Juliette Lewis is an American actress who rose to prominence for her portrayal of Danielle Bowden in the 1991 thriller, Cape Fear. Encouraged by her parents, Lewis always had an extreme fondness for drama and acting ever since she was a young girl. By the time she was seven, she already knew that it was something that she wanted to pursue as a career. Following through with her passion, she landed her first gig at the tender age of twelve. Not long afterwards, Lewis made her onscreen debut in the 1987 television film, Home Fires alongside Guy Boyd, Amy Steel and Max Perlich. Slowly making herself known in the industry, she went on to secure her very first lead role in the ABC sitcom, I Married Dora (1987) later that same year. Continuing to work her way towards stardom, Lewis eventually received a breakthrough in her career when she was cast as a supporting character in the thriller film, Cape Fear (1991).
For her groundbreaking performance in Cape Fear, Lewis received numerous awards including a CFCA Award, a Kansas City Film Critics Award, as well as a Golden Globe nomination and an Academy Award nomination. To date, it remains to be one of her best-known and popular portrayals as an actress. From there, she appeared in a series of smaller films including Husbands and Wives (1992), What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and Romeo is Bleeding (1993). Lewis’ next big hit came in 1994 when she starred as Mallory Knox in the satirical film, Natural Born Killers (1994). Once again propelling her into the spotlight, it earned her a Pasinetti Award for the category of “Best Actress” as well as two MTV Movie Award nominations. Throughout her professional career, Lewis has starred in well over seventy film and television projects.
But acting isn’t the only thing that she’s good atーthe actress is also an accomplished singer in the music scene. In the early 2000’s, she founded an American rock band called Juliette & The Licks, which also features Emilio Cueto, Craig Fairbaugh, Jason Womack and Ed Davis. Together the group released their first debut album entitled, …Like a Bolt of Lightning in 2004; they later released three additional albums within the next few years. After many years of recording and performing with Juliette & The Licks however, it was announced this summer that Lewis was going to be heading off on a solo music career.
So what has the actress and singer been up to nowadays? What new projects have she been focusing on lately? What happened to Juliette Lewis? Where is she now in 2018?
Juliette Lewis’ Childhood and Early Life
Born on June 21, 1973, in Los Angeles, California, Juliette Lewis is the daughter of an actor and a graphic designer. Although her parents divorced when she was two years old, she and her four siblings lived intermittently with both her mother and father outside of LA. Encouraged to pursue her interests in the performing arts ever since she was young, Lewis decided that she wanted to become an actress at the age of seven. Chasing her dreams, she eventually landed her first professional gig in the Showtime mini-series, Home Fires (1987) at the age of twelve. Wanting to broaden her career prospects, she later filed for legal emancipation from her parents when she was fifteen, to bypass child labour laws that were in place as to secure more jobs.
Soon after her on-screen debut, Lewis landed a recurring role in the comedy drama, I Married Dora (1987)ーa series which follows the life of a white-collar professional who marries a hispanic housekeeper in order to keep her from being deported out of the country. While actors Daniel Hugh Kelly, Sanford Jensen and Elizabeth Pena played the main lead characters, Lewis portrayed the part of Kate Farrell, a character who appears for a total of thirteen episodes. Around that same time however, the actress eventually began getting herself into trouble, smoking marijuana as a teen and later being arrested for being underage at a local clubーshe even drove without a license! In spite of this, her career in the show business continued to blossom; she appeared in several television series in the latter part of the 80’s including The Facts of Life (1988), My Stepmother is an Alien (1988), Meet the Hollowheads (1989), The Runnin’ Kind (1989) and The Wonder Years (1989).
Highlights from Juliette Lewis’ Acting Career
A few years after first stepping foot in front of the cameras, Lewis received a breakthrough in her career when she was cast as one of the main characters in the thriller film, Cape Fear (1991). Starring multiple big-name stars such as Nick Nolte, Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange, the movie told the story of a convicted rapist, whom after a fourteen year imprisonment in jail, finds himself using newfound knowledge of the law and its loopholes to seek revenge on a former public defender who pinned him using faulty tactics during his trial years prior. A remake of a 1962 film of the same title, Cape Fear opened to theatres in the United States in November 1991 and was met with universal acclaim, having grossed over $182 million from a $35 million budget. In the psychological thriller, Lewis played the part of Danielle Bowden, the teenage daughter of the protagonists’ family. Nominated for an Academy Award, Cape Fear also garnered the young actress a Golden Globe Award nomination for “Best Support Actress” the following year. To this dayーover twenty years later, it remains to be one of Lewis’ most well-known onscreen roles.
