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For the Love of God, Let Natasha Lyonne Be the ‘Third Safdie’

Natasha Lyonne Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Writers Guild of America East

Natasha Lyonne has had bit parts in three big 2019 movies: Ad Astra, Honey Boy, and Uncut Gems. At the East Coast WGA Awards Saturday night, Vulture asked the Russian Doll star about her Gems voice cameo as a Celtics personnel over the phone who exchanges words with Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler). “I’m Tilda Swinton, and you heard what you heard!” she joked, referencing Swinton’s own secret Gems voice cameo. Lyonne’s part came about because she’s friends with the Safdies: “There was another movie [of their’s] that I was going to be in, but that part ended up not happening. I’m friends with them, and they told me about a part that didn’t even exist in the script in the end. They wanted me to play a different role in Uncut Gems, but we waited for months and Orange Is the New Black would not clear me. Then cut to the end of the story: They texted me to be the voice on the phone. I really love them. If I had siblings, I would wish it were them. I feel like I would fit in well as a third Safdie. I should be so lucky, I love that movie.”

Lyonne continued gushing over Gems, adding, “When I see Adam Sandler’s performance in that, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so reminiscent of a family story onscreen. It felt very relatable,” she said. “For me, I experienced it as a real gentle coming-of-age tale.” Uncut Gems: your new favorite coming-of-age movie.

For the Love of God Let Natasha Lyonne Be the ‘Third Safdie’