You might be surprised by what Lili Taylor finds funny


In the spring of 1988, I fell in love (or something) with Julia

, and I wanted to become best friends with Lili Taylor. I was a

freshman in college — just inching a toe or two out of the closet —

and very happy to be attending a university where we got to see all

sorts of cool, free stuff, such as screenings of Mystic

months before its

theatrical release.

Taylor’s character was the most appealing of the three leads. Julia Roberts

was pretty, but a mess. Annabeth Gish was smart, but having an affair

with the married father of the kid she babysat. Ugh. But Lili Taylor

was just a good friend to her friends while she struggled with

commitment issues. How could anyone not think she was great?

Since then, I’ve been loosely following her career as “queen of the

.” She’s played a whole lot of lesbians (I Shot Andy Warhol, The

, Pret-a-Porter, Julie Johnson) and told The Advocate in 1996, “I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up with a woman.”

She certainly looked comfortable with Courtney Love in Julie Johnson.

And now she’s playing therapist with a wee bit of drama in her

personal life on Lifetime’s State of Mind.

Scribegrrrl has already detailed five reasons to like State of Mind,

so I won’t revisit those. In addition to the universal reasons to like

show, I have a lot of history with New Haven (not to mention the New

Haven psychotherapy world), so I tune in every week. The other good

thing about the show’s existence is that, as the star, Lili Taylor does a lot of

press and it’s fun to read about her. Here’s what I learned recently from

1. She’s been in therapy for many years.

2. She has a healthy respect for relationships.

3. Occasionally, people still sing “Joe Lies” to her. (Say Anything

“Joe lies/Joe lies/Joe lies/When he cries”)

4. She enjoys flatulence humor. (“I have a little cup called the

Windbreaker that makes sounds. Let’s leave it at that.”)

5. She’s not as intense as her characters.

Really, why would anyone think she was intense?

I certainly enjoy the range of her intense and less-than-intense roles. Jojo in Mystic Pizza remains my favorite, but I loved her as Corey Flood in Say Anything (“Hi Joe. How are you? I love you. … You invade my soul.”) I also have a soft spot for her earnest vegan turn as Lisa on Six Feet Under.

And, of course, I still want to be her best friend.

What role is your favorite?

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