‘Mozart in the Jungle’ Star Lola Kirke Is an Actor to Watch

Lola Kirke and Variety editor Steven Gaydos.
Lola Kirke and Variety editor Steven Gaydos. Photo credit: Brendan J. O'Reilly

Lola Kirke was in the middle of filming Mozart in the Jungle in October when she headed to East Hampton to be recognized as one of Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

She found out she was selected for the honor a month earlier, and says that she doesn’t know how it came to be. “Someone bribed someone,” Kirke jests during an interview at the festival.

The much buzzed about film Gone Girl—in which she had a “small but pivotal role,” as Variety put it—hit theaters shortly before the festival began. She couldn’t say much about it, for fear of spoiling the thriller.

“The book is an incredibly strong foundation for an awesome film, and I had a great experience working on it,” Kirke says.

Her other recent film credits include bigger roles in smaller movies, including Free the Nipple, a comedy released in December.

Free the Nipple is a movie about a group of women who start a revolution to ban censorship,” she explains. “They use the nipple as a symbol of gender inequality.”

January 2015 will see the debut of Mistress America, from The Squid and the Whale director Noah Baumbach, at the Sundance Film Festival. It was one of the first feature films she starred in, and its release has been a long time coming. “It’s a really special film,” she says. Kirke stars as a lonely college freshman rescued from solitude by her soon-to-be stepsister, played by Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the screenplay with Baumbach.

While Kirke’s film resume continues to grow, including appearances in the Elizabeth Bishop biopic Reaching for the Moon and the upcoming YA novel adaptation Fallen, it is her starring role in Amazon Studios’ Mozart in the Jungle that is garnering the most acclaim at present.

The series, developed by Paul Weitz, Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, is based on the memoir of the same name by journalist and oboist Blair Tindall. The story reveals what goes on offstage at the symphony.

“It’s such a positive set to be on and I think it’s going to be a really fun show,” Kirke says.

Kirke co-stars with accomplished actors Gael García Bernal and Bernadette Peters. She plays Hailey, an oboist seeking to establish her career.

Amazon Studios released the pilot in February 2014 and after a positive reception picked it up for another nine episodes. The season debuted on Amazon Prime December 23.

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