fucking that!” And I’m going to be hard on myself. Or the opposite: If they say negative things, it tears away your confidence. So I try really hard to know that my reality is me and my world and the people I see who are actually living in my world. Right now, before the album comes out, is a magic time. Because no one has judged it yet and the fake world hasn’t taken over. It’s still the real world, thank God.