Lauren Hutton and Nip/Tuck: A Tampa Girl Made Good Plots Her Next Comeback
At age 63, she's got the ease and fearless eccentricity of many celebrities in later life. With little left to prove, few asses to kiss and less desire than ever to conform to anything, Hutton is ready to dish about life and showbiz, wrapping her smoky, lived-in voice around cheeky nostalgia and bitter curse words with equal enthusiasm. Check out the best quotes in my Floridian profile of the Tampa-raised star here.
She's once again filling a fine part, as insider Hollywood publicist Fiona McNeil on FX's buzzed-about plastic surgery series Nip/Tuck (how cool is that they're using a muscular cover of Wicked Game as their unofficial theme?). And she is frank about how, even when trying botox made one of her eyebrows stick up, "like the Wicked Witch of the West" she almost enjoyed it.
"I’ll tell you something, it felt great. I felt like I was in a tranquilizer – except for when I looked in the mirror. The rest of the time, you’re completely tranquil. Which made me realize how much of the synapses of our brain are trained in some way to work with the muscles of our face and emotions. If you can’t frown at all -- which is what happens when you get Botox,nothing moves -– you just float around all day. I miss that feeling, and I can still remember that.”
On her early days as a model in NYC: "We had jobs by the hour – you could make $60 or $70 an hour. A hardworking model, she’d have six jobs a day; you’d have a half hour to get between jobs, you’d be running up down and up downtown in the back of taxis. I used to really study people. Once in a while, I’d see an expression I didn’t know. And this was while I was trying to train my face to do anything the big girls do – to make any expression the big models could make. In New York, on every corner, there’s some drama happening. If I saw an expression where I didn’t know what that meant – I can remember trying to put my facial muscles in that expression, and I’d feel the emotion that the person had. It was amazing.”
On why she doesn't model much anymore: "I don’t care how many promises I got from the photographer, the president of the company, or even my own agents that they wouldn’t retouch me or would barely retouch me, I’d look at a picture of myself and look like a plastic doll. I’d look like one of those blow up dolls that truck drivers use. And it was scary and infuriating, because I knew I was passing the crap along to women."
On how she feels about most publicists (except her own): " I think most of them are monsters, really....Maybe it's that their job a lot of times is about hyping and they don’t get the time to believe in their clients. They start to disbelieve anything.”
Get a glimpse of Hutton's grandeur in this promo clip, where they've watered down the language (Guess which line was substituted for this one: "I feel like I'm trying to sell semen in a whorehouse!" Gotta love the wilds of cable TV after 10 p.m.)