To us laypeople, being a child actor seems like a pretty sweet gig.
That is, until those child actors crawl out from post-fame obscurity during a trailer park blaze looking like they're riding out a crystal-meth-induced psychosis. That's when we realize that the whole child-actor thing isn't all home schooling and Tiger Beat photo shoots.
Jenny Lewis, however, is a survivor, so it's too bad she didn't want to dish about "Growing Pains," "Golden Girls" and her other sitcom cameos when we got her on the phone. These days Lewis wants to talk about Rilo Kiley, the indie-pop band she fronts with Blake Sennett, another former child actor (remember Nickelodeon's "Salute Your Shorts"?).
The band's third album, "More Adventurous," is its finest to date, with lyrics about relationships gone sour sung over countrified pop backbeats. So we asked Lewis about the record--eventually.
You were on "Golden Girls." Got any dirt on Bea Arthur?
I don't even remember being on that show. I can't remember a lot of that stuff. It's kind of lumped in with soccer practice and hanging out at the mall.
Surely you remember the smooching scene you did with Ben Seaver on "Growing Pains."
Yeah, I remember.
How bummed were you when you found out you'd be kissing Ben and not Mike Seaver (Kirk Cameron's character)?
That I don't remember.
OK, then. I have to plead ignorance, where'd the band name come from?
It was a dream that Blake had about this old Irish guy at the end of the bar named Rilo Kiley who predicted the day of my death.
If you don't mind me asking, when are you going to die?
He didn't tell me. I don't want to know. It's like when you get your fortune read. I don't want to know how many kids I'm going to have. I don't want to know when I'm going to die.
What's up with one of your fans tattooing Rilo Kiley lyrics on her back?
The lyrics are actually in French and they say, "With every broken heart we will become more adventurous."
Did you see that and think, "Man, I've got better lyrics!"?
I actually thought that I have some worse ones, so that wasn't a terrible choice. But then I imagined this girl in 40 years and I wonder if it'll look the same--probably not--and if she'll regret it.
How will Rilo Kiley look in 40 years?
I guess that all depends on Rilo Kiley's prediction. Will I even be walking around? Who knows!
Matt McGuire is the metromix music producer. Originally published Sept. 29, 2004.