The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Natasha Lyonne on Being a Lesbian Icon 

Natasha Lyonne (Megan)

Natasha Lyonne played one of the most famous queer characters in film when she starred alongside Clea Duvall in the 1999 cult film But I'm Cheerleader

In an interview with The New York Times, the Orange is the New Black star was asked about being a lesbian icon, who is straight. "I never want to feel like I’m taking ownership of an experience that’s not my own," said Lyonne. "And when I play a lesbian character, it means that she’s on her own ride. I love men. I want to sleep with as many as possible."

The actress said she doesn't want to be known as solely being "the girl." "But I don’t want my whole life, and certainly my creative experience, to be in response to always just being 'the girl.' Like, who needs it?" the star told the paper.

Aubrey Plaza, the actress and comedian, who recently starred in Addicted to Fresno with Lyonne, came out as bisexual in an Advocate interview. She joked that it was easy for her to play a lesbian Krav Maga instructor because "It was less about pretending to be a lesbian and more about portraying a human being with a massive crush on Natasha Lyonne’s character." Plaza is friends with Lyonne, and she says when she got a call from the Orange is the New Black actress, she had no hesitation in accepting the role. "Natasha’s a friend, and she called me up, like, 'Do you want to come do a movie and make out with me?' I have a major crush on her in real life, so it was fun," Plaza told the Advocate.

Duvall and Lyonne reunited on the big screen in 2016's The Intervention. “I’ve played a lot of gay characters, but I haven’t really played a gay character that is gay in a way that is the gay that I feel like I am, if that makes sense," said Duvall, who directed the film. The Intervention opened in theaters Friday.

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