updated 08/31/2009 AT 7:25 PM ET
•originally published 09/01/2009 AT 11:00 AM ET
Juliette Lewis has played a range of roles: From hometown girl in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape opposite Johnny Depp to a brutal serial murderer in Natural Born Killers – but she also takes center stage in her own rock band. Now Lewis, 36, is back with new album Terra Incognita, a mix of bluesy, brash and sexy tunes, out Tuesday.
Listen to her band’s song “FantasyBar” while you learn five things you didn’t know about the versatile vixen.
She thinks her ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt is a super dad:
“When I run into him it’s like running into an old comrade,” she says. “Good vibes. He’s grown into a fine man and father. Total super father. It’s pretty impressive. Their family unit is inspiring.” And though she’d love to have babies of her own, she says she needs to find a steady fellow first. “At this point I don’t envision having children by myself.”
She loves extreme fashion
Currently taking inspiration from Tina Turner and David Bowie, Lewis loves to piece together “high-heeled boots, sequined- or jewel-encrusted shoulders on a jacket, or a skirt with boots,” she says. “Things that wouldn’t normally go together. In the beginning it was about wearing a T-shirt over a bikini and knee pads. But I want something that is a little bit more sophisticated these days.”
She avoids TV – because it can be so good!
Recently catching an episode of the Lifetime show Gay, Straight or Taken?, the singer/actress says, “This is why I don’t watch TV, because I would just sit there. I love this show. It’s cute even thought it’s filled with stereotypes.”
She’s obsessed with ‘YMCA’
“I’m a disco lover,” she says. “If I want to feel good that’s my happy place. ‘YMCA’ changed my life. I love it so much that I had my band learn it and we did a bluesy cover of it.”
She’s not as tough as she seems
“I know because of Natural Born Killers people think I’m all scary and stuff, but it’s really hard for me to be a bully.” But, she says, she was “such a bully” for her role in Drew Barrymore’s upcoming directorial debut Whip It. Learning to skate roller derby style was a challenging task, she says. “But we all became bad asses comparing bruises. Drew had one about eight inches long and five inches wide on the hip. I got some hip knots and a scraped chin, but thankfully no busted teeth. Bruises and scrapes are cool; busted teeth, not cool.”