Actor Natasha Lyonne says growing up she was obsessed with filmmaker Martin Scorsese and actor Robert DeNiro.
The Russion Doll co-creator and star said she had a natural leaning towards a “darker” and “male” form of cinema.
“I loved a Madeline Kahn. I was more focusing on, especially as I became a teenager, like a Peter Fox or the Seymour Cassels. Or what’s Gene Wilder doing? Or who is this Mel Brooks?”
“I think as a kid I wasn’t even sure if I was more obsessed with what Scorsese was up to or DeNiro. I was always sort of so consumed by both but I naturally leaned towards sort of toward a darker, male, kind of a thing,” Lyonne said while speaking to Maya Rudolf in Variety’s Actors on Actors session.
The actor, who played Nadia Vulvokov, a woman who repeatedly dies and relives the same night in an ongoing time loop in the Netflix 2019 series. The character was based on Elliot Gould’s interpretation of Detective Philip Marlowe in Robert Altman’s 1973 mystery drama, The Long Goodbye.
“In Russian Doll, it was fun to create a role for myself where I could embody both (Scorsese and DeNiro) in this way… Essentially that character was based on Elliot Gould’s performance of Philip Marlowe in Altman’s The Long Goodbye, meaning not like Jack Nicholson’s Marlowe in Chinatown or Humphey Bogart’s Marlowe, it was specific to that.
“It was like ‘That’s the nut I can crack which feels like in my sweet spot of dense, sort of funny and self aware and all these kind of things,” Lyonne added.
Rudolf said Russian Doll was the last show she streamed online and found it “perfect” as she binge watched it in one day.