Lola Kirke has that “it” factor. The 23-year old actress is the youngest member of the highly creative Kirke-clan–older sister Jemima plays Jessa in Girls, and is a painter, oldest sister Domino is a musician, and is the must-have doula for all the hipster expecting moms in Brooklyn–has talent in spades. Although you may not know her name, you’ve definitely seen her before, with small but poignant roles in Gone Girl and HBO’s The Leftovers. This slight haze of anonymity is about to wear off, as she stars in the just-released Free the Nipple, as Liv, a young activist who takes to the streets to protest gender inequality. Later this month, you can catch her right on your computer in Amazon’s new series, Mozart in the Jungle, based on the 2005 memoir of oboist Blair Tindall. The show takes a humorous look at the gritty life of classical musicians beyond famed concert halls, and with writing from Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola, and Alex Timbers; Paul Weitz directs. And it’s about to become the latest must-binge-watch production.
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Kirke plays Hailey, a character loosely based on Tindall, but says her inspirations came from elsewhere. “Jason and Roman encouraged me to take the book as a starting point, but it was the oboe teacher I was given for this role, Marilyn, who was actually very informative with regards to this character,” she says. Kirke also took to stopping young people on the train who were carrying music cases to get a different perspective. “Hey! I play a classical musician on TV,” she would say, asking for a quick chat over email or a cup of coffee. Surprisingly her emails went unanswered, “Now I am hoping they’ll see the show and maybe respond. I am still interested in meeting more people.”
Although Hailey seems to have a wilder streak than Kirke–the memoir’s full of iillicit sex and drugs—there is one thing they have in common: how to figure out your place in the world as a young artist. “I don’t know what it is to be an artist, I’d like to consider myself one. I know that I am a creative person, and right now I’m comfortable being an actor and calling myself that,” Kirke says. That’s a good thing, given that she’s landed starring roles in two hotly anticipated films out next year, Fallen, based on the young adult science-fiction book by Lauren Kate, and Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s untitled film. Get ready to see her everywhere.