After appearing in a handful of other films over the next couple of years including Husbands and Wives (1992), That Night (1992), What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and Romeo is Bleeding (1993), Lewis found herself playing another major role in the satirical crime movie, Natural Born Killers. Directed by Oliver Stone, the film told the story of two individuals, each with their own traumatic pasts, who works together as mass murderers; things only get more complicated as their actions are irresponsibly glorified by the media. Released in theatres in August 1994. Natural Born Killers featured Lewis as the protagonist, Mallory Wilson Knox; other members of its star-studded cast include Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Sizemore. Although the movie was met with some critiquesーmainly for its unnecessary violence, a few critics did praise it for its flawless combination of romance and action. Despite its violent nature however, the film did earn Lewis a Pasinetti Award for “Best Actress” as well as two MTV Movie Awards for “Best Kiss” and “Best On-Screen Duo”, both of which were shared with her co-star, Woody Harrelson.
In the summer of 2002, Lewis starred in a HBO TV movie called Hysterical Blindness alongside Uma Thurman, Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands. Set in the late 1980’s in Bayonee, New Jersey, the film revolved around Debby Miller, a woman who has just been diagnosed with hysterical blindness, a condition which causes her sense of sight to fade in and out. Premiered in August of that year, Hysterical Blindness opened to positive reviews, many critics praising it for its dynamic characters and storytelling. For her portrayal of Beth Tocyznski, Lewis received a Primetime Emmy Award Nomination for the category of “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie” as well as an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Supporting Female.”
Juliette Lewis’ Music Career with her Rock Band, Juliette and the Licks
Eventually branching out into music, Lewis formed an American rock band called Juliette and the Licks in 2003 with Todd Morse on guitar, Paul Ill on bass and Patty Schemel on drumsーthe idea of forming a band had struck her after she attended a Blondie concert with Schemel, a few months prior. Signing onto Fiddler Records, an independent Miami-based recording label, the band released their debut album entitled …Like a Bolt of Lightning in October 2004. Produced by H. Rhodes, the punk rock record showcased six different tracks; some stand out titles includes Shelter Your Needs, Comin’ Around and I Am My Father’s Daughter.
Following the lukewarm success of their debut effort, Juliette and the Licks recorded and eventually released their next album, You’re Speaking My Language in May 2005. Produced by Juliette herself, the album contained mostly garage punk and indie rock tracks, a contrast compared to their initial album which mostly featured punk-oriented sounds. Praised for its “sleek and stylish sounds”, some highlights from its twelve-song track list include American Boy Vol 2, Money in My Pocket, and The World’s Gone Crazy/But I’ve Got My Friends. Although the album itself failed to chart, its two spawned singlesーGot Love to Kill and You’re Speaking My Language managed to peak at number fifty-six and number thirty-five respectively on the UK Singles Chart.
The next year, the rock band released their final full length album entitled, Four on the Floor in October 2006. While the disc and its ten tracks weren’t met with critical acclaim upon its release, it did go on to produce Hot Kiss and Sticky Honeyーtwo singles which charted at number fifty and number fifty-seven in the UK. In 2007, Four on the Floor was re-released with additional material such as live performances, music videos and documentaries; it also featured the bonus tracks Are You Happy? and Lucky For You.
What’s Juliette Lewis Doing Now in 2018- Recent Updates
Going back to her acting, Lewis has recently been reprising her role as Detective Andrea Cornell in the mystery anthology series, Secrets and Lies. The ABC drama which first premiered in March 2015, revolves around Cornell, as she goes on to investigate a number of mysterious homicide cases. While the actress played the part of the main protagonist, others in the cast roster include Ryan Philippe, KaDee Strickland, Natalie Martinez, Dan Fogler and Indiana Evans, amongst others. Having captured the interests of millions of viewers around the world, Secrets and Lies is currently on its second season, which just aired in late September of 2016.
In March 2016, the actress also made an appearance in a comedy short called The Second Sound Barrier opposite Al Foster, Vincent Karthiser and Nadia Lanfranconi. Directed and written by David Wain and Michael Showalter respectively, the film followed three of the fastest drivers in the world as they raced off against time to rescue Lady Billionaireーsomeone who can only be saved by breaking the “second sound barrier.” Of course, Lewis portrayed the role of none other than Lady Billionaire herself in the short!
Are you a fan of the Academy and Golden Globe Award nominated star? Wanting to stay up-to-date and connected with the performer? You can do so easily by following Juliette Lewis on social mediaーyou can find her on Twitter (@JulietteLewis) as well as on Instagram (@juliettelewis). Don’t forget to also check out her official Facebook page and website for some of the actress/singer’s most updated news!